Non 12 Step Rehab

Getting Addiction Treatment Based Outside the 12 Steps

If you or a loved one are struggling with a substance use disorder, it can feel overwhelming and impossible to know how to regain a grip on life. Drug or alcohol addiction is first and foremost a disease needing, like any other medical condition, treatment services. To that end, you may have heard about various 12-step programs that serve to aid in addiction recovery.

If you’re curious about addiction, its effects, what a “12-step rehab” means, and what other non 12 step rehab options exist for treating substance abuse at Icarus, keep reading!

The Rise Of Drug And Alcohol Addiction

The Rise Of Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Drug and alcohol addiction are medical conditions that revolve around the continuous and compulsive use of harmful substances despite the negative effects and consequences that it has on a person’s health and life circumstances.

The hard truth is that addiction is now a widespread epidemic and the statistics are troubling. In 2021, there was a 15% increase in overdose deaths due to substance abuse in the US, bumping that number up to over 100,000 people. This trend illustrates just how critical addiction treatment is at this point.

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The Risk Factors For Substance Abuse

What are risk factors? The term itself refers to a way of identifying circumstances or characteristics that result in people being more susceptible or “at-risk” of developing substance use disorders. Being aware of these risk factors can be incredibly important in catching drug abuse habits early and being able to take action.

The risk factors for substance use disorder are complex. Multiple factors, including genetic and environmental influences, play a role in determining whether someone will develop an addiction. Some of the more common ones are:


Genetic factors account for about half of the risk of developing an addiction to alcohol or drugs. This means that people who have close family members with substance use disorders (SUDs) are at a higher risk of developing one themselves, compared to those who do not have family members with SUDs. Aside from the aspect of family history, increasing research is suggesting that persons who are neurodivergent are at risk of developing substance abuse habits.


There is a strong relationship between environment and surroundings and substance use disorders. Persons who live in socioeconomically marginalized, defunded, and disproportionately policed areas are significantly more at-risk for substance abuse than those in otherwise better-funded, safer, and support communities. There is a multitude of reasons why this is such a potent factor but it boils down to the presence of drugs in those areas, higher poverty rates, and a distinct lack of support and resources.

Mental Health

Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can make it difficult to resist the urge to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. In addition, some research suggests that people with a mental illness may be more likely to develop substance use problems than those without one. Mental illness can also contribute to relapse risk once someone has stopped using drugs or alcohol.

People with a history of trauma are also at increased risk for substance use disorders. The link between childhood trauma and substance use disorders is well established: People who’ve experienced childhood trauma are twice as likely to develop them later in life than those who haven’t been through a traumatic experience.

How Does Drug Addiction Affect Your Life?

The effects of substance abuse can be devastating. Substance abusers often suffer from depression and anxiety, which can lead to physical problems like heart disease and liver failure. They may also be violent toward others or themselves. Substance abusers also put their families at risk for harm by driving while intoxicated or committing crimes under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Substance abuse can take its toll on relationships as well as health. Family members may feel helpless when trying to help someone who is addicted to drugs or alcohol because it’s difficult for them to keep up with what’s happening day-to-day in their loved one’s life.

Family members may feel isolated because they’re no longer invited along when their loved one goes out on the town with friends or meets new people because their behavior changes so much when they’re using drugs or alcohol. This isolation can lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair if things aren’t addressed.

The Importance Of Addiction Recovery

The Importance Of Addiction Recovery

At this point, it should be obvious just how dangerous a drug abuse habit can be. Addiction is a chronic, relapsing brain disease that affects both physical and mental health. It impacts the way a person thinks, feels, and acts, often causing serious problems with relationships and work. For these reasons, addiction treatment programs are critical for people who have a substance use disorder.

When someone is suffering from an addiction, there is often a sense of isolation and loneliness that comes with the condition. It’s important for those who struggle with addiction to know that they are not alone in this fight and there are treatment centers and resources available to them so they can get back on track with their lives.

What Is 12-Step Rehab?

When it comes to the recovery journey, there are various options one is presented with. One of the most common rehab programs people encounter is the concept of 12-Step Rehab. 12-Step programs are a category of addiction treatment that involves peer support and group therapy. They’re based on the 12 steps outlined in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other 12-step groups. Treatment centers that use this model typically offer group therapy and individual counseling sessions, as well as self-help group meetings.

