Cape Town, December, 7, 2017: Addiction and other self-destructive behaviours have a devastating effect on both the addict and their loved ones. Making the choice to book into a rehab facility and getting the necessary support and psychological help is paramount to long-term recovery and relapse prevention.
But the treatment program chosen is just as important. Treatment for substance abuse and process-addictions is a complex matter that goes far beyond simply the abuse of drugs, alcohol, gambling and other vices.
Treatment plans need to cater to the individual. There are countless rehab options available, so it is understandable to feel overwhelmed. Increasing there is a large group of professionals who support alternative recovery options to 12-Steps.
When faced with the choice to opt for an alternative non-traditional program or traditional 12-Step program, what are the major benefits of opting for the newer, alternative treatment?
The 12-Step Program and the Minnesota Model
The 12-Step program was used in conjunction with the Minnesota Model which advocates complete abstinence from all mind-altering substances. 12-Step programs function more as peer support groups and self-help organisations. However, in a primary care facility, there are also a number of counsellors and other medical staff on hand to assist with detox and provide individualised care.
Most rehabs and recovery centres use this model and for many people suffering from addiction the program has helped them enjoy a happy, productive, sober life. However, this program has had varying degrees of success, which has led to a number of patients seeking alternative treatments.
One of the keystones vested in the 12-Step program postulates that alcoholism and addiction are a disease. 12-Step’s sees the dependence on drugs or alcohol as the ‘primary problem’.
Non 12-Step programs sees recovery in a different light. Dependence certainly plays a major role in treating addiction but behavioural change and long-term recovery often mean addressing the underlying traumas and events that led up to debilitating addiction.
An Alternative to Convention Rehab Centres
AA and the 12-Step system was established in 1935 and over the last 70 years there have been many newer rehabilitation programs developed. Many people enter addiction treatment seeking a Non 12-Step rehab for drugs and alcohol abuse because the programme didn’t work for them.
Non 12-Step recovery treatment programs vary in a number of ways. They strive to empower a patient to take control of their behaviour and habits. This is very different to 12-Steps that maintains that addicts and alcoholics must accept their powerlessness in order to recover from addiction.
Another example of how Non 12-Step centres differ is that this program places the power in the individual rather than in the belief that only by accepting a Higher Power into their lives will their problems be relieved.
Recovery Direct Offers Trauma Recovery Programs
Recovery Direct is a private rehab and recovery treatment centre based in Cape Town. The centre offers a non-punitive rehabilitation program that focuses on helping patients work through past trauma. Vaughn Parkhurst is the Clinical Director at Recovery Direct and is a trained clinical trauma professional. His work is based on the link between unresolved trauma and destructive behaviour.
Most rehabs treat addiction symptomatically. Recovery Direct focuses on the underlying drivers of addiction and how to enable individuals to find meaning and purpose by resolving these core issues.
Whichever approach is chosen, ultimately it is up to the individual to make the change and decide on which model would serve them better in their recovery.