Recovery Meetings: What You Must Know Before You Go to a 12 Step Meeting

The choice to overcome addiction comes with major changes that touch most every area of your life. Likewise, entering into a 12 Step recovery meeting environment will be unlike the experiences that led you to this point in your life.

While detox and drug treatment are no doubt essential steps in the recovery process, ensuring you have the supports necessary to maintain a drug-free lifestyle is equally important. Recovery 12 Step meetings offer the type of ongoing support that can help you live a drug-free life.

In order to get the most out of the 12 Step process, it helps to have an idea of what to expect in terms of how these meetings work.

If you need help finding a 12 Step recovery program, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-653-7143.

The 12-Step Meeting Approach

Recovery Meetings

You won’t be expected to share your story until you’re ready.

While “learning” to become an addict or alcoholic takes little to no training at all, learning to live a happy, healthy, drug-free life requires ongoing guidance and support. In order to walk away from the addiction lifestyle, those in recovery must make a conscious choice to lead a life of wellness and this choice must be made on a daily basis.

According to Vanderbilt University, 12 Step recovery meetings equip you with the tools needed to understand and work through the emotional and mental issues that drive addiction. This growth takes place within an environment where everyone is working towards these same goals.

Things to Know Beforehand

Confronting the Problem of Addiction

Before attending your first 12 Step meeting it helps to keep in mind that the overall purpose of these meetings works to confront the problem of addiction head-on, which can be difficult when first starting out in recovery, according to Athens State University. In turn, the types of discussions that take place often draw upon the deepest and darkest places in each person’s life and how addiction got them there.

While you won’t be required to share your experiences until you’re ready, just hearing what others have gone through can be a jarring experience in itself.

Are there Non Religious AA Meetings?

Types of 12-Step Meeting Groups

When choosing which meeting to attend, it helps to know the different types of 12 Step meetings and the formats they follow. Overall, two two types of traditional 12 Step meetings exist: open meetings and closed meetings.

Open meetings are open to anyone who wishes to attend, whereas closed meetings only allow people recovering from addiction to attend.

As far as open meetings go, different groups may follow different formats. Formats commonly used include:

  • Discussion format
  • A main speaker who shares his or her story
  • Study meetings that work specifically on the 12-Step process
  • Beginner meetings that employ a question and answer format

Every Group is Different

While recovery 12 Step meetings all work towards the same ends, each group is different in terms of overall tone and the types of people who attend. Whereas one meeting group may seem easy-going another group may be considerably more serious in its approach to recovery.

Ultimately, finding a group where you’ll feel most comfortable sharing and interacting with other members offers the best fit for your recovery path.

If you have more questions about the 12 Step recovery programs, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-653-7143.

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