Why 12 Step Programs Do Not Work for All People

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction does not affect everyone the same way. Each addiction is different just as each person is different. Most people who undergo addiction treatment choose the course that they think best fits with them. Unfortunately, it is hard to know which program will work and which will not. One popular treatment is through 12 step programs or community supported programs. Unfortunately, this program does not work for all people.


Community supported treatment or 12 step programs do not agree with everyone. You have to share your feelings and experiences and some just are not comfortable with this sharing. Many people who develop drug problems suffer from social issues. 12 step meetings are not a conducive environment for people with social issues.

Spiritual Beliefs

Since it started as a religious organization, there is still a large amount of religious and spiritual beliefs ingrained in the 12 step philosophy. Some people’s beliefs are just not compatible with a belief in a higher power who helps those in need. Some do not like the religious connotations of the 12 step movement or believe that there is a cult like atmosphere of some 12 step groups.

The Stigma of Being in a 12 Step Program

Work for All People

Some people are embarrassed to be attending 12 step meetings due to the social stigma, which makes it difficult to benefit from the program.

There is a certain amount of stigma involved in being a member of a 12 step program. There are 12 step jokes and other disparaging remarks made about those who are in one of these programs. Most of these are relatively harmless but some people cannot handle the social stigma of being in an anonymous 12 step program.

Lack of Support

Keeping the 12 step program a secret can lead to lack of support. Due to the afore mentioned issues some people attend meetings in secret and keep the fact that they are in treatment from family and friends. The anonymous nature of a 12 step program sometimes stops family and friends from supporting the person in need.

Lack of Belief in the Program

12 Step programs rely on a certain belief in the program. Without this faith in the programs ability to help you, the program will not work. Just like any treatment program, if you do not believe that it will work chances are it will fail.

Severe Withdrawal Symptoms

Severe withdrawal symptoms are sometimes only treatable with counseling and community support. Other times the withdrawal symptoms are dangerous and need medical attention. When this is the case a rehab center is better equipped to deal with this situation.

Underlying Medical and Mental Conditions

Medical and mental conditions need to be treated with care. Some conditions can destabilize when they are not treated. Community support and 12 step programs do not address these concerns with medical solutions.

What Should I Do if 12-Step Programs Aren’t Right for Me?

Finding Alternatives to 12 Step Programs

Finding alternatives to 12 Step programs or rehabs that include traditional treatment and 12 step programs is not difficult. All you have to do is call us at 1-800-895-1695. We can help you find the treatment combination that you need to beat the addiction.

Get Help TodayPhone icon800-672-9614 Info iconWho Answers?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: Rehab Media Group, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

Pin It on Pinterest