If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs or alcohol, or is on the road to recovery, the phrase “12-Step Program” is most likely familiar. These programs originated with the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, commonly called AA, back in 1938. Since the forming of AA, many other types of 12-Step Programs began to flourish, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and various food, sex, and gambling programs.
The goal of a 12-Step Program is to help an individual in their recovery journey by treating the person holistically in their mind, body and spirit. Faith and spiritual aspects play a large role in many 12-Step Programs, as this faith practice (which is affiliated to any religion) helps provide strength, hope and direction to an addict. The “12 Steps” also takes a closer look at one’s physical, mental, spiritual and emotional areas of life. The addict will work his was through his substance abuse issue and why there is a lack of self-control. He or she will also begin to develop a moral consciousness, denying some of the things the “self” wants and letting go of selfishness. By having more self-awareness, the addict can look deeply into many areas of his or her life that need to be addressed. The 12-Steps also encourages addicts to allow God to give them the direction and power they need to continue on the recovery journey and eventually overcome addictive behavior.
If you are unfamiliar with the 12-Steps, here is quick look at the principles of each one:
- Admitting Powerlessness – In step one, an addict will admit and submit to the fact that he or she has no power over their addiction. The addict will also admit that his or her addiction has made life uncontrollable.
- Finding Hope – In the second step, the individual will come to realize there is a greater spiritual Power that can help them find hope on their journey.
- Surrendering – In the third step, the individual makes the decision to give his or her life over to God.
- Taking Inventory – The fourth step is where an addict delves deep and makes a moral inventory of himself and his actions.
- Sharing the Moral Inventory – In step five, the addict will admit his wrongdoings to himself, God and another individual.
- Being Ready – Here, the addict prepares and is ready to let God remove his or her defective character traits.
- Asking God for Help – In step seven, the individual will ask God to remove his or her weaknesses and inadequacies.
- Making a list of Amends – Step eight is where the individual will list out all of the people in his or her life that were harmed in some way by his or her actions, and becomes willing to reach out in order to make amends.
- Making Amends – Step nine continues part of step eight with the addict making amends to those he has harmed, except in circumstances the amends would harm or injure someone.
- Continuing Inventory – In this step, the addicted person will continue to take a moral inventory in his actions and behavior and will admit when he is wrong.
- Praying And Meditating – Step eleven solidifies the addict’s continuous contact with God through meditation and prayer in order to seek out God’s will for his or her life.
- Helping Other People – As a result of following all of the 12 – Steps, the addict will carry the message of the steps to other people living with addiction and continue to practice all of the above-mentioned principles in his daily life.
While going through a 12-Step Program, the individual will have a sponsor; a sponsor is someone who has successfully completed all 12 Steps and is seeking to help someone else who is at the start of their journey. The addict will build a strong one-on-one relationship with his or her sponsor over time, and the sponsor will share his or her story and keep the addict accountable.
If you listen to any of the thousands of testimonies of addicts who went through a 12-Step Program, there is no denying their effectiveness. These types of programs believe that addiction infiltrates all areas of a person – body, mind and spirit – and that the proper treatment for addiction is lifelong abstinence.
If you or someone you know wishes to become sober and is beginning the road to recovery, be sure to search for 12 Step Programs via Orangetown Drug Treatment Centers. 12-Step Programs are open to all and can give an addict the support and hope they need. Just give our recovery advocates a call today at (845) 200-3509.