Thursday, April 10, 2008

Learning the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Treatment centers and 12-step programs offer counseling, psychotherapy, support groups, and family therapy.3 These 12-steps consist of:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol--that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.3
In addition, medications can also aid in suppressing withdrawals or cravings and in blocking the effects of drugs.

The National Intervention Referral process gives an example of a step-by-step approach to how intervention works. First, contact and intervention facility and speak to a staff member. Second, set up a meeting with an intervention specialist to discuss the history and circumstances of the person in crisis. Third, before the actual intervention occurs, the intervention specialist will meet with the family and friends to discuss each person’s role in the intervention, their boundaries, and the consequences for the substance abuser if he or she does not follow through with the intervention. Fourth, conduct the intervention. Fifth, after the intervention has taken place, the intervention specialist will continue to spend time with the abuser and provide transportation to an arranged-in-advance treatment center. Sixth, once the individual is undergoing treatment, the intervention specialist will continue to keep contact with him or her. The intervention specialist will remain active in the recovery process and act as a liaison between the family and the recovering patient.1 According to National Treatment Referral; the treatment centers with the greatest success rate are those treating the whole person. These treatment centers are offering physical and psychological assistance, education and training.4

In conclusion, a drug and alcoholism intervention can and will save the life of a loved who is addicted to drugs and alcohol. Families and friends must choose to not look the other way but to proactively seek help for themselves and the substance abuser.