The Twelve-Step Treatment By Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12-step program in rehabilitation and recovery was first made popular by Alcoholics Anonymous. Its popularity grew so much over the years that other addiction treatments adopted the 12 steps as well. It is a guideline of sorts to help troubled people get out of addiction, and the steps are based on spiritual and religious beliefs. Despite that, even non-religious people have had good things to say about the program — probably because the language used makes it easy for anyone to perceive God in their own way. They can have different interpretations depending on what kind of religious beliefs they grew up with. And the best part is, the program lets participants be flexible and approach it in their own way. In some cases, participants may often revisit a step multiple times or even skip one or two — there are no hard and fast rules.
Here are the 12 steps:
1. Admitting the Problem
The first step is finally admitting that alcohol has full control over their lives, making them powerless and their lives completely unmanageable.
2. Believing In The Greater Power
The next step is the understanding that only a power greater than theirs can restore them back to sanity.
3. Putting Themselves In God’s Care
After that, they need to make a decision to give their will and their lives to their God’s care — bearing in mind that “God” can be anyone and is not bound by any religious beliefs.
4. Making A Moral Inventory
In this step, they need to evaluate and make a fearless moral inventory of themselves.
5. Admitting Their Wrongdoings
After making the moral inventory, it is important to admit to God, to themselves, and to another human being the nature of their wrongdoings.
6. Getting Ready For God To Remove The Wrong Doings
Here the participants must be mentally ready for God to remove all these wrongdoings and improve themselves and their attitude.
7. Asking God To Cleanse Them Of Their Defects
In this step, participants need to be humble as they pray to God to remove the defects from their character.
8. Making A List Of Persons They Harmed
Now, the participants should make a list of persons they have harmed when they were addicted or under the influence. Not only that, they should also get ready to rectify their wrongdoings.
9. Acknowledging That Recovery Is A Life-Long Process And Owning Up to Mistakes
No wound can be healed overnight, and there’s no denying that recovery takes a while. So it’s essential for participants to understand that whatever method is working great for them right now should be practiced by them throughout their lives. And as they recover, they should also be strong enough to own up to their mistakes.
10. Improving Contact With God
As part of the ongoing recovery process, participants should improve their contact with God through prayers and meditations. While praying, they should only ask for God’s will for them and the strength to carry it out.
11. Carrying This Message To Other Alcoholics
As part of the entire program, it is important for participants to carry the messages that they learn from this program to other alcoholics and be a support system to those in need.
12. Following The 12 Traditions
Alcoholics Anonymous also started 12 traditions that helped addicts to be farther away from their addiction issues. Though the steps are focused on an individual’s well-being, the traditions focus on group activities. They have rules that state how AA should be always non-professional and self-supporting. The only thing required to become a member is the desire to quit drinking. AA should not endorse any kind of facility or company. The sole focus should be on keeping AA autonomous and functional. Finally, they give immense importance to anonymity as it is the base of their foundation. This is the reason why they encourage their workers to place principles before personalities and not engage in any kind of promotion for AA.
The 12 steps were first found by AA co-founder Bill Wilson, and it also has its base in Christian beliefs. Over the years, the steps have been modified, and the overtly Christian tones have been changed by several other groups that follow the same 12 steps. However, some people say the roots of these guidelines can be traced back to psychologist Carl Jung. While treating an alcoholic, he realized that the contemporary methods were not working well. Hence, he suggested the person to seek spiritual help. The person eventually joined a Christian Evangelical Movement which worked like AA. Whichever religion had influenced it, the outcome is the most important, and in this case, since it has helped numerous people over the years, the 12 steps are truly helpful!
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