The 12 steps have a the best success rate

12 step programs may not be the only way to stay sober, but the 12 steps work IF YOU DO THEM ON A DAILY BASIS.  Please check out the latest research done by Harvard and Stanford doctors which prove that the 12 step programs are the best recovery programs (Cochrane Study, 2020). Why risk not doing them when 12 step programs are free and the most accessible?  They are not driven by any profit motive. Why risk any other program, particularly if you have tried to control your addiction and have failed?  Resulting from working the first 3 steps and attending meetings, a primary concept I learned was to do whatever it takes to avoid picking up the first drink or drug. This may mean calling someone in recovery for help during a craving or a crisis. This may mean putting yourself somewhere completely safe like an emergency room, treatment center or recovering person's house. This may mean removing all alcohol and drugs from your reach. Do whatever it takes. I have 31 years clean and sober, and I am a drug counselor for twenty years and I have never seen anyone relapse who lives according to the 12 steps. The explanation for the relapse is always "I did not call someone from my AA meeting before I picked up the drink," or "I did not do my 4th step because I could not find the time" or "I missed my homegroup meeting" or "I was too busy to help another addict" or "I had philosophical differences with the program" or "I thought cognitive therapy would work alone" or "a treatmet center I paid $50,000 to thought I could use some alternative therapy because they did a few studies" or "I did not want to change" or "I was too shy to try a meeting" or "the program didn't make sense to me" or "I think I can control my addiction through my own willpower or intellect" or I can't believe there is any power greater than myself (even though I realized after my first 12 step meeting that God or Higher Power did not mean a religious God but was more akin to Help) that can keep me sober" or "I thought I could stay sober by changing my diet and only adding niacin" or "I thought I could stay clean through suboxone, methadone, or some other chemical alone" or a multitude of other reasons. Regardless of how much sense the reason made to the relapsing person, the fact remained that the relapsing person did not live according to the 12 steps. I was desperate not to relapse because I did not want to go back to my old way of living: the lies, the failed relationships, the depression, the bankruptcy, the failures, the hangovers, etc. I was desperate and I realized that I had tried to control my addiction and I had failed. Perhaps you could take a look at your record, take an honest assessment of the evidence to see if you have been able to control your addiction without help. The most accessible, free help there is that works are 12 step meetings. Why risk any other program that tells you to exercise self control when the evidence proves you have not been able to control your disease. Perhaps you should decide if your current attitudes and beliefs are more important than doing a lifetime program that will work if you work it. Bill Wilson, the main author of the Big Book, later said that he wished he would have said "Never" rather than "Rarely" in the sentence, "Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."


Keep your focus on the most important thing: not using. Live according to the 12 steps and you cannot fail. Give your best effort at getting through all of them with a Sponsor and keep living according to them to avoid relapse. It works if you work it.