California 12-Step Meetings – A Vital Part of Recovery for Many
12-Step programming serves as the bedrock for so much of the recovery community that even those who do not have personal experience with addiction have likely heard of this philosophy.
Whether seeking residential treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, community-based services, or ongoing support after having successfully completed a program of care, 12-Step meetings can be a boost to long-term sobriety.
Quality treatment programs take aftercare planning seriously, and make it a part of their patients’ plans of care from the very first day they enroll in treatment. As patients plan to discharge, it is likely that they will be encouraged to connect with recovery supports within their home communities, and often it is recommended that they access 12-Step meetings as part of their plan for continued sobriety.
But sometimes, it can be difficult to know which meetings to attend, and what to do when you arrive at one. One of the wonderful aspects of 12-Step support is the sheer prevalence of meetings available in many communities throughout the world. However, at the same time, residents of places such as Napa Valley, California where there are dozens of meetings to choose from, may get overwhelmed upon beginning a search for a preferred meeting time and place.
Addictions professionals recommend that those new to 12-Step meetings begin by taking some time to research meeting options in their area that are located in close proximity to home, school, or work, and that take place at times that are convenient to them. This is because it is easier to maintain regular attendance when meetings are easily accessible in the course of one’s day-to-day life.
Once you have identified a series of meetings that seem like they could be a good fit for you, it is wise to try attending several different ones.
No two meetings are alike, and many are tailored to a specific subset of the recovery community, or organized by gender, substance of choice, or sexual orientation, and all can have a very different feel based on the group attendees. Some meetings even offer childcare free of charge, and this can be a huge help for parents as they work to balance their family’s busy schedules.
Once you have found a local meeting spot that feels right for you, try to make the most of your time there. When you feel comfortable, participate as you are able, communicate with others in attendance, and share the trials and tribulations of your recovery journey. Also, make sure to listen to the stories of others so that you can benefit from the wisdom of the group, some of whom may have had very similar experiences to your own.
For residents of California, and across the world, 12-Step meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can make all the difference in staying true to one’s goals for recovery.
The old adage that the recovery process must be taken “one day at a time” can be seen in action in the support offered in the 12-Step setting, a place that can help to end the feelings of isolation that can sometimes be present for those in recovery.