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The most common and recognizable organizations of the 12 step philosophy is through Alcoholics
Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. Alcoholics Anonymous was originally formed in 1934 by a man
by the name of Bill W. Over the course of decades, the use of A.A. and N.A. in the recovery process has
been transformational for hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world. It is based on the
principle of 12 steps.
Review the 12 Steps
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Many alcoholics have a hard time admitting that they can’t control their alcohol use. Once they
acknowledge that they are unable to stop on their own, the recovery process can begin.
2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
AA believes that people with an alcohol addiction need to look to something greater than themselves to
recover. Those working the steps are free to choose whatever higher power works for them.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
For this step, the alcoholic consciously decides to turn themselves over to whatever or whomever they
believe their higher power to be. With this release often comes recovery.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
This step requires self-examination that can be uncomfortable, but honesty is essential in this process.
The key is to identify any areas of past regret, embarrassment, guilt or anger.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
This step involves admitting to past poor behavior. Often, alcoholics will share what they wrote down
during the previous step with their sponsor.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
The alcoholic admits that they are ready to have their higher power remove the wrongs they listed in
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Every person has character defects, whether they come in the form of impatience, anger, apathy,
criticism or negativity. The recovering alcoholic is not strong enough to eliminate these defects on their
own, so they ask their higher power to do so.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Alcoholics write down all of the people they have wronged through their alcoholism. The wrongs could
range from large to small – from stealing from them to buy more alcohol to talking negatively behind
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or
Many alcoholics work with their sponsor to figure out the best way to complete this step. Making
amends could include writing a letter to a person or sitting down face to face with them.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
This step involves a commitment to monitor yourself for any behaviors that may be detrimental to
yourself or others and to admit when you are wrong.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood
Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Step 11 requires you to commit to some kind of spiritual practice. That practice could be anything from
prayer, to meditation, to reading scripture.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to
alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
12 Step Rehab Centers
Most programs offer 12 step integration or are even primarily founded on that modality. What this
means is that there are various types of treatment philosophies and modalities used depending on what
type of program you decide to enter. The difference in a 12 step based program versus a program that
integrates 12 step support is in the types of therapeutic elements offered. A 12 step program focuses
strongly on group therapy and support groups and integration into the 12 step recovery community.
Many people have found this effective because it creates accountability among the peer groups and
creates a strong support system. The other types of programs might be more integrative where they
provide evidence-based treatment, but integrate the use of 12 step support and community.
Seeking The Best 12 Step Rehab
There are thousands of 12 step rehabs across the United States and choosing the best one that will fit
your needs and specific history is crucial to your recovery. The use of the 12 step philosophy has been
very successful throughout the years for many people, and has been shown through the extensive
network of 12 step support groups in most cities throughout the country.
The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines Team is standing by to provide a free confidential assessment and provide you
the confidence and comfort needed to take the next step of getting help. Making the first call is highly
commendable, and you should be proud of yourself for acknowledging that it is time to make the
change and receive the gift of treatment for a good life. Call a Treatment Specialist at (888) 811-0544 for
a free confidential assessment and insurance verification.