There are a number of differences between non-12-step and 12-step programs. Initially, the philosophies are different, such as the 12-step programs have a religious or spiritual component. Whereas non-12-step typically approach addiction from a scientific or evidence-based perspective. Twelve-step programs use group treatment, and it is a peer support method. Alternative treatment methods use group therapy, but also incorporate individual therapy. Also, these programs focus on tailoring programs ensuring the patient has the treatment approaches they need to overcome his or her addiction. Non-traditional drug treatment will have closed meetings and sessions. This means it is only the people at the program who are going to counseling or therapy.
Twelve-step methods provide open meetings for anyone who wants to come unless it is within a treatment facility. The cost of treatment is often quite different. Twelve-step meetings are often always free unless it is part of a treatment center. The cost of the residential or outpatient program using the 12-steps will vary. Private and even government-funded programs that are non-12-step will cost something. The cost does vary from facility to facility, and many programs work with insurance companies. Family support is often different, whereas a non-12-step program will provide family counseling. 12-step centers are peer support groups and family members can attend meetings. Some 12-step meeting groups are for family members of addicts.