12 Step Programs

12 Step programs are faith-based alcoholism and substance abuse disorder programs. The 12 Steps rely on the idea that people can support each other in achieving and maintaining abstinence from addiction. To recover, the person needs the help of a higher power.

12 Step programs are considered highly effective. The first 12 step program started with Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) in the 1930s and is today the most widely used approach in dealing with recovery from alcoholism. Narcotics Anonymous is a community-based organization for the recovery of drug addiction. There are also Nonreligious, Agnostic, and Atheist Addiction Recovery 12 Steps Programs for people that are of Non-christian faith or prefer a secular alternative.

The 12 Steps, as presented in the Big Book of A.A., are:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

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.

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.

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