Currently the 12 Step program is the most widely used model for addiction and recovery. The 12 step model is utilized by most treatment facilities, detoxes and community based support networks such as Narcotic Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Although a 12 Step program may appear easy to navigate, it can prove challenging for many in early recovery.

Developed in 1938, Alcoholics Anonymous was the first 12 Step program, now more than 65 other fellowships are utilizing this model. 12 Steps refers to a process by which an individual is guided through a series of sequential steps/phases by a sponsor. A sponsor is a member who has already gone through this process and is willing to help mentor someone new through the steps.

The 12 Step programs are very helpful in many areas when it comes to addressing addiction treatment, and all meetings should have “one primary purpose … to carry the message” of recovery to all participants. Carrying a message is one thing; however, actively and effectively working on one’s recovery is another. One part of the program that falls desperately short is providing consistent and professional guidance through the process of recovery. Depending on who is selected as the mentor or sponsor can greatly affect and shape one’s experience and success in 12 Step recovery. Although 12 Step meetings are full of well-meaning people, it does not mean they are qualified to facilitate the process of recovery. These people typically have no formal training in addiction treatment, and could be basing their approach on flawed recovery strategies. This has lead health professionals, doctors and other agents to be hesitant when referring a client to a 12 Step program.

With that said, the 12 Step programs have much to offer if the right guidance and direction is present from the very beginning. For people in early recovery, the 12 Step programs have been hit or miss because of the inconsistent direction and level of support that they receive. The recovery community and those who recognize this shortcoming have started to provide individuals with the consistent professional guidance and direction that has been lacking throughout the years. This new approach consists of a professional Recovery Coach guiding an individual through the most critical early stages of the 12 Step recovery process.

Ongoing freedom from addiction is a life long journey, and the first steps are crucial. Having a skilled Recovery Coach there from the beginning can make a significant difference to the success of an individual navigating a 12 Step Program.