Should I Go to Treatment?
Treatment programs such as Alcoholics or Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA/12 STEPS) are not for everybody. Not everyone responds well to sharing their story with others or listening to others talk about their stories. Sometimes, being with a group of people caught in the grips of addictions isn't a good idea. Especially if many of them are only going to AA or NA because they're ordered to by a judge or some other official.
Have you ever been to an AA meeting where there were trunk parties afterward? What is a trunk party, you ask? A trunk party is when one of the "claimed" surrendered and faithful AA members has their trunk full of booze and other illicit substances to share with the group after the meeting. Based on personal observation, this has happened before. I've seen them at more than one meeting place.
I've tried many different venues such as churches, private groups, and even one that was run by a homeless shelter that I stayed at. At least three of them had trunk parties or invites to go “hang out” after the meetings. For those of us trying to get and stay clean, this kind of temptation is just too risky. Nor is the person offering practicing a solid foundation of recovery, or one that needs to be growing in a positive direction, regardless. Avoid these situations at all costs. There are other options.
Although I see nothing wrong with religion, it's not everyone’s cup of tea. What is a "non-believer" supposed to do when everyone else is praying to their higher power? If you don't join in, the other members tend to think you're not serious about recovery. AA and NA are both about leaning on your higher power for help in recovery and if you do not have that, you just can't relate to the program. That's a fail in their eyes, and for your recovery growth. Surround yourself with what works for you...
Also, these meetings do nothing to help with the mental or physical aspects of addiction and recovery. They all tell their horror stories and how great it is to be in recovery, but nobody really talks about how or why they started in the first place. And there is no trained professional there to help with that. Do you think that this could be another fail of 12-Step programs?
Other Treatment Programs
So, what are the other options for getting clean? Well, there are many treatment programs at hospitals and drug rehab centers you can check into. Most of them last for 30-90 days and give you pretty good mental and physical help while you're there. Also, there are usually no trunk parties because you are usually watched pretty closely by professionals and staffers and aren't allowed to leave, in most cases.
Although, if you really want to get something, you will find a way. No place is perfect. However, these places are expensive, so if you don't have insurance, which most addicts don’t, you can't afford them. Unless qualifying for government assistance, which can take weeks or months. So what then?
Substance Abuse Therapy
Another choice is drug therapy with a substance abuse therapist. There are therapists who will work with you on a sliding scale fee or will help you get help from the state for payment so this is a good option for many people. Some of us just do better in a more personal setting.
Many addicts like to avoid crowds of people (unless they are using) so seeing a therapist online is a great choice and is also much more affordable. You do not have to worry about trunk parties and you do not have to pretend to pray if you are not religious. Substance abuse therapy is a personal choice and you have to be the one to make the decision to get clean but it is easier when you can do it from the comfort of your home and have access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.