What Do 12 Step Programs and Personal Development Training Have in Common?
The saying, “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” aptly describes the many ways a person can reach his or her full potential. Some people find their way naturally, having grown up in healthy households receiving ample love nurturing. Other people may take a longer, harder path, stumbling along the more difficult roads of life, with drug addiction being one of those roads.
More often than not, people entering alcohol or drug addiction treatment encounter the 12 Step program approach in one form or another. As a standard addictions treatment approach, the 12 Step philosophy equips recovering addicts with the tools needed to manage daily life on a drug-free basis, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. In effect, the principles that underlie the 12 Step program approach work in much the same way as personal development training, enabling those in recovery to grow and develop to their full potential.
The Role of Addiction
While few people enter into drug and alcohol use with the intention of becoming addicted, the effects of drugs and the compulsive act of using drugs takes on a life of its own once addiction takes hold. The initial feelings of euphoria and relief from daily life pressures starts the ball rolling, driving continued drug use over time.
Before long, these anticipated effects combined with the experience of feeling relief and contentment over and over again starts to teach the learning centers of the brain new ways of coping with everyday life. Herein lies the roots of an addiction problem. By the time a person develops a full-blown addiction, drugs have assumed a central role in a person’s life becoming a primary means for coping and/or surviving from day-to-day.
The 12 Step Program Approach
Whether a person encounters the 12 Step program approach through drug treatment or through support group meetings, the overall objectives of the program remain the same. Someone recovering from addiction has developed an addiction-based mindset, which drives the types of behaviors and habits that characterize a drug-based lifestyle. The 12 Step program approach enables a person to confront addiction for what it is in terms of the role drug abuse plays in his or her life.
From there, each one of the “steps” addresses a life area that’s been affected by compulsive drug-using behaviors, according to Stanford University News. In effect, the 12 Step program approach works to “re-develop” a person’s identity, character and sense of self-worth from the inside out, and in the process help identify and work towards the strengths and goals that most characterize him or her as an individual. In this respect, recovering addicts undergo personal development training as a core part of the recovery process.
It’s not uncommon for people living with addiction to battle their own personal demons, be it from childhood, past traumas or difficulties within their present-day lives. While not everyone who struggles with these types of issues will turn to drugs or alcohol, some form of personal growth and development must take place in order for them to live to their fullest potential. The 12 Step program approach offers a type of road map for helping recovering addicts break free of past hurts and work towards a healthy, productive future.
If you or someone you know struggles with substance abuse and addiction issues and have questions about the 12 Step program approach, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-653-7143 to speak with one of our addictions specialists.