Can A 12 Step Program Help?
You’ve probably heard of the 12 step program. 12 step was orginially introduced in 1939 for use with Alcoholics Anonymous as a set of principles or guidelines to help overcome alcohol addiction. Since that time it has been adapted to many different addictive behaviors and has had success with each.
Here are the original Twelve Steps:
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
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 alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The 12 step program addresses the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of addiction. It is suggested that those that want to stop drinking follow the twelve steps as well as attend meetings.
There are now a number of different 12 step programs that have been adapted to work with many different addictions including hoarding, marijuana, gambling, sex etc. There are also the 12 Traditions which are the guidelines for group governance. They are as follows:
Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.