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What is a 12 Step Program?

A critical part of an individual recovery program is support. While detox and therapy are crucial in helping people achieve sobriety, it means little without a solid support network. When people in recovery have the support of people who want them to get and stay sober makes all the difference in the world. If you are new to recovery, you no doubt have been told that 12-Step programs are vital in helping you address and overcome your addiction. This article will further define what a 12-Step program is and how 12-step groups are used in recovery.

Do you want to learn more about the 12-Step process and how you can find treatment programs that utilize 12-Step principles? Call Aspire Treatment Solutions today to learn more!

What is a 12-Step Program?

Simply defined, a 12-Step program is a plan that is a “roadmap” for people to overcome addictions and the compulsion to use substances. The central premise of 12-Step programs and 12-Step groups is that people can help each other achieve and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol. This is done in two ways: through meetings and individual work with a sponsor who has considerable recovery time. This support helps empower those in recovery and creates a positive mindset which can translate into long-term sobriety.

The 12-Step movement began in 1938 with the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous. Over the years, the 12-Step process and model created by Bill Wilson has provided a solid template for those suffering from addiction to drugs (Narcotics Anonymous), cocaine (Cocaine Anonymous), and crystal meth (Crystal Meth Anonymous), to name a few. This model has also been adapted from those who suffer from behavioral addictions such as gambling (Gamblers Anonymous), mental illness (Emotions Anonymous), and overeating (Overeaters Anonymous).

What are the 12 Steps?

As stated earlier, the 12 Steps provide the newly recovering addict with a roadmap towards finding lasting sobriety. These steps outline one’s powerlessness over their addiction, the acceptance they must look beyond themselves to get the help they need, and working on oneself to find recovery and help others find recovery. The following are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous:

  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, ourselves, and 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 promptly admitted it when we were wrong.
  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.

Over the years, there has been considerable controversy regarding the use of God and a “higher power” to help people find sobriety. Some people may be very reluctant to enter a 12-Step program because of their religious and spiritual tone. However, Step programs such as AA have modified the Higher Power concept to mean anything that is beyond the individual, such as nature and the universe.

How Are 12-Step Programs Used in Recovery?

The 12-Step process is an integral part of many treatment programs. Step group meetings help reinforce the concept that people must fully address the underlying causes of their addiction. Additionally, they learn that asking for help and building a support network is not a sign of weakness. Instead, the support found in a 12-Step program helps people stay motivated in recovery, and provides a safety net if people feel vulnerable, and those in that support group hold each other accountable for their actions.

How to Find 12-Step Programs Near Me

Fortunately, an overwhelming majority of drug treatment facilities offer 12-Step programs as part of an individualized treatment plan. If you or a loved one need 12-Step programs, call Aspire Treatment Solutions. We offer a variety of outpatient treatment programs that focus on addictions to alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and other substances. Our experienced and compassionate staff will work with you to create a treatment plan that perfectly fits your needs.
Call Aspire Treatment Solutions for drug and alcohol treatment in Atlanta, GA.