Can 12 Step Meetings Help with Alcohol Cravings?
Alcoholism is a deadly disease that people fight for years. Alcohol cravings are one of the number one reasons why people relapse back to using alcohol. So yes, 12 step meetings can help with cravings but it is indirect help. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12 step meetings provide social support and other services for alcoholism. One of the highly recommended ways to help stop cravings is through support and distraction. 12 step meetings do both of these things.
What is a 12 Step Meeting?
A 12 step meeting is a meeting of people who are addicted to alcohol. At these meetings they:
- discuss the 12 steps,
- share stories of their alcoholism,
- share advice on how to avoid relapse,
- get together for activities,
- discuss their issues and how to deal with them, and
- help each other get over the addiction.
Many 12 step meetings focus on the 12 steps to recovery. According to Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 steps are:
- We admit we are powerless over the alcohol and that it has made our lives unmanageable,
- We have come to believe in a higher power that can restore sanity and help us manage the addiction,
- Made the decision to turn our lives over to god,
- Made an inventory of ourselves,
- Admitted to the higher power, one other person, and ourselves, that there is a problem,
- We are ready to have god help us with our issues,
- We ask god to help us,
- We’ve made a list of all of the people we hurt,
- We make amends to who we can, as long as it doesn’t hurt the person further,
- We continue to evaluate ourselves and correct our behavior as needed,
- We seek through prayer and meditation to understand god and pray to him for knowledge of his plan for us,
- As we have our spiritual awakening, we help others to find the path of recovery and path to the greater power themselves.
Just the act of working on these 12 steps helps to reduce the cravings because they give people something to focus on other than the alcohol.
What is the Basis of the 12 Step Program?
The basis of most 12 step programs is taking one day at a time. This basis helps people get through their cravings by focusing on an activity minute to minute. Essentially, if you get through one minute you move on to the next and then get through that one without a drink. By breaking success down into small increments of time, they can avoid the cravings.
How Does this Help with Cravings?
12 step meetings do not directly help with cravings, they help deal with them rather than stopping them. Some 12 step meetings help you focus on something other than the cravings. The activities keep you busy during the cravings and the ability to share may give you ideas on how to deal with your own cravings.
For more information on how 12 step meetings can help with alcohol cravings or for information on 12 step programs, give us a call at 1-800-895-1695. We offer information on 12 step programs and many other addiction options.