12 StepAddictionAlcohol AddictionDual DiagnosisRehabSober Livingalcoholics anonymous

Since 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has helped thousands of those struggling with alcohol addiction achieve and maintain sobriety. Based on the 12 steps, the importance of anonymity, and surrender to a higher power, AA can be a vital pillar in your recovery journey.

At Serenity Light Recovery, we offer access to 12-step programs and encourage you to stay connected with AA after your rehab is done. If you want more information about Serenity Light Recovery’s alcohol treatment center, please reach out via our online form or by calling to speak to a knowledgeable and compassionate staff member at 855.658.6109.

What Is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol is the most commonly abused addictive substance in the United States. It is estimated that over seventeen million people struggle with alcohol addiction—or one in twelve adults. Alcoholism has been called an epidemic, and the numbers confirm the seriousness of the problem.

A few facts about alcohol addiction:

  • Drinking alcohol stimulates the brain to produce endorphins and dopamine, resulting in feelings of pleasure.
  • The use of alcohol physically alters the brain’s chemistry and the way it functions—the reward and pleasure centers become overwhelmed, leading the user to crave more alcohol to experience the effects again and again.
  • Genetic factors affect how an individual’s brain will react to alcohol.
  • Alcohol affects people’s ability to make decisions and control impulses, which is why alcohol relapse is such a danger.

One way to reduce the danger and triumph over both genetics and altered brain chemistry is to seek the support of an AA group.

Group Therapy vs. Support Groups

You may be wondering what the similarities and differences are between a support group like Alcoholics Anonymous and group therapy, a therapeutic modality used at Serenity Light Recovery and other addiction rehab and behavioral health centers.

When participating in a rehab program, your treatment plan may include group therapy. Groups are made up of individuals experiencing similar challenges, so in the case of alcoholism, a therapeutic group would be comprised of others with a similar addiction. Group therapy typically has a set timeframe and schedule—for example, two meetings a week for eight weeks. It is always led by a professional therapist who guides the group to work through issues together. There may be multiple goals being worked on, including but not exclusive to sober living.

While engaged in rehab, you may also be part of a 12-step program, which is more akin to a support group than group therapy. They work well together and have several similarities.

Support groups are also made up of people who share common ground, such as mental health challenges like anxiety or depression, the shared experience of terrible injury, illness, or loss, or, as in the case with AA, substance abuse. Though on a regular schedule, support groups such as AA do not have a fixed time frame. There is no limit to how many AA meetings you can attend in a day or a week or a year, unlike group therapy. People are known to attend meetings for life. A mental health professional may lead an AA group, but that is not required, as it is for the person who runs a therapy group.

Striving For Sober Living

The above options—group therapy and Alcoholics Anonymous—offer a safe environment for exploring thoughts, feelings, and your personal addiction and recovery journey. It has been proven that sharing with others who personally understand what you’re going through provides a unique kind of reassurance and encouragement not found in one-on-one models. Belonging to an AA group is a complement to therapy of any kind, and the two-pronged approach can be enormously helpful to you as you learn to live a sober life.

In your ongoing recovery, both while you are in treatment and afterward, participating in a 12-step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous is something we at Serenity Light Recovery highly recommend.

The rate of sustained sobriety among 12-step participants is about double that of those who do not join a group like Alcoholics Anonymous. The success rates of AA are even higher if the individual received addiction treatment before joining.

Serenity Light Recovery and Your 12-Step Journey

Alcoholics Anonymous works. That’s why so many substance abuse treatment programs offer 12-step programs as part of their treatment plan for their clients. Serenity Light Recovery offers access to a 12-step program and other services, including medically supervised detox, yoga and fitness programs, residential and outpatient treatment, and more.

Learn about what makes Serenity Light Recovery a beacon of hope for you or a loved one in your pursuit of sober living. Call us at 855.658.6109 today.