12-Step Programs and Other Sober Supports 

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When it comes to creating long-term sobriety beyond addiction detox and treatment, the oldest and probably most well-known 12-step program is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson, AA has been the dominant support group of alcoholics for over eight decades. In fact, most addiction treatment centers integrate at least some form of the 12-steps into their addiction treatment programs. In this way, addicts can (at the very least) find daily support for their recovery in almost every city/town in America.

AA is a faith-based 12-step program. individuals are directed to admit their lack of control over both alcohol / drugs and turn themselves over to a God (of your understanding). While the roots of AA are based in Christianity, the program is intended to be nonspecific regarding religious conviction and more a focus on a spiritual emergence.

Like many things in life, addiction recovery is not a “one-size-fits-all” process, the same is valid for addiction support groups. AA has been found to not be nearly as effective as people may think but it’s tough to get trustworthy data since Alcoholics Anonymous is a completely anonymous support group. We go by first names only and respect the anonymity of each other.

12-step program

Do 12-Step Programs Really Work?

I’ve gone to Alcoholic Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings and the short answer is I don’t know. What I do know is that is has been working for me for the last 7 years and the large number of folks who I have met in the program. AA is largely untouched since its start. Also, it is a simple program for complicated people (I happened to be one of them). For example, drug addiction and alcoholism create fear and uncertainty. At the very same time, AA and the 12-steps will stabilize you and allow you to find peace and happiness in your daily life. With this in mind, the 12-steps shows us how our lives became unmanageable as a result of our drinking or drug use.

The individuals who attend 12-step meetings come from all walks of life. There are the newly sober, those coming back into recovery after relapse, the long-time veterans, and everything in-between. But the one thing they all share is they can't cope with their own lives if they are drinking and using. Perhaps most importantly, they want to help the newcomer to achieve what they have – long-term sobriety!

Are There Any Other Supports Groups Beyond 12-Steps?

Following 12-step programs, probably the largest recovery support program is SMART Recovery. SMART is an acronym for Self-Management and Recovery Training. SMART Recovery is an abstinence-based, not-for-profit program with a practical self-help ideology for people having issues with alcohol and drug abuse. Basically, SMART Recovery teaches common sense self-help practices designed to encourage you to abstain and to develop a more constructive lifestyle. While not the same as AA, there are many  common aspects. SMART Recovery has gained steam over the last five years with meetings popping up everywhere. According to their website, they are now international.

Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is probable the biggest large-scale addition to addiction care. As a medical protocol, MAT is supported by behavioral therapy and addiction supports. MAT has been the fastest growing addiction treatment modality in the wake of growing overdose deaths. It is largely viewed as harm reduction It is also known as Suboxone (buprenorphine) treatment, which is used as a modality to abate dangerous cravings and withdrawals. This allows the individual to focus on their therapy without symptom distraction.

Addiction Recovery is Not One-Size-Fits-All

There is always hope and recovery is viable for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be AA or another 12-step program. The bottom line is if a program helps you get sober, and stay sober, then go with it. Sobriety is not a competition, nor should the way someone gets sober be assessed by their peers. It is as individual as you are! Studies have indicated that those who remain clean for at least five years have a relapse rate of less than 15 percent, and support programs are a big part of what makes that possible.

Simple Path Recovery is a beach side, boutique addiction treatment center located in Pompano Beach, FL. Recognized as an intimate Florida Drug & Alcohol Rehab, Simple Path is committed to individualized care, 12-step integration, and Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT). Their addiction helpline is available 24/7 at 855-467-3625.

About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.


"I attended Simple Path in June of 2019. I had never tried to get sober and I never went to treatment before. I was scared and vulnerable. I immediately felt safe at Simple Path. In the IOP the therapists listened to me, like actually heard and genuinely cared about me. They not only helped me on my path to sobriety but they also helped me immensely with my trauma. God willing I'll have 16 months on the 1st. I couldn't have done it without all the love and care from Simple Path. Thank you to Cathy, Heidi, Carrie, Emily, Sammy Jo and Ian!"


"Simple Path saved my life. There hands on approach to helping you start living a self reliant independent sober life has been nothing short of a blessing to me. I am totally grateful for the staff and the techs."

Harry C.

