Select Page

What are Non-12-Step Drug Alcohol Treatment Programs in California?



Non-12-step drug rehab programs in California are drug rehab programs that do not incorporate the 12-step philosophy. The primary difference between 12-step and non-12-step drug rehab programs is that the 12-step setting sees drug dependence with drugs or alcohol as the primary problem. However, non-12-step drug rehab programs treat the whole person. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, effective drug rehab attends to multiple needs of the individual, not just their drug use. For a non-12-step drug rehab program to be effective, it must address the individual’s drug abuse and any associated medical, psychological, social, vocational, and legal problems.

Overall, there are many effective alternatives to the 12-step addiction recovery approach. Behavioral therapies are some of the most common methods to help people engage in drug rehab. These forms of therapy provide incentives for a patient to remain abstinent, modify their attitudes and behaviors related to drug abuse. Moreover, these therapy methods increase life skills to help recovering addicts handle stressful circumstances and recognize environmental cues that could trigger a relapse. Common behavioral therapies for drug rehab in California include cognitive behavioral therapy, contingency management, community reinforcement, family behavior therapy, and motivational enhancement therapy.

Another effective non-12-step drug rehab option in California is experiential drug rehab. Experiential treatment helps a client experience their emotions and challenges rather than just passively talking about them. Experiential therapy is not formulaic, and the process involves doing something that the client enjoys like horseback riding, hiking, adventure, wilderness, and other activities. Through this form of therapy, they act out a conflict and take on the role of another person while re-living emotions associated with a previous event. The therapy is designed to help patients share and feel their emotions instead of simply talking about them. 



NIDA. “Principles of Effective Treatment.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 18 Sep. 2020, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition/principles-effective-treatment