What’s It Like To Go To A 12 Step Support Group?

Addiction recovery centers often offer several different types of treatment to help people find their ideal way to stay off of drugs and alcohol. In addition to individual counseling, you may be offered the opportunity to join a 12-step support group that is filled with other people who are also struggling with an addiction. Being curious about what it is like to go to a 12-step support group means that you’ve likely thought about this type of treatment before. Understanding what to expect makes the prospect of attending group therapy a little less scary, and it may be all you need to get over your reservations about seeking professional help for your addiction.

The first thing that you’ll want to know is that there are different types of 12-step groups. Some are designed to help people focus on recovering from a specific type of drug or alcohol. You’ll also find that a 12-step group might be open to anyone who wants to attend meetings. These are often open so that friends and family members can take part in the sessions. Others may only be open to people who are dealing with an addiction personally. A closed meeting is often preferred for people who have privacy concerns or who may need to discuss things that they are worried about other people misunderstanding. As you begin to look for meetings, you may also notice that they are offered in a variety of places. Some meetings are held in churches or other local organizations. Others are held in treatment centers, and you may be offered the chance to join a support group while you are in rehab. Today, some meetings are even held online so that they are accessible to everyone. Finding the right support group for you will help you to make sure that you attend those important meetings as often as you need to stay sober. Here’s a few things to consider as you search for a meeting.
•Where are the meetings held?
•Are professional counselors involved in the meeting?
•Are the meetings open to newcomers?
•Can you attend the meetings frequently?
•Do the meetings align with what you learned during your addiction treatment?

<h2>Reach Your Goal of Sobriety With a Step-By-Step Approach</h2>
People in 12-step support groups are extremely welcoming. In fact, you aren’t even required to speak or do too much interacting during a meeting if you don’t want to at first. Many people who enter a meeting for the first time feel shy or are afraid to speak up. If you feel this way, then don’t worry. Everyone in that meeting has once been in your shoes, and they understand what you are going through. At your first meeting, you might have people introduce themselves to you, but they won’t pressure you to go into detail about your addiction. Later, most people begin to feel comfortable enough to reach out to the others in their group. Getting to know everyone happens gradually, and you’ll eventually be ready to take on more of a leadership role as you gain strength in sobriety.

The majority of the time in a 12-step meeting is spent on exactly what you might expect. After spending a few minutes exchanging pleasantries, your group will get right to the heart of why everyone is there. The topics at a meeting can vary, but you’ll spend a large portion of the time talking about the 12 steps. Some meetings might focus on only one step. Others may be set up to allow people to speak about their experiences working through the steps. Typically, there will be someone in charge of leading the meeting and helping to make sure that it stays on topic. If you attend your first 12-step meeting in a rehab center, then the leader may be a counselor. Once you attend meetings outside of your treatment program, they may be led by another member who is also a recovering addict. Either way, you’ll find that you can learn something new at every meeting. Over time, you’ll be ready to speak or even be a sponsor to someone else.

Once you’ve worked through all of the steps and reached the twelfth, you’ll be in a position where you can help others. Keep in mind that this process can take as long as you need. Some people spend months just making it through step one where you admit that you are unable to avoid drinking or doing drugs. Other people may take a few weeks to make amends as part of the ninth step. Making sure that you feel confident about completing each step helps you to feel more secure in your sobriety.

Are you still curious about what joining an addiction support group is like? We can fill you in on more details to help you decide if it is right for you. Call us today at 833-846-5669.