So, you’ve made the decision to get help with your addiction with an alcohol addiction treatment program. You may now be wondering how long it will take you to get through the initial recovery process. 30 days? 90 days? Does a pre-determined agenda even exist?
The fact is, no. Every person who enters a treatment program has their own journey that will take them through the challenges of withdrawal and into relapse prevention.
There are three primary components that go into determining how long an alcohol addiction treatment program will last. The first major step is finding a rehab center that you believe will address your needs and provide an environment where you can be successful.
The second major determining factor in how hard continued sobriety will be for you after rehab is the degree to which you have been abusing alcohol. In other words, how long has it been since your last drink?
The third primary factor in determining the length of time that will need to be spent in rehabilitation is how severe your alcohol addiction is.
Understanding the 12-Step Process
The process through recovery is very enlightening and also very specific to the individual. So, while there are set steps and expectations throughout the recovery process, it all highly depends on you. There is no set requirement on how long it should take to complete all 12 steps in the 12-Step Program. However, the initial 30 days of recovery are a prime period for the focus and insight that the 12 steps create.
Here are the 12 steps (as defined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous):
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to proactive these principles in all our affairs.
History of the 12-Step Program
Alcoholics Anonymous pioneered the 12-Step Program shortly after its own creation. The 12 Steps came about as one of AA’s co-founders, Bill Wilson, was writing the Big Book. His vision was that recovery required a specific program that people could easily follow. Bill W. and AA believed that a person could be healed of their addiction problem after surrendering to a higher power.
Today, many other organizations have adopted and amended AA’s 12 Steps to suit their own focus. About 74% of treatment facilities now use a 12-Step program to some degree.
How to Get through the Steps Quickly
First thing’s first: consider getting a sponsor. A sponsor can guide you through the 12 Steps more efficiently than doing so individually. Your sponsor will introduce the steps to you as they are so that you can get an idea of the process and end goal.
One member of Alcoholics Anonymous, Wally P., has actually created a format for going through the 12 Steps in 30 days, which is laid out in his book Back to Basics. He studied the earliest meetings from AA’s origins and revived Bill W.’s original idea that the 12-Step program should be completed in those initial 30 days. Wally’s format includes four one-hour sessions for four weeks in which all of the steps will be taken.
Things to Keep in Mind
Some steps can take longer than others. Because the steps are so personal to the individual, the amount of time needed for each one can vary. For example, Step 4 is a moral inventory. It can take longer for someone who does not know himself well than for someone who is well aware of his or her traits.
The goal is to be able to work the steps into your everyday life. That means that you’ll need a clear understanding of each step and how it applies to your life before you can move on to the next.
Participating in the 12-Step Program will result in a spiritual awakening. Going through the steps quickly means that the benefits and rewards will come quickly as well.
You’re not alone. If you’re ready to get help with addiction, please call us at 855-737-7363 for a free and confidential assessment.