They say that the 12 Steps are the proven way to deal with a substance use problem, so why would you choose anything else?

  1. Because you want a solution rather than a label. In 12-Step programs, you’re essentially taught that you are permanently handicapped with the “disease of alcoholism/addiction.” This isn’t a solution. Instead they focus on acceptance of defeat, acceptance of your fictitious disease, and then manipulating your world around you to accommodate your handicap. For example, after a 12 Step rehab, you must change “people, places, and things” because with your handicap, those people, places and things will somehow force you to drink/drug. You must learn to build your social life around other recovering people, recovery events, and recovery activities to shield your weak “addict” mind from temptation. Or better yet, 12 Step rehabs think it’s best if you immediately get enrolled in aftercare for your “chronic incurable disease, then move right into a sober living home after rehab, and live in a recovery community such as those in southern Florida. This is not a solution – it’s giving up. Perhaps that’s why local officials in the towns where 12 Step recovery communities have popped up said this: “Stop sending your children and loved ones to South Florida, because we’re sending them back in body bags.”
  2. Because you want to move on with your life. You view this as a problem that can be solved, or at least you hope it can be. You’re fed up with drugs and alcohol because you’re spending so much time and energy on them. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life focused on them in meetings and other recovery activities. You realize that even if you’re sober spending all your time focused on NOT using substances, that is still a life that revolves around substance, and it is just as much of a drain and waste of your most precious resource: time. You know there must be a way to truly solve this problem and move on with your life to bigger and better things.
  3. The definition of insanity. According to a popular slogan used in 12 step meetings, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. If you’ve done the steps again and again but still find yourself struggling, it’d be downright irrational to try the steps one more time. You know what the results will be.

With that said, not all non-12-step programs are equal. Many fall into the same traps of making “recovery” into a lifelong vocation. Many simply misrepresent themselves as non-12-step, then smuggle the steps back in.

The Freedom Model is a completely different way of approaching substance use problems that avoids all the 12 Step and recovery industry pitfalls. It shows you how to free yourself from the fear, doubt, and panic created by recovery ideology, and address your substance use problem with positive personal choice.