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  • As a result of following the 12-steps, twelve step programs can help lead to addiction recovery.

    Many are familiar with the 12 steps of recovery due to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). However, there’s also a rich history behind the twelve steps that reinforce personal recovery and other long-term goals. 

    A History Of The Twelve Steps

    Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob helped create what we now know as AA. The 1939 book written by Bill Wilson called “Alcoholics Anonymous” is known as the “Big Book” to AA members and AA groups. In 1946, the twelve traditions of AA were established.

    The 12 Steps Of AA

    The steps of Alcoholics Anonymous involve finding a higher power in your life. This can be defined as your version of god and religion, or simply filling your life with something more important and meaningful than alcohol or drugs. 

    In AA, those following the twelve steps must admit their life has become unmanageable and humbly ask their god to remove their shortcomings. 

    They must also make direct amends to their loved ones whom they may have hurt along the way. This can involve making a list of all persons involved.

    In addition to this, those who participate in the steps of AA must also admit their powerlessness in regards to alcohol. In fact, one of the specific steps is, “Admitting to a higher power and ourselves the exact nature of our wrongs.”

    12-Step Programs & Spirituality

    Besides NA and AA, there are other 12-step groups that follow the step model. 

    Some recovery groups are religious-based or use religious principles. One of the steps in certain support groups and programs, as seen with AA, requires that you stand firm and ready to have a higher power remove your defects of character.

    Spiritual-Based 12-Steps Programs

    One of the goals of spiritual-based twelve step programs include spiritual growth through meditation, prayer, and conscious contact with the god of your specific religion. Another step includes taking a moral inventory of yourself.

    In doing this, you can take a look at your life and examine your own personal inventory. Once you’re ready to make changes and help others on their own journey, you may experience a spiritual awakening that gives meaning to your life and points you on a new, positive path.

    Spiritual principles are included within the twelve steps of AA, but even those who are non-religious have seen benefits from the programs. 

    Addiction Treatment Programs

    Those who abide by the twelve steps will first need to abstain from drug or alcohol use. If you’re struggling with an alcohol or drug addiction, your substance use may need to be addressed with a professional treatment program. 

    To learn about our substance abuse treatment options for yourself or a loved one, please connect with Ark Behavioral Health today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on May 25, 2022
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