As addictions have been growing in the population over the last few decades, people and medical professionals try to find ways and norms for opioid treatment to help addicted people.
One of the methods that has a good proven tracked record for helping people is the 12 Step program, initially introduced by Alcoholics Anonymous. Over the years, various different 12 Step programs have been introduced in all areas of addiction.
The 12 Step programs differ from one another depending on the type of substance the patient is addicted to. Therefore, there are individual 12 Step programs for recovery from opiates, cocaine, heroin and crystal meth, but also for other addictions like marijuana, alcohol and nicotine.
The programs are based on 3 key stages. First stage is to ACCEPT the problem, which may be the hardest part of all. The patient needs to realize for him/herself that the addiction is causing tremendous problems in his/her life. The next stage is to TRUST that this fellowship will help you. The 3rd stage is to PARTICIPATE actively in the activities.
A so-called ‘higher power’ plays a great role in the program, where you put your belief and trust that a higher power will help you recover from your addiction. This higher power is often related to God, however there have been alternatives for people who are not religious but who still need help! The point is to believe that something that you consider larger/higher than yourself can give you the internal power to overcome your problem. The role of the higher power has been played by nature, science, family or the group of patients itself. Any of them is good enough, provided the patient believes in it.
The general steps of the 12 Step program when used as opioid treatment
Admit that the addiction has won and you don’t have power against it
Believe that someone/something can actually help you
Turn control over to this someone/something
Take a personal moral inventory
Admit to yourself, another person and the one that will help you all the wrongs you have done.
Be ready for the one that helps you to correct your character defects
Proactively ask the one that helps you to correct your character defects
List all the people you have harmed and prepare to make amends to them.
Make amends to these people, except for the ones that could get harmed in any way (physically, psychologically, etc) by contacting them.
Revisit your personal moral inventory and admit when you are wrong
Connect with the one that helps you and let them know all the steps taken.
Communicate the 12 Steps to others who need it and help them go through them.
12 Step programs have long been an important factor of the recovery process. Although all the programs are anonymous and they lack official statistics, there are so many success stories of people who managed to win their addiction. It is, of course, depending on every individual how they will react to each type of help, therefore every patient should be assessed on a per case basis and a personalized opioid treatment should be formulated by a medical professional.