An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Reasons to join 12-Step Support Groups

Discussion in '12-Step Support Groups' started by CrimsonAdder, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. CrimsonAdder

    CrimsonAdder Member

    I have noticed in my time that there is at times a skeptical attitude about 12-Step Support Groups for a variety of factors; some don't immediately see their true benefits, others don't feel comfortable talking about their intimate episodes in a group of unknown people, and some are just afraid that by meeting people with the same problem they have, or had, will entice them to commit the same mistakes.

    Thus, I decided to create this thread so we can have a focused discussion about the perks of 12-Step Support Groups by having several people pitch in with their perspectives, why they could be a great option for you, and to dismiss some fears and wrong ideas about Support Groups and their purpose.

    I'll start by saying that you shouldn't feel uncomfortable or ashamed to join a 12-Step Support Group! The fact is, the people participating in these groups are there because they share the exact same reasons with you to be there in the first place. Do not feel intimidated if you had/have problems with a specific drug, because nobody will judge you, you're all equals there.

    Besides, you are not expected to speak out to everybody in your first few sessions, it's completely normal to just show up and listen to the more seasoned members speak of their achievements and time gone by without using a specific drug. You will feel inspired yourself, and as the days go by spending time with these people, you soon realize yourself that there is no shame in speaking out, rather the contrary, you're praised and respected for being strong and disciplined, as well as encouraged and supported in enduring the pain you might go through with the withdrawal. You may always get a great sponsor as well who will help you out a lot in remaining true to your goals and objectives by keeping you focused and feeling positive.
  2. DTracy3

    DTracy3 Active Contributor

    Personally the thing that I don't like about 12-Step Groups, is that I feel that after your life was all about a drug, now it's all about your support group. Also the way the 12 steps are set up is the same then in a cult. I don't think that that is a bad thing for some people, but personally it's a system I don't feel comfortable with, which is why I'm more interested in other Support Groups. I admit that maybe I'm a little harsh on these groups and I don't want to say that they are useless or bad, but I simply don't believe that they suit everyone.
  3. CrimsonAdder

    CrimsonAdder Member

    Ah, but you have the wrong perception my friend. I can see how 12 steps programmes would seem a bit odd to those with no experience or knowledge of they really work, and I get where you come from with the cult idea. But the fact is, 12 steps groups, those that have no affiliation with religion at least, are really very relaxed, and the 12 steps are more of gradual journey you take just so that you have some sort of structure to follow, it's not rigid in a manner that makes it feel like peer pressure to complete the cycle.
  4. medievalmama

    medievalmama Community Listener Community Listener

    My husband likes to say, "I could always find someone to drink with. This is the only place I found people to not-drink with." I've been sober in a 12-step program for 26 years, and I still go to meetings, have a sponsor, and work with others. My life is not *about* the support group. Instead, my life is *because of* my support group. My life is very full, with a husband, kids, travel, and hobbies. In most of life, people don't even know I'm in a 12 step group. It's not that I hide it, it's just not an issue.

    I do not share my "intimate episodes" at group level. Those I share with my sponsor and other trusted friends. You are *never* required to do anything. In fact, you don't even have to be clean or sober to be a member of a 12-step group. You are a member when you say you are.

    Mainly, I participate in 12-step groups because of the 12 steps. There is no set way to do them, but it is recommended you do so under the guidance of a sponsor. For me, the steps gave me a way to "clear away the wreckage of my past" and find a way to become the best me possible. There are many different meetings, each with their own 'flavor.' If you don't like one, try another.
  5. wahmed

    wahmed Active Contributor

    I think it's a great idea. It cuts your struggle and journey into small bite size pieces. It means you are looking at short goals not long ones allowing you to sticky to them. I think it is harder when you do not have a sense of accomplishment. Doing it in one long go is hard because you cannot see the finish line and you are more likely to go back to the situation and start to use.