When it comes to beating drug addiction, there are many options available. However, there is a method that has worked for millions of addicts around the world, and it is the 12-step program.
How did this begin?
In 1935, two alcoholics who were struggling to stay sober came together to create the 12-step program as a way to help each other. Since then, the group known as AA has grown and helped millions of people around the world. As people realized how useful the program was for helping alcohol addiction, it was transferred and used by other groups to help with other forms of addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are two of the biggest groups in the world to help people with their addictions.
The 12 steps
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable – step one is considered the most important as it is when you admit that you have a problem to yourself. Without admitting this, you will find it hard to stay sober and may end up back to your old behaviors.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity – some people can find step two uncomfortable as it appears to encourage a relationship with God. However, AA is not a religious group and you don’t need to become friends with God t make this work. Some people just look for a higher power or something to believe in to help them manage this step. If this is a step that you are struggling with, you can get help from other members that might have struggled with it themselves.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him – this is another step that mentions God but it might not apply to you. However, it is not about God, it is about control. It is about becoming aware that your addiction was out of your control and that you needed help from an outside force to help you. This step is about giving up control and allowing other people to help you.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves – this is a step that a lot of people may have heard of, the inventory of self. If you are attending a group, they will have workbooks to help you through this step. It is important to write down what you discover as they need to be reviewed and worked on.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs – this step requires us to admit that we were wrong and that we have made mistakes. You don’t need to do this to God but you can confess to another person.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character – this step involves admitting that you have a problem and that you will work to remove the faults that have led you to your addiction.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings – for step 7, there is a prayer “My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding. Amen.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all 0 this step can make people feel like they need to use again as they have to confront the things they did in the past.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it – you can’t be expected to get it right the first time so step 10 allows you to keep reviewing your progress.
- 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 practice these principles in all our affairs.
As you can see, the 12 Step process is a long one that is designed to help you through your life clean and sober.