Non-12-Step Drug Rehab: An Effective Alternative to Traditional Addiction Treatment

12-step addiction recovery is one of the most popular and accessible addiction treatments. But, like any mode of addiction treatment, it’s not the best choice for everyone. There are several well-researched and effective ways to treat drug and alcohol addiction, which means you have other options if you feel the 12 steps aren’t right for you.

Highly Effective Addiction Treatment

The 12-step Approach to Addiction Recovery

The 12 steps are a set of principles developed to aid addicts in recovery. They were developed in the 1930s by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith, the co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Similar programs such as Narcotics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous and others also follow the 12 steps.

Personal honesty is integral to the 12 step process. In following the steps, an addict must admit that they can’t control their addiction, and surrender to a higher spiritual power. Making amends for past wrongs is also an important part of the 12 steps.

Why Are 12-Step Alternatives Needed?

Have you tried a 12-step program before but haven’t been able to beat your addiction? It doesn’t mean that your situation is hopeless. There are lots of other ways to approach addiction recovery.

At Lucida, many people who come to us have been in a recovery program or rehab facility before. Of those, about one in four are looking for a 12-step alternative. That’s one reason we make it a priority to include other options. Our approach to addiction recovery combines evidence-based behavioral therapies and medically supervised treatment. You can take the 12-step recovery approach if you want to, but it’s not required.

Some people who need addiction treatment don’t identify with core 12-step messages. For instance, they don’t feel comfortable with the spiritual aspect of the 12-step plan. Others need to approach their addiction recovery in a more flexible way than the 12-step plan offers.

The most important reason why 12-step alternatives are needed is that no single treatment works for everyone. This is true for all kinds of therapy and mental health treatments, both in and out of rehab centers. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions when it comes to addiction.

Trying to work a 12-step plan can be frustrating when you know it’s not what you need. At Lucida, we want you to have the best chance at lasting recovery, so we provide both 12-Step and alternative options, such as SMART Recovery®. Everyone who comes to us can work with their treatment team to choose what works best for them.

12-Step Alternative #1: SMART Recovery®

SMART Recovery is a four-point addiction recovery program. It’s designed to help people recover from all kinds of addictive behavior. This includes alcohol and drug addiction as well as gambling addiction and other kinds of behavioral addictions. SMART Recovery® teaches people how to make changes that help them stay sober and improve their lives.

The four points of SMART Recovery are:

  1. Building and maintaining motivation
  2. Coping with urges
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  4. Living a balanced life

Like 12-step programs, SMART Recovery sponsors meetings all over the world. You can attend them online or in person.

12-Step Alternative #2: Evidence-Based Behavioral Therapy

Evidence-based treatment methods are those that are backed by scientific research. The research carried out on these treatments has proven that they’re effective for treating specific problems.

At Lucida, we offer the following evidence-based behavioral therapies for addiction treatment. All these therapies are proven effective for treating addiction:

Motivational interviewing: Addicts often come to us believing they can’t change, so there’s no use in trying. This therapy helps you shift your mindset from believing you can’t change to knowing you can. It helps you strengthen your motivation, so you can commit to your recovery.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): This kind of therapy is often a central focus of addiction recovery. Many addicts have patterns of thought, belief and behaviors that are harmful and contribute to their addiction. CBT helps you question and change your harmful patterns, and create new, healthy ones.

Interpersonal therapy: In this therapy, you can address negative or harmful thoughts, beliefs and behaviors about your relationships with others. This is important for many addicts because addiction often leads to behavior that’s harmful to relationships. Interpersonal therapy can focus on any relationship where the addict is having trouble. It’s typically an intimate relationship or parent-child relationship that’s most affected by addiction. But interpersonal therapy may also focus on relationships with friends or co-workers.

Multi-systemic therapy: This mode of therapy was developed to help teenagers at risk of substance abuse, addiction and similar problems. It addresses the issues that lead to addiction and helps you make positive changes in different areas of your life. Making these changes supports your sobriety. As well as individual issues relating to yourself, these areas of change may include:

  • Family
  • Peer groups
  • Work/school
  • Community

12-Step Alternative #3: Medication for Addiction Recovery

Medication is often a useful addition to an addiction recovery treatment program. Non-addictive medications such as naltrexone and acamprosate are safe and can be very effective. They can help with relapse prevention for recovering addicts.

Naltrexone (Vivitrol) decreases cravings and relapse risk for people with alcohol or opioid addiction. It can also help you moderate your drinking.

Acamprosate (Campral) decreases the desire to drink alcohol and significantly increases abstinence rates. It works best alongside supportive therapy like those listed above.

The Multi-Pronged Approach to Addiction Recovery

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs typically combine more than one method of addiction treatment. Addiction is a complex disease, and treatment that combines multiple approaches gives the addict the best chance of success. For instance, using medication to suppress drug and alcohol cravings helps by giving the addict the mental space they need to focus on therapy.

Start Your Recovery Journey

Have you tried a 12-step addiction treatment program before, but it wasn’t right for you? Is the idea that you “have” to use the 12 steps to beat addiction keeping you from trying?

At Lucida, we provide options, so you can choose what works for you. There are many paths to recovery. Call 844-874-8503 today to find yours at Lucida.

This entry was posted on January 6, 2014 and modified on May 28, 2019
Editorial Staff

Written by

Editorial Staff

Krisi Herron

Medically Reviewed by

Krisi Herron, LCDC