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What to Expect From a 12-Step Meeting

Twelve-Step meetings are a mainstay of recovery from addiction in the United States. Millions of people have attended these meetings, and rightly so since studies indicate that 12-Step meetings are remarkably effective in addressing addiction issues. What exactly happens at a 12-Step meeting? What can you expect if you decide to go to one? This article will attempt to answer a few of those questions.

What Is a 12-Step Meeting?

Twelve-Step meetings are peer-led groups where people with shared experiences come together to support one another in their addiction recovery. These groups are modeled after the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program, which is the oldest and most well-known as a 12-Step program. Twelve-Step meetings are often held in churches, community centers, and other public spaces, though some are held in dedicated recovery centers. Twelve-Step meetings can be helpful to people in recovery from many different types of addiction.

What Happens at a 12-Step Meeting?

Twelve-Step meetings follow a general format, though the order varies from meeting to meeting. At the beginning, attendees will introduce themselves by their first names. Attendees may also share how many years of sobriety they have. The group will then discuss the meeting topic, which is usually related to The Twelve Steps or personal struggles. Each person who wants to will get a chance to share their thoughts.

Who Attends 12-Step Meetings?

Twelve-Step meetings are open to people in every stage of recovery and from all walks of life. You’ll likely find a diverse group of people at a meeting with a broad range of experiences, backgrounds, and ages. Although attendance at AA is often stigmatized, studies have shown that the vast majority of people with substance abuse problems attend 12-Step meetings at some point in their recovery. The most common attendees are people who’ve been in recovery for a year or less.

What Are the Benefits of Attending a 12-Step Meeting?

Twelve-Step meetings are beneficial in many ways, including the following:

  • Self-disclosure: Twelve-Step meetings are a safe space to share your story without fear of judgment or criticism
  • Source of support: No matter how long you’ve been in recovery, the people at your local 12-Step meeting can become the support system you need to get through difficult times
  • Accountability: Many people struggle to stay sober on their own; by going to meetings and interacting with other people who have similar goals, you’ll have a support network to help keep you on track

Twelve-Step meetings are a great way to connect with people in recovery, learn more about addiction, and get support and encouragement as you work towards your goals. If you’re in recovery and considering attending a 12-Step meeting for the first time, make sure you go with an open mind and a willingness to learn. You’ll make the most out of the experience if you are proactive, get involved, and use the meeting as an opportunity to connect with and support others in recovery.

Substance use disorder (SUD) has as many opinions about how to treat it as it does people struggling with it. There is no right way for every single person. However, some methods are proven to be far more effective than others. A professional recovery setting, like The Guest House, offers 12-Step meetings amidst a wide variety of other therapeutic experiences to aid in the treatment process. So if you or someone in your life is considering treatment, please call (855) 483-7800