A 12-Step Program is a list of principle model that outlines steps or actions from addiction and other behavioral issues. This 12 step program was first introduced by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), an international group of individuals who also struggled and experienced addiction at some point in their lives.
Here is the list of the 12-Step Program according to Alcoholics Anonymous:
- “We admitted we are powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”
To complete this step, you should accept and recognize that you are experiencing addiction and that you no longer have control of your life. Thus, drop your pride and acknowledge the fact that you need medical help.
- “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
To complete this step, you should recognize and acknowledge something greater than yourself (whatever that is). This means that you are letting yourself feel that you are not alone in the process.
- “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”
To complete this step, you should fully rely on a higher power and let Him guide you through the way. Whenever emotional distress kicks in, turn to that higher being and ask for strength.
- “Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.”
To complete this step, own up your mistakes. Admitting why and how you started drinking is an example.
- “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
To complete this step, you must share the most hurtful and shameful acts you have done in the past. Do no hold back your emotions and spill it all out. This way, they will understand you.
- “Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
To complete this step, you must be prepared to let God remove the person you are before.
- “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
To complete this step, you should humbly ask God to remove the anger, pride, selfishness, and all the negativities in your heart, mind, and body. You cannot do this on your own, so you ask Him for help.
- “Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.”
To complete this step, you should write all the people you’ve harmed. Discover how many people you’ve hurt and how did you hurt them. In this step, you do not blame their actions as to why you’ve hurt them.
- “Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.”
To complete this step, be courageous and apologize to those people you have harmed. This will give you a peace of mind and relief.
- “Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.”
To complete this step, make a habit of assessing yourself. This will examine if you can remain emotionally stable no matter what life throws at you.
- “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.”
To complete this step, you should practice spiritual activities such as praying, meditating, etc. This will create a more relaxed and distraction-free environment.
- “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.”
To complete this step, you should carry all these steps anywhere you might go and make it a habit. Also, you should help others (i.e. your fellow alcoholics) without asking something in return.
AA has been in the industry for more than seventy years and the twelve-step program has been used many times, with mixed results. However we feel it is the most effective method in addiction recovery.