People sitting around at a 12 step meetings

12-Step AA Program Basics

12-Step AA Program Basics

In today’s culture, alcohol is marked as social substances that makes everything more fun. It’s no surprise then that it’s difficult for some people to see the difference between drinking for pleasure and a more serious problem. On top of that, there are stereotypes that make it easier for an alcoholic that doesn’t fit the mold to stay in denial.

Addiction does not discriminate between age, race, gender, social status, or education level. It affects all different types of people, which sometimes makes it harder to know if someone may have a substance use disorder.

Admitting that you have a problem with alcohol or drugs is not easy, and for many people, it is even harder to admit that they need help for their addiction.

There are recovery groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous that help people maintain their sobriety after treatment.

What is the 12-Step AA Program?

The 12-Step program, first developed and used by Alcoholics Anonymous, is a 12-step plan in order to overcome addictions and compulsions. The basic premise of this model is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from substances of abuse, but that healing cannot come about unless people with addictions surrender to a higher power. This higher power doesn’t need to be a traditional Christian version of God – it can be as simple as the community of the 12-step meetings, the universe, or a different version of a higher power fit for your type of spirituality.

The 12-Step movement can be a powerful and helpful force for many people, but some people struggle with what they interpret as a strong religious element of the program. Some people need addiction treatment programs offer alternatives to or combine different types of addiction therapies to help the individual treat the mind, body and soul.

What are the 12-Steps of AA?

The 12 Steps, as outlined in the original Big Book and presented by AA are:

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

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.

How to Get Started at Transformations by the Gulf

Transformations by the Gulf is an inpatient and outpatient Florida drug and alcohol treatment rehab center focused on providing comprehensive and individualized care for substance abuse and co-occurring disorders. Personalized addiction treatment plans are specific to individual needs, and we take a holistic and an evidenced-based approach to recovery. Contact us online or give us a call at 727-498-6498 to discuss our addiction recovery programs.
Are you struggling with addiction and want to learn more? Visit Psychology Today or check out or page on addiction treatments.