If you are beginning a journey into recovery, there is no question you will begin hearing a lot of buzz regarding the importance of 12-step programs. What you may not know is that Alcoholics Anonymous is far from the only 12-step fellowship that will become available to you. Meetings and 12-step programs have proven so successful for alcoholics that many other groups have taken on the philosophy, and programs are now available to drug addicts, sex addicts, compulsive gamblers, overeaters, and more. When deciding which 12-step program is right for you, there are several variables you will want to look at. And remember, you are free to join as many fellowships as you see fit – the main goal is to make sure you fully recover and finally live a fulfilled and meaningful life.
There Are Many Fellowships Available
In this day and age, there are somewhere around 40 12-step programs available to addicts and trauma survivors of all kinds. The most popular fellowships nationwide are without question AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotics Anonymous). Typically, alcoholics and those who struggled primarily with alcohol will join an AA group, while those who mainly battled an addiction to drugs of any kind will lean towards NA. Both programs run similarly, while the main literature studied in AA, the Big Book, varies from the NA literature. Other popular fellowships are CA (Cocaine Anonymous), CoDA (Codependents Anonymous), GA (Gamblers Anonymous), OA (Overeaters Anonymous), and SLAA (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous). Many members of Alcoholics Anonymous will choose to attend weekly meetings of an additional 12-step fellowship based on the fact that the vast majority of alcoholics are dual-diagnosed with other psychological conditions.
Which Fellowship is Right For You?
While it is very important that you eventually settle down in one main fellowship and obtain a homegroup (a 12-step meeting that you attend at the same time on a weekly basis), you will also find a lot of flexibility while you are trying to decipher which program best suits your unique and personal needs. They say, “If the shoe fits, wear it!” Where recovery is concerned, do not be afraid to try on as many shoes as you see fit! A 12-step fellowship will undoubtedly prove to be a crucial part of your sustained sobriety, and will most likely save your life.