Many of my clients come into treatment with me already having attended AA, NA etc. previously. I often have clients tell me “I’ve done that it’s just people telling the same stories over and over again. It doesn’t help me”. Going to these meetings can certainly be triggering, not relatable, or just plain not interesting for some people and only you can be the judge of whether going to 12 step meetings is helpful or not for you. I do not believe that attending a 12 step group is a necessary part of recovery. That said, what is a necessary part of recovery is community. This can come in the form of a 12 step group, sponsor, etc. However, it can also come in the form of a non 12 step sober support meeting, treatment center groups, therapy, friends and family, or your job. Likely it will come from a combination of any of these things!
I hope that we can slowly start to change the combination around sober support from “you have to attend this many sober support meetings per month” to “what can you do to build a sense of community that is encouraging of your sobriety?” Especially in drug and alcohol treatment centers where sober support meetings are often part of the requirements of the program and a 12 step model is often built into what is taught. Recovery is individual and not a one size fits all plan. I believe the sooner we can find the things that are helpful for us as individuals to maintain sobriety, the more likely we are to find lasting sobriety whether that plan includes a 12 step program or not.
Questions about sober support or anything else addiction related? Please feel free to get in touch!