Understanding the Journey

12-Step Recovery Groups

12-Step Recovery Groups in New Jersey

The world’s first 12-step program, Alcoholics Anonymous, was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Bob Smith. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has been around for over 90 years, and nearly everyone has heard of it. These days, 12-step programs expand far beyond AA. People with various substance use disorders and other mental health concerns benefit from and believe in 12-step programs. 

So, what is the purpose of a 12-step program, and how can you benefit from one? Let’s answer those questions and discuss how to locate 12-step recovery groups in New Jersey.

What's the Purpose of a 12-Step Program?

Helping Others Recover

The purpose of a 12-step program is to follow specific steps that help you move toward recovery while connecting with other people who are going through or have gone through the same thing. 12-step programs help people across the globe overcome or manage addiction and other mental health concerns. Some people use 12-step programs alongside substance use disorder treatment or as a way to continue staying focused on abstinence after treatment. For others, attending a 12-step meeting is the first way they ask for help. 

Depending on the 12-step program you are a part of, you’ll find that the steps vary slightly. However, they are usually relatively similar to the traditional 12 steps seen in the Big Book.

Here are the 12 steps used in AA:

  1. We admit that we are powerless against alcohol and that our lives have become unmanageable.
  2. We believe that a higher power can help us overcome addiction.
  3. We decide to turn our lives and wills over to the care of God (or another higher power).
  4. We make a searching moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We admit to God, ourselves, and another person the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We’re entirely ready to allow God to remove these defects in character.
  7. We humbly ask a higher power to remove our shortcomings.
  8. We make a list of those we have harmed, with whom we are willing to make amends.
  9. Whenever possible, we make amends with these individuals.
  10. We will continue to take personal inventory and promptly admit when we’re wrong.
  11. We ask for the knowledge of God’s will for us and the strength we need to carry it out.
  12. We attempt to share this message with others who have alcohol use disorder and practice these principles in all of our affairs.

It is crucial to note that you do not need to be a part of any specific religion to use or benefit from a 12-step program. You can choose any higher power you prefer. 

Benefits of Using a 12-Step Program for Addiction

While they aren’t for everyone, research shows that positive outcomes can be associated with 12-step programs in some people. For the right person, 12-step groups can be incredibly valuable. The benefits of using a 12-step program can include but aren’t limited to the following. 

Positive social connections can support recovery and are known to promote overall physical and mental well-being. 12-step programs are an accessible way to connect with peers, particularly other people who are sober. In recovery, it’s important to have sober connections, especially if you do not have those bonds in your life already.

12-step programs are available in many different locations. In fact, there are over 123,000 AA groups alone, according to the Alcoholics Anonymous website. The prevalence of 12-step programs means that they’re accessible to people in most areas. Similarly, 12-step groups of all kinds are usually free, making them financially accessible. 

Regardless of how you approach recovery, having structure in your daily life can be wildly important and shouldn’t be overlooked. Meetings are one way to add structure to your day no matter where you’re at in recovery. When you have a structured routine, it sets you up for success and productivity. When it comes to overcoming addiction or approaching general habit change, having a structured routine also means that you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and when you’re supposed to do it. This can help you notice slip-ups and other changes sooner. 

12-step programs provide accountability in a safe setting. In 12-step programs, you meet with other members regularly and have an opportunity to discuss the challenges you face in your recovery journey. You may find stories and encouragement from other members helpful.

12-Step Recovery Groups in New Jersey

If you’re in New Jersey, 12-step meetings are available in a multitude of areas. It is also worth noting that virtual 12-step meetings are available, including those for New Jersey residents. Virtual meetings make 12-step groups more accessible for those in remote areas and those who are otherwise unable to attend meetings in person.

While it is by no means an extensive list, here are some options for 12-step recovery groups in New Jersey:

When you click on the links above, you should be directed to a search tool that will help you locate 12-step recovery groups in New Jersey or another area. Type in your zip code to find the meeting option closest to you. Groups like Al-Anon/Alateen and Nar-Anon are also available for loved ones of those with alcohol use disorder, opioid use disorder, and other conditions.

Matching Clients to Non-Profit Treatment

CFC Recovery and its team will work with you to find a drug rehab or substance abuse recovery center in New Jersey that best fits your needs. They work closely with Relevance Recovery and a variety of other non-profit addiction treatment centers in New Jersey to give you the information and guidance necessary to find the intervention services necessary to help you on your sober journey. CFC Recovery understands that the journey to sobriety is not easy or linear and that many need help and guidance when seeking detox services or treatment centers.

Call CFC Recovery at 1-833-300-HOPE(4673) or visit their website today to find out how they can help you on your journey to recovery.

Let Us Help

If you or a loved one is in need of assistance, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you find personalized solutions to substance abuse and mental health-related issues.

12-Step Program Alternatives

Some people find more success with 12-step programs than others, and other support options exist for those with substance use disorders and related concerns. Here are some options to consider: 

SMART Recovery Groups 

SMART recovery groups have some similarities to 12-step programs in the sense that they offer peer support and structure. Also similar to 12-step meetings, SMART recovery groups are free to attend and can be found in most areas. The primary difference between SMART recovery groups and 12-step programs is that SMART recovery groups do not include a spiritual or religious component, whereas 12-step programs rely on your belief in a higher power to some extent.


Multiple therapies can help you overcome addiction. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, is linked to positive outcomes for those with various mental health conditions, including substance use disorders. While therapy can be costly, there are low-cost options. Some people, such as those with Medicaid insurance, may be able to get therapy for free.

How CFC Recovery Can Help

CFC Recovery is a family-operated non-profit organization that provides aftercare and relapse prevention after substance use disorder treatment. We know just how important it is to have support and believe that you deserve to find the best support that meets your needs. That’s why our website has a support group resource that can help you find 12-step recovery groups in New Jersey (including AA and NA), as well as SMART recovery groups and other resources. Click here to find a free support group near you, or view our meeting schedule here

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