Treatment for alcoholism or drug addiction that is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous can provide adolescents with a life-long program by which to maintain their sobriety and achieve a balanced and healthy emotional and spiritual life. The fellowship of these programs help fight the tendency toward isolation, and keeps teenagers away from "people, places, and things" that might lead to relapse.
Sometimes the best bet for a teen who has surrounded him or herself with a negative and destructive peer group is to give them a strong head start in a residential program. Many parents do not know enough about the 12 steps or the programs that use them, and they often conclude these programs are for "winos" or "hard-core addicts." The prejudices and misinformation surrounding the "Anonymous" programs are best tossed aside. These programs have shown by far the greatest success in helping people maintain long-term sobriety.
The 12 steps that underlie these programs are based on traditional spiritual practices. Respect for all religious traditions is expected in these programs. While a few individual meetings may show a tendency toward a specific religion, this is not in the spirit of true 12-step recovery. You should have no problem finding meetings and groups that respect all religious traditions and do not push any particular theology or belief system.
Residential Treatment and Rehabs cannot officially call themselves "12 step programs" because Alcoholics Anonymous and the programs that have branched from that group (Narcotics Anonymous, for example), cannot promote themselves. The traditions require anonymity and their only "promotion" is by way of example (how the members live their lives).
"The Fellowship has adopted a policy of "cooperation but not affiliation" with other organizations concerned with the problem of alcoholism." From AlcoholicsAnonymous.org
However, most treatment centers try to move the patient from the residential treatment to a 12-step program to help them maintain sobriety.
You can navigate on the left to see an explanation of the twelve steps.