What to Do Before Stopping to Attend 12-Step Meetings
As you start kicking off your heroin or alcohol addiction habit, you may not find the 12-step meetings very helpful like they were before. For example, you may feel something is missing from the group or its dynamics have changed. In some case, you may feel that the meetings are cutting into hours that you could use to do other things. When these things happen, they can be an indication that you have outgrown the meetings.
According to addiction recovery psychologists, the 12-step meetings play an important role in helping you kick off the heroin or alcohol addiction habit during the first year. It can be quite difficult to kick off your heroin addiction if you do not attend the meetings during the first year of your program. However, as you get hold of your life and know how to manage the addiction, you can start outgrowing the meetings.
Like many people recovering from heroin addiction, you may gradually stop attending the daily meetings and opt for the weekly ones. As time goes on, you may not find yourself attending the meetings as frequently as you did during the first year. The meetings that may have helped you during the first year may not be effective when you are in year three.
So, can someone outgrow the need to attend 12-step meetings?
The answer to this question is both “yes” and “no”. Yes, a person can outgrow the meetings, but not entirely.
You may not feel the meetings are important any more to you but everywhere you go, you will be at risk of relapsing to your bad habit. To avoid relapse, it’s advisable to stick to the meetings for as long as possible.
You should consider a number of things before opting to completely stop attending the recovery meetings. For example, find out whether it’s the meeting that is no longer meeting your needs or you have simply outgrown the particular group you have been meeting with.
The group that you may have started your recovery journey with may no longer be helpful. As you progress in your recovery, this is likely to happen. For example, you may realize that the meetings no longer address specific challenges you may be facing at the stage of recovery you may be in. Apart from this, people may have changed, or the direction that the meeting is going may not be what you are looking for.
To know whether a particular group you are in is helpful or whether you have outgrown it, think of what used to make you want to attend it before. Are the meetings helping you to grow in your journey to soberness or do you feel you have stagnated in progress? If the current meetings you attend are not helpful, try to look for other groups to join before deciding that the meetings are not for you.
Follow the guide above before stopping to attend 12-Step recovery meetings.