December 4, 2023

12 step program for addictions

The 12 step program for addictions is a widely used form of treatment for those suffering from substance use disorder. It is a set of guidelines that helps individuals learn how to cope with their addiction, create a support system, and work towards long-term recovery. The 12 steps have been around since 1939 and have been used in a variety of settings, from inpatient and outpatient programs to support groups and individual therapy.

History of the 12 Step Program

The 12 steps were first outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, written by Bill W. and Dr. Bob in 1939. The steps were originally developed to help alcoholics overcome their addiction and lead healthier lives. The program has since been adapted to address a wide range of addictions, including drugs, gambling, sex, food, and even shopping. The 12 steps are based on the principles of honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, and surrender.

The 12 Steps

The 12 steps are divided into three parts: admitting that you have a problem, taking responsibility for your actions, and making amends. The steps are as follows:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. We 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 addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Benefits of the 12 Step Program

The 12 step program has been found to be effective in helping individuals overcome addiction and achieve long-term recovery. It provides a supportive environment and encourages accountability and responsibility. It also teaches individuals how to recognize and avoid triggers, and how to cope with cravings and urges. In addition, it helps to build a support system of family and friends, which can be an invaluable source of strength and motivation during recovery.

Support Groups

In addition to individual treatment, the 12 step program also includes support groups. These groups provide a safe, non-judgmental space for individuals to share their experiences, gain support from others, and learn more about the program. Many support groups also offer activities and events to help participants stay motivated and connected to the program. It is important to remember that the 12 step program is not a quick fix; it takes time and effort to achieve lasting recovery.


The 12 step program is an effective tool for those struggling with addiction. It encourages individuals to take responsibility for their actions, build a support system, and work towards long-term recovery. It is important to remember that recovery is a process and that it takes time and effort to achieve lasting sobriety. With the right support and guidance, however, the 12 step program can be a powerful tool for those seeking to overcome their addiction.

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