What Is Non 12 Step Rehab?

To understand what a non 12 step rehab program is, it is first important to understand the 12 step rehab program. The traditional 12 step rehabilitation program was pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930's. Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and other similar 12 step programs followed later. The foundation of these programs is that addiction is a disease that the individual must struggle with for the rest of his or her life. These social treatment programs rely on counseling, peer support, and mentorship to treat addiction. Unfortunately, these programs do not address both the physical and mental dependencies to get at the root cause of a person's addictive behavior.

How is non 12 step rehab different?
Fortunately, non 12 step rehabilitation programs can and do address both the physical and mental dependency components of addiction. In a non 12 step rehab program, medical and rehabilitative specialists are able to determine the underlying cause of a person's dependency. This enables a person struggling with addiction to make a complete and sustainable recovery. Unlike the traditional 12 step program which labels an individual as an addict with a disease they must fight against for the rest of his or her life, the non 12 step program provides the tools for a complete recovery, making addiction a thing of the past. Non 12 step programs identify drug and alcohol addiction not as diseases but rather as resolvable situations. A non 12 step program allows an individual to move forward in life without the shadows of alcoholism always looming in the background.

A holistic and integrated approach
Non 12 step rehab programs use new advances in medical technology to determine the root cause or causes of an individual's addiction. New medical techniques used by non 12 step programs may include brain scans, brain mapping, neuro and biofeedback, biophysical rehabilitation, and other advanced technologies. Medical and rehabilitative specialists combine medical treatment and therapeutic counseling to address the body's systems and functions to determine and treat a patient's unique underlying cause or causes of addiction.

If detoxification is necessary (a detoxification process is not necessary for all patients), medically managed biophysical detoxification can help remove toxins stored in the fatty tissues of the body and reduce withdrawal symptoms. Once detoxification is complete, biophysical rehabilitation and neuroscience technology become an important part of the non 12 step rehab program. Addressing the body as a whole and with an integrated approach to treat the physical, emotional, and neurological systems, helps to provide an individual with the tools necessary for a complete and sustainable recovery. A traditional 12 step program does not address all of these issues; thus, the threat of relapse remains constant in a person's life.

The holistic approach used in non 12 step programs ensures that the individual gains a comprehensive view of how he or she fell victim to addiction and exactly how the addiction has impacted the quality of his or her life.

A Brief History of Drug Abuse and Addiction Treatment

Illegal drug use has been growing in this country since World War II. In the 1950s and early 1960s, if addiction treatment was spoken of, it was presumed that drug addiction was something that only happened to the poor in the city slums. 

The Vietnam War escalated in the mid-1960s, and it was mostly fought by draftees who came from middle class and working class families. During that war many of those young soldiers were introduced to illegal drugs for the first time. This usually happened while on patrol, in remote base camps and in the city of Saigon, which was home to a pervasive black market. 

As those soldiers were discharged from the service, many introduced drugs to their circle of friends. So, it is no surprise that a few years into that war, illegal drug use obtained a foothold in mainstream youth culture. Returning soldiers who were addicted to drugs found that their habit was much more expensive at home. Many of these soldiers were forced to kick the habit and enter addiction treatment programs.

Eventually the Veterans Administration was forced to deal with the problem and sponsored many addiction treatment activities with follow-up therapy and support groups. Ever since that time, the nation has struggled to deal with the epidemic of drug use which has crept into every part of our culture.

Getting Into Treatment

Desperation does play a role because the individual seeking treatment has to enter an addiction treatment program to avoid what would most likely be a slow but certain death. Addiction is a disease that is ultimately fatal if it is allowed to progress unchecked. Like any disease, it can be treated with some success if the patient goes through detoxification in a treatment center. 

Drug addiction treatment rarely goes smoothly. Once the initial withdrawal symptoms have subsided, there may be a long period where the patient undergoes a number of difficulties such as depression, panic attacks, impaired cognitive abilities as well as a long list of other problems. This is what is known as Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome, which requires a prolonged course of treatment and therapy. These therapies may include group counseling, individual counseling or experimental treatments. Regardless of the methods used, the person that is undergoing the addiction treatment has a much better chance of success if they are kept informed and understand the process.

Religious and other charitable organizations provide resources to help addicts see that they need treatment. Government at every level, from the city or town level to the Federal level subsidizes the efforts of these organizations.

The Problem is Getting Worse

To make a troubling situation a bit more serious, synthetic narcotics are now on the street. These new drugs can be much more powerful and more addictive than many of the older drugs. The dealers have taken a page from the pharmaceutical industry and have started to distribute their product in pill form. This makes the illegal drugs easier to distribute and store.

With all these new developments it is imperative that addiction treatment programs keep pace with the new street drugs and develop new methods of dealing with the addictions that they cause.