12 Steps Program
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA), the 12 Step Program is used by approximately 74 percent of treatment centers, making The twelve-step program is one of the most used treatments for addictions. Nevertheless, because of certain religious elements of the program, some people struggle with the program.
How Is A 12 Step Program Applied?
To be part of the 12 step program a person should be willing to recognize that there is a Greater Power. This admission of weakness helps the person to build its faith and determination to be guided by their spiritual belief.
At the same time, those who want to attend a 12 step program, require to be willing to attend meetings with other people who are also suffering from substance use disorder.
This process gives the individual a step by step guide to gain the knowledge and resources to form new habits and help them to stay away from the substance.
What Are The 12 Steps?
The 12 steps program give the participants the structure that allows them to surrender their addiction, process their experience, and move forward, enabling the individuals to build the mental and emotional practices and tools to overcome their addiction.
Here are the 12 Steps to overcoming addiction as defined by Alcoholics Anonymous:
1 - I admit that I can’t control my addiction, and life has become unmanageable.
When people are suffering from substance use disorder, they also have lost their power to decide. Their willpower has become weakened and they are unable to bring to their consciousness, their suffering and even humility from the incidents related to his use of alcohol or drugs. Step 1 guides the individual to recognize weakness. It is the first step to seek for help.
2 - I believe that a higher power can help me (not necessarily faith-based).
The next step for individuals suffering from substance use disorder is the recognition that there is a higher power that can help them. The second step applies to other spiritual expressions. It recognizes man’s limitation and weakness and that there is something greater than oneself. The belief that a Higher Power leads to the individual’s spiritual growth.
3 - I’ve decided to ask that higher power for help.
In this step, the individual will offer themselves to their Greater Power to seek help. As a man, cannot do it alone, and “surrendering” to the Higher Power enables a person with a drug disorder to strengthen his faith that help is on the way to relieve him from the bondage of the weakness over alcohol or drugs.
4 - I’ve assessed the mistakes I’ve made in my addiction.
One of the most important steps to overcoming addiction is to look at one’s self by means of reflection. Reflection or self-evaluation helps the person to discover their flaws that caused their failure. It is the honest self-assessment that the person will recognize what had overtaken them. Self-reflection leads the person to act and probe on what went wrong and what should be done.
5 - I’ve owned up to my mistakes to my higher power, and someone else.
Owning up to one’s mistake is probably the hardest thing to do for some, especially when you need to let others know about it. Sometimes, people think that admitting mistakes to oneself in private is enough, however, the lack of accountability and the opportunity to make excuses when found convenient, makes a person susceptible to repeat the same mistake over and over again.
6 - I’m willing to have my higher power help me from making those mistakes again.
The sixth of the 12-step program for addicted individuals emphasizes the person’s willingness to change is necessary to recover. After recognizing their mistakes and their weaknesses, the sixth step will allow the person to get help from a Higher Power to avoid making the same wrongdoings in the future. Even the weakness to stay on the course is surrendered to a Higher Power.
7 - I’ve asked my higher power to do this.
The seventh step includes a prayer to ask the Higher Power for help as the person surrenders themselves. The prayer would tend to seek help in removing the flaws they has, overcome challenges, and make them be of service to other people.
8 - I’ve made a list of all of the people I’ve hurt, and I’ve figured out how to make it up to them.
The next step of the 12-step program is the part where the individual will make a list of all the people they have hurt, and they want to make amends with. Self-reflection and the admission of guilt do not end without taking a step towards healing for those who suffered because of the person’s actions.
9 - I’ve made amends when I can to who I can.
The ninth step of the 12 steps of addiction recovery guides the person with substance use disorder to be reminded that they were willing to go the extra mile to seek spiritual growth. With spiritual growth, the person finds the strength to do the right thing no matter the consequence. Not even the loss of reputation would stop them from doing so.
10 - I’ve dedicated my time to searching inside myself and making amends when I need to.
After the person finishes the first nine steps of the 12-step program for addiction, the next step is to allow time and effort to continue with regular self-reflection, making amends, and staying on the course. In the tenth step, the person commits to avoid selfishness, dishonesty, fear, and resentment.
11 - I’ve committed to moving closer to my higher power.
To help the person with substance use disorder to keep sober and continue growing spiritually, the next step involves the commitment to stay conscious in meditating and praying. The person strengthens his attitude towards prayer and constantly works at forming a relationship with their Higher Power. In this way, they also constantly reminded of doing only what is right.
12 - I’ve agreed to help others and spread the word of recovery.
The last step of the 12-step program for substance abuse recognizes the fact that only with intensive work with other addicts can total immunity be assured. At this stage, the persons with substance use disorder finds comfort and a sense of victory in knowing that through their help, other people who are suffering from addiction, can recover.
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Alternatives To the 12-Step Model
For those who think that the spiritual road to recovery is not for them, there are other alternatives to the 12 Step Program. You may opt to reach out to groups that offer self-management to recovery. The groups also offer talking sessions with peers like the 12 Step Program, however, unlike the AA’s principle, these groups do not bank on the idea of surrendering. They focus on empowering the person in gaining control over themself and their addiction.
Does the 12 Step Program Work Just for Alcohol and Drugs?
The 12 step program for addiction not only works for those suffering from alcohol and drug abuse. It has also been applied to those suffering from emotional problems and other addictions, such as computer games and casinos.
For example, in 1971, a group called Emotions Anonymous was founded to help people with emotional challenges. The group uses the same principle as the AA to achieve emotional wellness. But in addition to the AA’s 12 Steps, the Emotions Anonymous created 12 traditions, 12 concepts, and 12 promises.
There is also a group called Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous which adapted the 12 Step Program to help compulsive video gamers. The Gamblers Anonymous also adapted the 12 Step Program to help those with gambling addiction. Clearly, addiction is not limited to alcohol and drug substance. The 12 step rehab program can be applied to any addiction that a person might be dealing with.
The Path to Recovery
Each individual has different needs for treatment and a patient should study hard the options available for them to successfully recover from substance use disorder. Whether a patient chooses a 12 step or non-12 step approach, it is important that they get the most customized treatment that works for them. This is only possible if they are knowledgeable about the various options they have available and the recognition of their family that they need to seek drug or alcohol addiction help.