Do I Have To Go To AA Meetings While I Am In Treatment?

If you or someone you care about is struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, you may not know where to start when it comes to recovery. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and similar community based programs can be a useful tool during and after rehabilitation. These options serve as a great source of motivation and support to maintain sobriety for many people. They also offer an outlet to meet new, sober friends. Perhaps most importantly, they serve as a constant source of self accountability for your well being.

However, not everyone is a good match for community based programs. If you have ever wondered if you have to participate in AA or a similar outlet during treatment, you may be relieved to know that it is not a requirement for most treatment centers. However, many facilities offer it and similar group programs to serve as an aid in the recovery process. Learn more about AA below as well as similar options available in rehabilitation centers to see if it is right for you.

What is AA?

If you have never attended an AA or an NA meeting before, you may be curious to learn what exactly it entails. For starters, both of these programs revolve around the 12 steps of recovery from addiction. The principles followed in the 12 steps involve admitting that you are powerless over your addiction, come to believe that a higher power greater than yourself can help you overcome it, and take personal inventory of your choices and wrong doings in order to maintain sobriety.

Many people assume that AA and NA have a religious basis. While this may have been true when the programs were first introduced, they are more flexible nowadays. In fact, many non religious people find them highly beneficial. A typical AA or NA meeting begins with announcements and then moves on to discussing the principles of the programs, including the 12 step process. Afterwards, members are encouraged to stand up and share their stories of sobriety, strength and turning points in their addiction in order to help other members remain resilient in their recovery. AA and NA is all about taking sobriety one day at a time. It encourages members to not worry or linger on the future as this can cause stress and ultimately lead to relapse. These programs are highly supportive and great for anyone seeking an extra boost during or after treatment. The best way to determine if it is right for you is to experience a meeting for yourself.

What Else is Available During Treatment?

The two main types of rehabilitation for alcohol and drug addictions are inpatient and outpatient care. Inpatient, also known as residential rehabilitation, is the most popular option. This is because it offers the most intensive care possible due to its residential requirements and 24/7 supervision. It is ideal for anyone struggling with a long term addiction or dual diagnosis.

Outpatient care is not as intensive as inpatient rehabilitation because it does not require patients to live on-site. However, it can be a good solution for anyone with home or work obligations that make it impossible for them to commit to living in a facility temporarily. It is best suited for individuals with relatively short term or moderate addictions. The ideal candidate for outpatient treatment should have the following characteristics:

  • High amount of willpower
  • Stable and supportive household
  • Self accountability

Outpatient treatment is often used as a stepping stone out of inpatient care. When used in this order, it can ease the shock of transitioning back into independent and unsupervised living and ultimately reduce the risk of relapse.

Both treatment formats typically begin with detoxification. This process is conducted in many treatment centers to break the body’s dependence on substances, reduce or eliminate withdrawal symptoms entirely and prepare patients for the recovery process. During it, you will be under supervision from a team of caring medical professionals who are ready to assist you at any given moment. Detoxing in a facility is associated with a higher success rate than at home detoxes which often end in relapse. This is because many people under estimate the level of pain associated with withdrawal and go back to substances as a quick fix to eliminate the pain.

Once you begin your treatment program in a facility, you can look forward to participating in a wide variety of different activities and outlets that are all designed to enhance your recovery experience. On site amenities such as fitness facilities, on-site movie theater and other recreational activities such as bowling are a great way to relax and develop new interests. These can serve as coping mechanisms as well. Besides amenities, mental health services are also available for dual diagnosis patients. Some programs may also extend services to patients without a dual diagnosis. Some of the most effective forms of mental health services include the following:

  • One on one counseling
  • Group therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Art and music therapy
  • Animal based therapy

Each therapy has its own unique benefits. One on one counseling gives patients the ability to confide in a therapist in a safe and private space. This can serve as an outlet for working through challenging emotions, triggers and even cravings. Group therapy is great for meeting new people, sharing your experiences and developing a strong support system. It often involves fun activities that strengthen the bond between patients in a facility.

If you are tired of feeling stuck in the cycle of alcohol or drug addiction, you should know that help is attainable. Don’t struggle on your own one more day– seek help from caring and experienced professionals. Ready to get started? Call 877-978-3148 to speak with one of our friendly addiction counselors today!