Steps 1, 2, and 3 are considered the foundation of a 12-Step program and are recommended to practice daily. Hailed as the standard for recovery from nearly any type of addiction, the Alcoholics Anonymous model of 12 steps and 12 traditions is one of the oldest treatment programs around. Although studies indicate that the programs are effective for people with alcohol use disorder, the research on their effectiveness for those with substance misuse is still preliminary.

If you Feel Like you are Going to Use go to a Meeting

These forums have helped teach him new ways to deal with life’s obstacles. Twelve-step programs provide a safe, secure and supportive environment where people can talk about their substance use problems with people in similar situations. During these meetings, knowledge is imparted, friendships are forged and sobriety can be preserved. Twelve-step groups often reference a higher power, but these programs are not just for religious people. In fact, two large multisite studies found that nonreligious participants who commit to 12-step programs seem to benefit from these groups as much as religious individuals do. There are many different paths to substance use recovery, and 12-step programs are just one resource that people may find helpful.

What Are the 12 Steps of Recovery?

One of the core aspects of 12-Step programs is the emphasis on admitting powerlessness over addiction and recognizing the need for help from a higher power. This step isn’t about religious belief but rather acknowledges that recovery requires more than sheer willpower. It invites you to look beyond yourself for strength and guidance, fostering a humble and open attitude towards recovery. The steps themselves start with admitting powerlessness over the addiction—recognizing that your life has become unmanageable. They share their experiences, strength, and hope; this helps reduce the isolation, shame, and stigma. If you are unsure what level of care you need, talk with your doctor or mental healthcare practitioner about treatment options and what type of treatment could best support your health and long-term recovery.

Find a meeting

Get professional help from an online addiction and mental health counselor from BetterHelp. One is that some people might not feel comfortable with religion or spirituality. Rather than accepting the concept of powerlessness and surrendering to a higher power, they might prefer the idea of taking action and Sober House responsibility themselves. Another possible downside is the lack of trained professionals leading the groups. The bonding among group members is another factor that underlies the program’s effectiveness. Bonding leads to the provision of role models for attaining abstinence and fosters goal directedness.

  • This results in an encompassing model of care designed to support clients through rehab and to give tools that they can use after treatment to maintain their recovery for the long-term.
  • While Alcoholics Anonymous embraces people from all different faith traditions and spiritual beliefs, atheists are just as welcome.
  • However, it’s essential to consider that success in recovery can be subjective and varies greatly from person to person.
  • For example, AA Agnostica, a secular self-help organization for agnostics and atheists with drinking problems, offers alternative steps that omit references to a higher power.


12 step program

This is your recovery, you should work as hard as you need to at it. By learning the meaning of each step as you do them, it will help you understand what to do and why you are doing it. It is important that you understand what you are doing as well as why you are doing it. It works by helping change thoughts, behaviours and relationships related to addiction. 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.

Ask for Help from the Program, your Peers, and a Higher Power When you Need It

Most 12-Step groups have also adapted the 12 traditions for their own recovery plans. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol–that our lives had become unmanageable. Later in the 20th century, other programs followed, and the founders modeled them after AA.

12 step program