"Simple path gave me a second chance at the life I was always meant to have... and a second, and a third. If you really want to get sober Simple Path will arm you with the knowledge to do so. 90% of all the staff at housing and clinical are in recovery with substantial time. By far the best experiences of my life were at Simple Path Recovery. Shout out to Matt, Stevie, Pete, Carrie, Adam, and Derick. I love each and every one of you guys."

Davey R.

"Simple path recovery has truly been a godsend for me. From day one, they took me under their arm and showed me how to live a happy and successful life in recovery! They gave me all the spiritual tools I needed and a lot more! I’ve met a lot of people in recovery and I can honestly say simple path cares. I’m still friends with all the staff and they are definitely my recovery family. God bless you guys!"

Justin M.

Simple Path was there for Dennis when he was most broken. They provided him with support and gave him the tools he needed to shed the ill feelings he once felt about himself. Today, Dennis has a new perspective, gaining the confidence to walk out of Simple Path’s doors a changed man; living a healthier and happier life.


"I am so grateful for simple path and all the staff there. They have taught me a lot about myself and how to deal with everyday life challenges. Ian with out a doubt saved my life without him in my corner I don’t know where I would be. The clinical staff is very informative about addiction and help client’s get back on there feet. I’m so very grateful they got to be part of my journey."

Jake S.

"Amazing place if you are trying to get sober. Helps kick start your life when you get into the real world. All the staff here genuinely cares about all the clients."

Jake B.

Jack’s journey began when he arrived at Simple Path to get clean and sober. He never thought he could deal with his anxiety and depression without using drugs. Group and one-on-one therapy empowered him to deal with his problems and get better. Going strong at his one-year anniversary, Jack is in a very good place.


"I've worked with a number of addiction treatment centers over time and I'm always impressed by the smaller programs. Simple Path rises to the top of this group that resonates with staff and patients alike."

Matthew K.

"Amazing program! Very life changing and caring-people! Simple-Path saved my life."

Chase D.

"I have sent numerous patients to Simple Path with great success. The transition from my facility to theirs has always been a smooth one. The care and compassion at this facility is remarkable. Most of my work is with Matt O’Malley who goes over and beyond to make sure our patients feel comfortable when they arrive at the facility. It’s an honor to collaborate with this facility daily!"

Pat C.

"This IOP program has been a pillar in my recovery. They let me stay for as long as I needed to and worked on my core issues. "

Jessica R.

"I just want to say thank you simple path you helped to save my life. I was broken before I came here but today my life is amazing. I learned so much from talking with staff and all the coping skills I learned in the groups. The fact that the staff walked in my shoes gave my hope when I first got here. I am so grateful that I chose this place. If you want to get sober this is the place to be."

Jordan D.

"This place is great. I have nothing but the best to say about simple path I would definitely recommend it to anyone. I never thought recovery was possible before I came hear but I now have 8 months of sobriety. The staff was very helpful and I learned a lot from the groups."

Devin C.

"All the therapists are great and very supportive!"

Matthew L.

"Staff genuinely cares, clinical staff and therapists are educated and also care about clients. Techs, Jason, And Dave care and will talk with clients and provide experience and advice."

Matt K.

"I sent my son here and the staff at SPR made the process so easy and comfortable for us and my son. I can't say enough good things about this place.

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"Simple path by far is the place to go for help with alcohol and drugs.. I went through there intensive out patient program which you live in their house for 30 days. It changed my life for the better... They have the best theripest that work with you individually and in group,. This is where I found myself again.. I have been sober for 6 months now thanks to simple path and all their great employees that really care about you and build you up for your next chance at life... This is the place to start your new journey in life."

Allison W.

"Simple Path is an absolutely great place to start turning your life around! From the beginning they were extremely helpful and made sure my entire process very easy and smooth. Everyone that helped me personally there from the start - Lee, Kyle, Matt are all fantastic guys who always had my back with any assistance I needed, always went the extra mile and remained that way my entire time there."

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"Simple path is a good place to go if you're in need of halfway with some clinical help! The staff is great both at iop and at housing. Lee, Derrick, and Ian are all great employees along with Denise and Peter at IOP."

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"Nice staff, beautiful property and facility along A1A."

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"I can’t put into words what this place have done not for just for my daughter but our whole family. The phone calls/ text didn’t stop when she finished treatment. They still go above and beyond to stay in contact with us all. I know without a doubt these guys love what they do!! I would recommend ANYONE to this treatment center. And can never thank them enough for what they did for my family."

Dana J.

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