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12 Step Principles and Sober Living

Boca House for Men utilizes the AA model of sobriety as the spiritual and practical structure for living a clean and sober life daily. Residents at Boca House must make both 12 Step meetings and community meetings.

For those early in recovery, the phrase 90 in 90 applies. Every man new to Boca House is required by the House Rules to attend 90 meetings (AA or NA) in 90 days. Residents must take the Boca House van for the first 14 days. They have two weeks to obtain a sponsor from these AA or NA meetings, begin working the steps and building a sober network of men. Twice a week community 12 Step meetings (Tuesday and Sunday) occur at the poolside. After doing 90/90, every resident (Phase I, II, III) is expected to attend at least 5 meetings a week.

While there is much misinformation about the guiding principles of AA, the Steps are a spiritual not a religious approach to living a healthy life: emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.

Spiritual concepts do not entail acceptance to a specific religious order. Instead, the concept of a higher power, God, or a universal power reinforces the reality that man does not control everything. He can only hope to be in control of his thoughts, his actions, his feelings. When alone, the accuracy of one’s thoughts and feelings leave a man vulnerable to self destructive behaviors. Sponsorship, comraderie, and the 12 Steps allow a man to step back from his thoughts and feelings, taking a moment to reflect before jumping to self-destructive behaviors or knee jerk reactions thus avoiding problems.

The 12 Steps relie upon personal responsibility and honesty. It may be years since men new to recovery have been honest about anything.The 12 Steps provide them with a structure as they are guided by their sponsors who have worked their way through the steps. In the process, a man learns that he is not unique, that his behaviors have injured himself and others, that amends need to be made to those who have been hurt, that one needs to be accountable for what he does or has done, good and bad, and that a man does not have to go through the journey of life alone and isolated. When men listen to others share in meetings, inevitably they hear others who have gone through the same or similar experiences.They hear how drugs and alcohol have derailed lives.They hear how meetings provide a much needed release from isolation, guilt, anxiety and stress through the support of everyone who attends the meetings. Everyone is there for a common purpose regardless of time sober and clean.

The 12 Steps provide every man the opportunity of reflect back on a daily basis. This affords him with a quiet, non-judgemental moment to see where he handled or mishandled a situation, where he stepped up and took responsibility for a wrongdoing or did not.These daily inventories help release negative thoughts and feelings, deal with resentments and provides him with awareness, acceptance and the ability to take a different action. Each day new lessons about himself can be obtained.

Life can be enjoyed, and living can be more exciting when it is shared with people who understand the way an addict or alcoholic thinks. Meetings, sponsorship, working the steps, fellowship are what make 12 Step programs work and why so many men finally succeed in living a life of recovery.

For more information about men’s sober living at Boca House call 877-957-8187.

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    The program is responsible for the oversight of a statewide system of care for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of children and adults with serious mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders.

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