We admitted that we were powerless in the face of alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable. I came to believe that a Power greater than us could restore us.
The 12 Stepsbegan in the 1930s as a way to overcome the onslaught of alcohol addiction. Even though the 12 steps are based on spiritual principles, many non-religious people have found the program immensely useful.
The language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands it, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs. Because recovery is a lifelong process, there is no wrong way to approach the 12 steps as the participant tries to figure out what works best for their individual needs. In fact, most participants find that as they grow in their recovery, they will need to review some steps or even tackle more than one step at a time. Steps 1, 2, and 3 are considered the basis of a 12-step program and it is recommended to practice every day.
Episode 32 - Trauma and Addiction The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish guidelines for overcoming an alcohol addiction. The program was successful enough in its early years for other addiction support groups to adapt the steps to their specific substance or addictive behavior. There are many 12-step programs for a variety of addictions and compulsive behaviors, ranging from Cocaine Anonymous to Debtors Anonymous, all with the same 12-step methods. Although the 12 steps are based on spiritual principles, many non-religious people have found the program to be of great help.
The language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands God, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs. The 12 Traditions speak to the members of Alcoholics Anonymous as a group, unlike the 12 Steps, which focus on the individual. Traditions are defined in the Big Book, the main governing literature of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most 12-step groups have also adapted the 12 traditions for their own recovery plans.
Due to the anonymity of the program and the lack of formal research available, it's hard to say how effective the 12-step model is. However, the importance of this type of treatment, as well as the success stories of those in recovery, suggest that it is effective. At a minimum, the 12-step model provides support, encouragement and responsibility to people who truly want to overcome their addiction. The sponsorship model, as well as regular meeting times, foster the kind of social support that has helped countless people stay clean.
Are you interested in finding a 12-step program that can help you overcome your addiction? With more than 50,000 Alcoholics Anonymous groups across the country (and thousands of other Anonymous groups for various addictions), you're sure to find one that works for you. Contact a treatment provider for more information.