In 1939 Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) published its original 12 step recovery program to help people overcome alcohol addiction. AA is an all-inclusive international fellowship of men and women dedicated to helping those struggling with alcohol addiction find sobriety.
Since the 12 steps were first published, they’ve helped millions of people overcome alcoholism. These concepts help people overcome several types of addiction, including substance use disorders.
The 12 Step Recovery Program: Overview
The 12 step recovery program is a group of daily spiritual principles to help you overcome your addiction to alcohol and live a fulfilling, sober life. These principles should be followed in order and in their entirety. Some may be more challenging than others, but each is crucial to achieving long-term success.
In the interest of inclusivity, the 12 step recovery program at Alpine Recovery Lodge is not considered “religious” but “spiritual,” despite its original use of religious language.
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
The first step in the program aims to relabel addiction as a disease. This reframing helps people with addiction understand they can not manage it alone.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
This step shows us that recovery is possible once ego and the illusion of control are set aside.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
This step intends to encourage those struggling with addiction to accept external help and give control of their “will” to their higher Power (e.g., God, the universe, or karma).
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The second stage of honesty encourages people to accept weaknesses, amplify strengths, and choose morally correct actions.
Admitted to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
This step aims to help lower the risk of destructive coping. It requires people to confess their wrongs and make amends.
We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
This step focuses on choosing improvement over perfection. It asks those struggling with addiction to replace negative coping behaviors with healthier decisions.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
This step involves prayerful meditation about weaknesses and humbly asking for support to overcome them.
- Brotherly love
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
This step requires those struggling with addiction to assess their guilt for hurting others and take accountability for it.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when would injure them or others.
This step helps those struggling with addiction fix the harm and request forgiveness from friends, family, and loved ones.
Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
This is an opportunity to stake stock of past disease-triggering behaviors to minimize the risk of repeating them.
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.
This step encourages those struggling with addiction to maintain a habit of talking and listening to their higher power (whatever it may be) through prayer (taking), meditation (listening), and conscious contact (talking and listening with intention).
Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.
This step helps reinforce the previous steps’ internal message while externally helping and guiding others toward sobriety.
With practice, a 12-step program provides the support and stability needed to live a life of long-lasting recovery, accountability, behavioral control, fellowship, and purpose. Call Alpine Recovery Lodge at 801-901-8757 to take the first step in your path toward recovery. You can do it. We can help.