Alcoholics Anonymous is perhaps the most famous addiction recovery program ever invented. As you may know, it follows a series of 12 steps, which is why it and other programs that are based upon it are known as 12-step programs. When a person openly and honestly completes all 12 of the steps, they find themselves in a much better place and recognize that they have made significant progress down the road to recovery. People who are unfamiliar with the program might wonder what about it makes it so effective. That’s what this blog post is here to answer. Read on for more information about 12-step programs, the benefits they offer, and why we include them in our addiction recovery program.
The 12 Steps
The exact wording of the 12 steps varies from program to program, but they all essentially mean the same things. Here are the basic principles behind them:
Step 1: Admit to yourself that you are powerless over your addiction.
Step 2: Come to the belief that a Higher Power can help you.
Step 3: Make a decision to turn your life over to God as you understand Him or Her.
Step 4: Take a searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself.
Step 5: Admit to God, yourself, and to another person the exact nature of your wrongs.
Step 6: Be ready and willing to let God remove your defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly ask God to remove your shortcomings.
Step 8: Make a list of everybody you harmed and become willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Make amends to those people, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 10: Continue to take a personal moral inventory and promptly admit when you are wrong.
Step 11: Seek through prayer and meditation to improve your relationship with God, praying only for a knowledge of God’s will for you and the power to carry it out.
Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening because of these steps, try to spread the word about the program and to practice these principles in your everyday life.
Why the 12 Steps Are So Beneficial
Simply reading over the 12 steps can give you an idea as to why they would be so helpful and effective not only in helping people overcome addiction but in transforming their lives and becoming better people as well. All of the steps are centered around connecting with a Higher Power (be it a religious deity, nature, the Universe, or anything else) and humbly asking for guidance and direction as to how they can improve and then doing whatever is necessary to make those improvements. This program is extremely helpful and has consistently shown to be effective in treating addiction. This is why we make 12-step programs a fundamental component of our treatment process and program.