Seaside Center for Spiritual Living is a meeting location for a variety of 12 Step Programs

One of the most well-known and commonly used types of recovery support is the 12-Step model. Just about everyone has heard of these meetings or of the organization that originated the idea – Alcoholics Anonymous.
Twelve-Step programs remain a commonly recommended and used treatment modality for various types of addiction. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) in its National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services from 2013, 12-Step models are used, at least occasionally, by approximately 74 percent of treatment centers.

The 12-Step model gives people a framework from which to surrender their addiction, process their experience, and move forward into new patterns. As described in an article on Psych Central called Recovery Using the 12 Steps, following the model assists an individual by helping build the following mental and emotional transformative practices and tools:

  • The ability to recognize and admit that one is experiencing an addiction problem

  • A surrender to the fact that the addiction exists and a decision to seek control through an outer guide

  • Self-observation and awareness of the behaviors that were part of and arose from the addiction, as well as those that help promote self-restraint

  • A chance to practice that restraint and build self-esteem in one’s positive capabilities

  • Achievement of self-acceptance and the ability to change behaviors

  • Compassion, both for those who have been affected by the addiction and for others who similarly struggle with addiction

  • Tools that make the process a continual practice throughout the individual’s life


By providing these experiences and tools, the 12-Step model can be a method for change in many types of behavior. As a result, it can help individuals who wish to overcome addiction to find a path to recovery.