The 12-step method of addressing addiction was created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The method established guidelines for overcoming alcohol addiction. Today, there are a number of 12-step programs that offer a combination of treatment modalities. The program also places emphasis on the presence of God. Even non-religious people find such programs to be thoroughly effective, supportive, and helpful. Different interpretation and religious beliefs are all welcome to attend.
1. For best results, members are encouraged to admit their challenge in overcoming alcohol addiction. One has to admit their addiction has gotten out of control and affects their life in a negative way.
2. Patients are also encouraged to believe that a Power greater than themselves can help restore their sobriety. Patients who believe in God can make the decision to start down a better path of morality. This starts with inner searching and a deep, personal inventory of one’s own thoughts and actions.
3. Clients are also encouraged to make a list of people they have harmed, and to make amends wherever they can, only if those amends will not harm others.
Patients make a solid effort to take continual inventories of where they are mentally, emotionally, and physically. Where there is wrong or short-comings, patients learn to readily admit them.
Traditions are a bit different from steps. While steps focus on the individual, traditions speak to recovery plans.
Consider the following examples:
• A person’s common welfare is placed first. Personal recovery is a result of strong AA unity.
• God is the ultimate authority, and expresses Himself in the group consciousness. Group leaders act in the capacity of trusted servants and supportive individuals. As such, there is no governing of one person over another.
• AA membership is free. The only requirement to join is a powerful personal commitment to change and get well. An addict has to want to stop drinking before change can happen.
• Every AA group has the primary mission of delivering a message of hope and change to anyone suffering from alcohol addiction. Millions of people suffer, and millions will never receive the help they need. This is a tragic truth.
• Every group endeavors to avoid financing, endorsing, or applying the AA name or brand to other related enterprises.
• AA does not have opinions outside the nature of the mission—helping alcoholics recover. As such, the organizations policies are based on attracting members, as opposed to recruiting them.
• Anonymity is held in the highest regard. Members know that privacy is essential to the organization’s success.
The 12-step program works for millions. Of course, like any program, its effectiveness will vary from person to person. However, millions agree that it is an effective program. If you or a loved one is experiencing alcohol addiction, the first and most important thing to do is seek clinical help. Rehab works. Qualified and experienced clinicians can help you or a loved one get back on the road to recovery.
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