12 Step Programme - Rehab Guide

12 Step Programme

12 Step Programme

12 Step Program in the UK

Originally from the US, the 12 step program is used by support groups and treatment centres across the UK to help those struggling with addiction. It has long been renowned for helping the recovery of alcoholics and addicts across the globe.

The reason for its success is the framework it offers, and approaching recovery one day and one step at a time makes it feel more manageable. The 12 steps help you understand where you are going but still allow you time to approach your addiction at your own pace.

12 steps infographic

The Origins of the Alcohol 12-Step Therapy

Bill Wilson and Dr Bob Smith in Akron, Ohio, 1935 formed the international mutual aid fellowship called Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It first originated with its 12 Steps recovery programme, which members follow to abstain from alcohol, and is now recognised as one of the leading treatments for alcohol addiction in the world.

However, the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous also apply to other habits, for example, Gamblers Anonymous, and, in some cases, can help persons suffering from further mental health problems. As AA chapters grew during the 1930s and 1940s, the principles were defined as the “Twelve Traditions “.

Over time, many other support groups across the globe adopted the AA steps as guiding principles. Step 1 “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable” is uniquely different for each organisation, e.g. in Overeaters Anonymous.

12-Step Programmes in the UK

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk

Narcotics Anonymous (NA): ukna.org

Gamblers Anonymous: gamblersanonymous.org.uk

How Does the Alcohol 12-Step Treatment Work?

Professionally led groups and addiction treatment programmes, i.e. groups and treatments that qualified addiction counsellors and specialists facilitate, often have a vital role to play in many addicts’ recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous aim to change the mindset of the person battling addiction, where the first step is for the sufferer to face up to the fact and admit that they cannot control their addiction.

Through prayer and meditation, they are then ready to live a spiritual life, endorsing such traits as honesty, open-mindedness, compassion and altruism. The alcohol support groups provide well-defined directions for achieving these goals and help you find your inner strength and guidance.

We can familiarise you with the alcohol 12 steps should you proceed with a more extensive treatment programme, and you will have the chance to be taken through the entire 12 steps.

The programme is designed to help you abstain from mind and mood-altering substances, such as drugs and alcohol, while treating obsessive and self-destructive behaviour. The 12 steps allow you to remove drug addiction from your everyday life and replace it with a sense of meaning and purpose to help bring about your recovery.

How We Can Incorporate the 12-Step Model 

As part of your rehabilitation, you can attend alcohol 12-step support groups alongside other advanced treatments. We can assist you through our detox therapy programmes. Our experts are also experienced in trauma resolution, integrative counselling models, CBT and holistic therapies. By incorporating these formidable treatments, we offer an exciting addiction rehab programme to aid you in your recovery. The programme is carried out in a structured and powerful way to conquer the compulsive and overwhelming force of addiction.

We offer a healthy and cheerful option, where we encourage our clients to put aside those damaging, self-destructive activities and concentrate on taking steps to improve their lives for the better, which they can do with our help by embracing the principles of the 12-step programme and choosing an alcohol rehab treatment from Rehab Guide.

Statistics on Alcohol Abuse

In the United Kingdom, there are an estimated 586,000 dependent drinkers, and only 18 per cent of them receive treatment like alcohol 12 steps. Around 24% of adults in England drink over the  Chief Medical Officer’s low-risk guidelines. Even worse, 27 per cent of drinkers in Great Britain binge drink on their heaviest drinking days (over six units for women and eight units for men). 2015 alone saw more than 8,000 casualties from drunk driving, including 220 fatalities.

In 2016, there were more than 9,200 alcohol-related deaths in the UK. That corresponds to 15 out of 100,000 residents. Although this number decreased to around 7,500 deaths in 2018, alcohol misuse is still the most critical risk factor for disability, ill health and death in the 15-49 age group. In addition, alcohol abuse is the fifth most significant risk factor across all ages. It is also the most common form of substance abuse in the UK.

In 2017, 4% of men said their weekly alcohol consumption was more than 50 units on average. 3% of women said that their average alcohol consumption per week was more than 35 units. Only 64% of women and 56% of men said their average weekly alcohol consumption was less than 14 units.

