Strength of Support

A program that has been around for more than 70 years, 12 step programs, appear to still be just as successful as they were when they began. Details from a study on 12 step programs were featured in a recent article. Researchers have learned that these types of programs actually keep teens from continuing to abuse drugs and alcohol as well as cut down on the medical costs associated with such dependencies. The premise behind the 12 step program is a support system where a person who used to be an alcoholic or an addict shares their experience with someone who is going through the treatment process. The age group that was targeted in the study was 13 to 18 years old. It is no surprise that the 12 step program would work with this demographic due to the learning from experience piece. Teens who abuse drugs or alcohol at such a young age most likely do so for other reasons. Maybe they do not have a positive role model in their life or they are surrounded by negativity in their day-to-day living. If teens have the opportunity to learn from someone who has been in their shoes and can truly relate to them, it seems to get the message across to adolescents. Part of the rebellious attitude of teenagers is that they do not believe adults can relate to them, nor know what perils they may be facing every day. When they learn that there are others who have walked the same path as they have and recovered from whatever it is that ails them, then that tends to sink in to their mind. Often teens that have dependencies at a young age are searching for something that can take away their pain or help them fit in with their peers. They do not realize the long-term effects that their actions could have on their life. The research of the 12 step programs seem to bring to light that support systems in any stage of life are important.

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