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12-Step Programs for Teens Abusing Drugs

How the 12-Step Approach Helps Teens With Drug Problems


Quick Links: Troubled Teens | Quiz: Is Your Teen At-Risk?

12-step programs have a history of success in helping addicts stop using drugs. There are programs specifically attended by teens and some teens report getting help from regular meetings as all ages are welcome. Teen groups can also be accessed online.

If your teen is having problems with drugs consider this option as it is free and easy to access. Here’s what you need to know:

12-Step Programs Explained

The concept of members of a group helping others with the same problem started with the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in 1935. There are now groups to address a variety of addictions to include Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and many others. There are also 12-step programs called Al- Anon and Nar-Anon that provide support to the families of teens abusing drugs. 

The 12-step program is based on the belief that addiction is a progressive disease that affects a person emotionally, physically and spiritually. It is a misconception that the program is religious. Members embrace the idea of a power greater than themselves to replace the reliance on drugs, the specific definition is up to each individual.

How 12-Step Programs Help Teens With Drug Problems 

The 12-step model is so effective that most drug treatment programs use these methods. Benefits include the following:

  • Education about the negative impact of drug use
  • Strong support system
  • Positive, drug free environment
  • Numerous meetings daily
  • Sponsors help new members and provide individual support
  • Focus on healthy values to include honesty and compassion 
  • No cost to participate
  • Members receive and give help

12-step programs can be utilized in a number of ways: as an initial intervention for a teen abusing drugs, as additional support for teens participating in outpatient drug treatment, to help prevent relapse after inpatient treatment, or to support the families of teen drug abusers. 

Quick Links: Troubled Teens | Quiz: Is Your Teen At-Risk?

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