How Much Do People Spend on Alcohol in the UK?

Our alcohol 12-step programme not only helps keep you from drinking again but will also help you save money. It is estimated that in England in 2018, the average weekly household spend on alcohol was £16.70. Of these, £8.00 was spent on alcohol consumed outside the home. Although alcohol is nearly 64% more affordable than it was 30 years ago, you still save a lot of money that you can use for things like travelling, clothing, dining or entertainment. Joining a support group is your first step towards a new life!

Benefits of Staying Sober

As we showed in the section above, the cost of alcohol addiction is high, and the financial benefits of staying sober are huge. Besides the economic advantages, there are numerous other reasons for maintaining sobriety – for example:

Better Sleep

Alcohol interrupts REM sleep and dilutes the capability to form memories during the night. Therefore, a night of drinking almost always results in a morning of grogginess. Without alcohol, you spend more time in the deep stages of sleep.

More Energy

An outcome of more beneficial sleep results in more energy. Most alcohol addicts do not get the sleep they need, so they put extra strain on their bodies daily. Once your body adjusts to sobriety, you’ll notice you have more energy and an ability to think clearly.

Better Eating Habits

Drunk munchies are something that anyone who has ever been drunk has experienced. Late-night benders can result in eating microwave pizzas or stopping at Jack-in-the-Box. Without alcohol, you have a higher chance of developing better eating habits.

Better Decision-Making

When drinking alcohol, you lose the ability to process rational thoughts. Consequently, your brain acts mainly on impulses, leading to poor judgement. The longer you maintain sobriety, the more clarity you have to make good choices for your life.

Deeper Connections

When you’re drunk and communicating with someone in distress, dopamine tells you everything is fine, so you assume that’s the case for everyone. This results in your friend seeing you as someone insensitive. When you’re sober, you can pick up on others’ feelings and thoughts and have meaningful conversations with people.

Concept of the Alcoholics Anonymous Practice

The basic concept of Alcoholics Anonymous is that people can help each other eliminate all kinds of addictions. This happens through support group meetings where they share their experiences with others and support each other in staying abstinent.

Abstinence practices, supported by alcohol 12-step programmes, can account for better mental health and contribute to longer-term recovery. Experts refer to this as “Flourishing”. A recent study shows that former alcohol addicts who maintain sobriety are likely to flourish in the long run, with over 40% advancing after three months (compared to 9.3% languishing) and almost 40% thriving after one year (compared to 12.4% languishing).

The term “spiritual awakening” is often mentioned in the Big Book. AA group members believe they need to surrender the will that kept them drinking to a Higher Power to stay sober. This is the basis of the spiritual part of the programme.

What are the 12 Steps to Recovery?

The message to alcoholics in the Twelve Steps of AA is vital to recovery from alcoholism, beginning with the First Step: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Suppose a recovering alcoholic does not believe that their life became unmanageable through alcohol. In that case, there is no decision to turn or no incentive to change – or to take the next eleven Steps.

As described in an article in the Psych Central Journal (“Recovery Using the 12 Steps”), following the 12-step model assists you by helping build the following emotional and mental tools and practices:


By providing these tools and experiences, the support groups can become a method for change in many types of behaviour and help you maintain sobriety. It can help individuals who wish to overcome addiction and find a path to recovery.

Should you decide on a 12 Step programme or a non-12-step programme, such as SMART and Moderation Management, Call today in total confidence at 02072052845 to take your first steps to a happy and healthy new life.

Determine If Alcoholics Anonymous Is Right For You

Are you still unsure if the alcohol 12-step programme is a suitable therapy model for you? If you want to learn more about the 12-step alcohol rehab model, contact us by phone. Our professional staff is looking forward to talking to you. Call us today at 0207 205 2845 (London), 01224 402 080 (Aberdeen) or 0141 427 3491 (Glasgow). You can also contact us by using our contact form on the right side of this page. Our team will guide you on the best treatment options for your circumstances.




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