Does a Rehab make you go to Alcoholics Anonymous ?

It is probably fair to say that the majority of rehabs that are residential base their approach to their addiction treatment programs with a view that they are better supported by the individual attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and other 12 step organisations .

Indeed the majority of rehabs base their addiction treatment programs and their therapeutic treatment methods on the 12th model of Alcoholics Anonymous which they adapt to their own purposes.

A rehab that follows this viewpoint is likely to make it a condition of the residency that the individual attends a certain number of meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12 step organisations during their stay at rehab.

This is a condition of treatment that should be made clear at the outset and at admission, and if the individual has a real problem with it then it is something that needs to be factored into the decision-making process as to which rehab should be considered or not.

Some rehabs are stricter than others about applying this condition of residency. Some rehabs take a view that it is down to the individual to decide whether or not they want to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous whilst in rehab.

On this basis a number of clients in rehab will be attending meetings while a significant number will not be. This can often lead to conflicts within the rehab which add to a general pressure on the individuals concerned and can sometimes generate real problems.

Rehabs and Alcoholics Anonymous

Other rehabs will take a view that is in effect stricter and will make it a condition of entry and residency that people need to attend a minimum number of meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous whilst in rehab.

Whilst this avoids some of the problems mentioned above, it does mean that the individual does not come to the view that they need to attend AA meetings based on their own individual experience, rather they are forced into it by the rehab.

This can have complications further on, where the individual feels that there principles of choice about their recovery and rebuilding their lives has been taken away from, first by being forced into rehab against their will effectively, and secondly by being forced to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The counter argument to this normally runs that although the principle of choice may have been compromised, the reality of being forced into a rehab or of being forced to attend meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous at some level breaks down the denial of the alcoholic and give them the opportunity to experience a real freedom and truth that they would otherwise not have.

It is important to add that there are rehabs that do not push meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous or other 12 step organisations and operate more on what is known as a life skills basis.