12 Steps for Success A Model of Recovery

What Are 12 Step Programs?

12 Step programs are a type of treatment for people with substance use disorders. Although the idea of the 12 step program was started by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), there are now many more 12 Step programs that target various addictions such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Heroin Anonymous (HA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA) Cocaine Anonymous (CA) and Debtors Anonymous (DA). The basic idea behind the 12 Step model is that people can help each other to become sober and maintain sobriety by creating a community of people dealing with and addressing the same issues.

Supporting the Journey of Sobriety

This community comes together for regular meetings where they share their experiences and support each other in their journey to sobriety through the 12 Steps. There are no dues or membership fees, and AA is self-supported through member donations and contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, political group, organization, or institution, and the one requirement for membership is the desire to stop drinking.

Supporting the Journey of Sobriety

What Are 12 Step Programs?

Although the 12 Steps of AA have also been amended to reflect secular values as well as other religious values, these are the original 12 steps as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous:

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol [or drugs], that our lives had become unmanageable.

We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the care of God as we understood him.

We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongdoings.

We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

Make direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

We 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.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others with substance use issues, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.