HealthWhat are 12-Step Programs?

What are 12-Step Programs?


The 12 Step Programs are addiction support groups that encourage substance abstinence and sobriety through a type of behavioral therapy. This therapy was outlined in 12 steps by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to help alcoholics and has since been co-opted by numerous addiction-support groups. It encourages the lifelong practice of the steps and, is used by at least 74 percent of addiction treatment centers, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA, 2013).

The steps outlined are intended to help a person overcome their addiction by surrendering to a higher power and taking responsibility for their actions. Despite the inherent spirituality in this practice, it is universal as it encourages a personal interpretation of God, allowing individuals of all theological views to use this philosophy.

The 12 Steps

According to Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12 Steps are as follows:

  1. We admitted we were weak over alcohol — that our lives had convert unmanageable.
  2. Came to trust that a Power greater than ourselves could return 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 thorough and fearless moral portfolio of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact environment of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God eradicate all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to eradicate our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to create amends to them all.
  9. Made direct compensations to such people wherever possible, excepting 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 recover our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the control to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual developing as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to repetition these principles in all our affairs.

Consistency is key

A survey done by the National Institute of Health found that those who stuck with the programs and attended regular meetings were more likely to stay sober (Donovan, 2013). On average, those who join a program maintain their sobriety for at least a year, and those who stay consistent with the meetings, maintain it even longer, eventually becoming sponsors who offer new members advice and a support system. The program also offers a cheaper and more discrete support network than most common medical drug interventions, like sober living Austin.

Where can I find a program?

Most 12-step programs are available through a quick search or through hospital resources. Many drug detox Austin refers patients who do not seek in-patient rehabilitation to a 12-step program nearby. Additionally Alcohol rehab Austin and other rehabilitation centers already implement elements of the 12 step program into their behavioral therapies for rehabilitation.

The 12-Step programs’ success will eventually boil down to an individual’s ability to seek help and stay consistent but it is an effective way to tackle the long journey towards sobriety.



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