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Is AA For Me? What Other Treatment Options Are There?

Is AA for you? Different people respond to different drug rehab models, but in this blog we’ll do our best to help compare your options.

What is AA?

Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly known as AA, is an addiction model that emerged in the twentieth century. The 12 step model of treating addiction was created and dispersed by AA, which was founded by Bill Wilson and Dr. Robert Smith. Their model was based on the disease model, which states that addiction is a disease, therefore, addicted people have no control over the substance and its addictive powers. A key part of the disease model is that it is irreversible, and because it cannot be cured, lifelong abstinence is necessary.

What is Meaning-Centered Therapy?

AASunshine Coast Health Centre bases its programs largely on Meaning-Centered Therapy, a theory and practice developed by psychologist Dr. Paul T. P. Wong. This means we treat our clients as human beings, not an “addict”, but a whole person with unique characteristics. We believe our clients are the authors of their own lives and can grow and achieve the personal transformation they are looking for. Meaning-centered therapy is also evidence-based. This means there have been studies done and peer-reviewed journal articles written about these theories and practices. Therefore, the treatment programs at Sunshine Coast Health Centre are based on what experts say are the best ways to help those with alcohol and substance use issues achieve recovery.

Comparing AA and Meaning-Centered Therapy

AA requires strict abstinence, as the model does not allow for moderation or personal control. Some evidence-based drug and alcohol treatment centres allow their clients to be on maintenance medications like Suboxone, which can greatly increase the likelihood of long-term recovery. The 12 step process is also heavily influenced by a belief in a higher power. Therefore, AA meetings are likely to be more helpful for people who already share some of this ideology. Only you know what is the best drug and alcohol rehab for you. If you are interested in learning more about our treatment programs, please contact our admissions team here.

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The best part I would say is the fitness program for me. While I’ve been here, I’m making a lot of progress. Kye built me an exercise program and takes us on hikes and outings. It’s something I used to do and have just come back into touch with. Probably the biggest change in me has come from that.

- Spencer

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