For many people, the 12-Step approach may not be the best fit. For one, 12-step programs have more in common with support groups and, in fact, in their original form, they are more of an aftercare and support model than a complete treatment program. 12-step programs are about maintaining motivation and self-empowerment, self-management, and seeking to foster a balanced life and emotional growth within persons who have already completed a recovery program.

Areas of Difficulty for Many Seeking Help with the 12 Steps

The other aspect of 12-step programs that might not be the best fit is their close connection to religion and the concept of God. The belief in a higher power is key to most 12-step programs, making it out of reach of those who do not hold fast to those concepts. For this reason, many secular organizations and concepts like SMART Recovery have adapted many of the principles into a secular recovery framework.

Non-12-step programs are centered firmly around holistic and evidence-based treatment methods and approaches to opiate addiction. These programs have a high degree of effectiveness and can help participants feel safe and comfortable, offering them the opportunity to heal from the underlying issues that may have led them to their addiction in the first place.

The Difference Between Inpatient And Outpatient Programs

Outpatient Program

When it comes to addiction recovery, there are two major frameworks for approaching treatment; inpatient and outpatient programs. It’s important to understand these two approaches because their effectiveness and relevance apply differently from client to client depending on the individual’s circumstances.

Inpatient addiction treatment programs are the most common and often the most effective for severe drug abuse. Clients live at the center for an average of 30 days. They usually receive counseling, medical care, and other services on-site.

Outpatient programs offer less intensive treatment than inpatient facilities, but they may still be beneficial for some clients. In these programs, clients attend group therapy sessions at a clinic or treatment center and receive medical care from a doctor or nurse practitioner. They also have access to other resources such as support groups and education classes.

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Inpatient vs Outpatient for Drug or Alcohol Addiction

The main difference between inpatient and outpatient treatment programs is that clients stay at the former for longer periods of time — usually between a week and several months — while attending residential treatment centers that give them round-the-clock care. In contrast, outpatient programs allow clients to continue living at home while they receive counseling services over extended periods of time (usually several weeks).

The other major difference is that inpatient treatment is usually more expensive than outpatient. This is simply because of how intensive inpatient treatment methods are in terms of the scope of services and medical support offered.

The Treatment Options Used By Non 12-Step Rehabs To Treat Substance Use Disorders

The Treatment Options Used By Non 12-Step Rehabs To Treat Substance Use Disorders

A professional rehab center offers treatment services that fit a wide array of needs and circumstances designed to facilitate the recovery process and help clients overcome addiction. Knowing a few of the more common components that typically make up a treatment plan can be helpful. Let’s examine a few.


Detox is the first step in addiction treatment. It’s a period of time when you go through withdrawal from the drug or alcohol you’ve been using. In this stage, your body gets rid of the toxins and chemicals that have been affecting it.

All detox programs are different depending on the program and its level of care, but some programs may offer medication-assisted treatment (MAT) during detoxification to help ease withdrawal symptoms and give clients a safer way to get off drugs or alcohol safely. Medications can include Suboxone (buprenorphine) or methadone which help reduce cravings while clients are going through the withdrawal process.

Behavioral Therapy

Addiction recovery programs are rooted in behavioral therapy, which is intended to help individuals change their behavior patterns and thought processes. This can take place as individual therapy sessions, group or family therapy, and more. The most common framework is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Therapists work with clients to identify negative thought patterns that lead to negative emotional states, such as depression or anxiety. These therapists also help clients develop healthier ways of thinking and behaving so they can break free from harmful thought patterns that may contribute to drug abuse or other compulsive behaviors.

Alternative Therapies

Holistic treatments are comprehensive approaches to recovery that focus on the whole person. A holistic approach takes into account physical, emotional, and spiritual factors when addressing addiction. These alternative therapies can include art therapy, music therapy, yoga classes, and more. The client is encouraged to become comfortable with the fact that sustained sobriety is a lifelong process. As such, in order to not abuse drugs in the future, traditional treatment is paired with lifestyle treatment.

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Achieve And Maintain Sobriety Today With Icarus Behavioral Health

At Icarus Behavioral Health, we understand how difficult recovery is. Our well-equipped treatment facilities and qualified staff offer a safe and comfortable space and approach to treatment. Let us help you uncover the deeper issues to overcome addiction. Offering individualized care with an evidence-based approach, our track record in the field speaks for itself.

Our admissions process couldn’t be easier, just reach out today and let one of our addiction recovery specialists set up a confidential consultation to figure out how best we can help you take back your life!