Recovery 12 Steps Explained

Posted by Jo M on

The 12-step recovery program is a well-known approach to addiction recovery. It is a set of principles that were developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930s to help individuals overcome alcohol addiction. Since then, it has been adapted by various organizations to address different forms of addiction.

Here are the 12 steps and a brief explanation of each:

    1. We admitted we were powerless over [substance/behavior] - that our lives had become unmanageable. This step involves acknowledging that addiction has taken control of your life and that you are unable to overcome it on your own.

    2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. This step involves accepting the idea that there is a higher power that can help you recover.

    3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. This step involves making a conscious decision to surrender control of your life to a higher power.

    4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. This step involves taking a hard and honest look at your past behaviors and identifying any character defects that may have contributed to your addiction.

    5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. This step involves admitting to yourself, a higher power, and another person the nature of your character defects and the harm they have caused.

    6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. This step involves being willing to let go of your character defects and allowing a higher power to remove them.

    7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. This step involves asking a higher power to help remove your character defects.

    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, In step 9, the focus is on making amends to those people who we have harmed in the past. This involves taking responsibility for our actions and making a sincere effort to make things right with those who we have wronged.Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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