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Twelve-step programs as a treatment for heroin addiction
"Twelve-step" programs are so known because they name twelve steps a person must go through in order to cure their drug problem. The first and best known of these programs is Alcoholics Anonymous.
The twelve steps vary somewhat from program to program but they follow this pattern:
Like most other rehabilitation programs, there are some people who swear it is the thing that saved their lives and thus, by necessity, is the answer for others. No doubt that is certainly true for some people. You might be especially inclined to like it you also like religion. As you may have noticed, references to God are a big part of the Twelve Steps.
What's bad about it?
Lots of people don't like the devotion to religion. Supporters of twelve-step programs will say that there programs are non-denominational -- which is certainly true for many of them -- but it is still religion.
Other critics of twelve step programs argue that admitting you are powerless is the exact wrong thing to do. In essence, it attempts to excuse your bad behavior by saying it wasn't really your fault -- it was the fault of the drug you were taking. Such critics argue that what you really want to do is to emphasize your own power over your life -- because that is what you are really doing when you put down a drug addiction.
It should also be noted that proponents of twelve step programs often claim extraordinarily high success rates. The truth is that they tend to count only the people who stayed in the program (dropouts are ignored in the stats) and they don't even keep very accurate records on those -- nor do they typically allow others to do the kind of research that would allow a definitive answer.
If you encounter anyone claiming 80 or 90 percent success
rates for ANY drug rehabilitation program, you may safely assume they are
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