What is a 12 Step Programs?

12 step programs have been a major part of helping addicts recover before, during and after the rehabilitation process. The first and most famous, of these programs, AA or Alcoholics Anonymous started in the 1930’s. Since then the 12 step model has been proven to be effective not only for alcoholism, but for a wide range of addictions and dysfunctional and obsessive behaviors.

12 step programs are based on the text “Alcoholics Anonymous,” AKA “The Big Book.” Written by Bill Wilson, Dr. Bob, and a few friends. The book explains how AA was started, and how the process worked for them. The tenets outlined in this book are known as the 12 steps. The 12 step program has since gone on to become the most successful overall program for treating alcoholism.

The 12 step program focuses on finding the recovering alcoholic/addict the freedom from the strong grasp of addiction, through spirituality and placing faith in a “Higher Power”. By following the 12 steps, and attending meetings, the addicted individual can find the knowledge and strength needed to conquer their addiction. Beating addiction is not an easy task, but the application of the 12 step program, and support of other 12 step graduates and a “sponsor,” has been shown to greatly decrease the odds of a relapse.

The 12 steps:

1) We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
5) Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
6) Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
7) Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
8) Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
9) Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except 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 improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s 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 other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

You can find many organizations that uses the twelve steps in various forms, such as Marijuana Anonymous, Al-Anon, Overeaters Anonymous, and of course the original Twelve Concepts from the Big Book.

Cliffside Malibu recognizes the sober curious movement but believes in the power of lifelong sobriety. For some, that’s doing the hard work in addiction treatment. At our luxurious, private center, you can dive into your questions about your alcohol intake, discuss the roots of your drinking or learn how your mental health can affect your drinking habits. You’re more than a patient to us; you are a person who chose to make Cliffside Malibu a part of your recovery family. Call (855) 403-5641 to schedule an appointment.