Understanding the Role of 12-Step Programs in Overcoming Addiction

If someone you love or you yourself are one of the 10% of adults dealing with addiction, it’s likely that you know about the existence of a 12-step program.

The 12 steps are a serious aspect of a persons recovery from addiction regardless of the type of addiction one is dealing with.

These programs have helped so many people with overcoming addiction, staying free from substances and genuinely enjoying life.

Still, if you’re currently in the process of overcoming addiction, or if you’re thinking about getting help, you may have questions about the 12-step program. You may wonder how it helps if you’ll be able to get something out of it at all, and what expectations it carries.

This post is here to help you understand how 12-step works and why it matters. Read on to learn more about the process.


What Are the 12 Steps of Overcoming Addiction?

We know that you’re curious to understand more about what the 12 steps actually are. Depending on the specific addiction you’re dealing with, and even the unique group you’re a part of when it comes to recovery, there may be slight shifts in the steps.



However, in most cases, the 12 steps work as follows.



Acceptance is the first step towards recovery from addiction. You must admit that your life is ruled by your addiction and that you’re no longer able to manage it on your own.

Your addiction has taken control of you, and you are powerless over it.


Belief in a Higher Power

Here, you understand that a Higher Power — something outside of yourself and your control — can help you to get your life back.

This doesn’t have to be a religious figure. It’s something that will guide you toward restoring control. During this step, you define what a Higher Power is to you and admit that it exists.


Turning over the Keys

Next, you express a willingness to let that Higher Power take the wheel of your life for a while.

You’re giving that power outside of yourself control. You’re letting the Higher Power care for you and help you to get better.



Next, you’ll take stock of your life. You’ll face hard truths about the level of your addiction.

You’ll consider what it took from you. You’ll think about your past actions. You’ll identify, in a sense, what your addiction did to your life. Here, attempt to refrain from self-judgment. Now, you’re simply “taking stock” of your life.


Admitting Fault

The steps then say that you need to admit and take responsibility for your wrongs.

You will admit these errors to yourself and to your Higher Power. You’ll also think about how these errors impacted others in your life. You will, in a sense, admit that your actions had consequences.


Being Ready

Now, you will prepare yourself and understand that you’re ready for your Higher Power to take away your faults. In a sense, this is about telling yourself that you’re in a place where you can ask for help.


Asking for Forgiveness

The first person that you’ll ask for forgiveness from is your Higher Power, not other people you have hurt.


List Those You’ve Hurt

After you’ve asked your Higher Power for forgiveness, it’s time to make a list of those who you have hurt.

This could be friends, family members, your partner, coworkers, and more. You need to prepare yourself to make amends to them. You’ll learn how to ask for forgiveness.

You’ll also prepare yourself for the fact that some people may not be able or ready to forgive you when you ask for it.


Making Amends

Now, you’ll make amends to the people your addiction has hurt.

You shouldn’t do this if it would cause too much emotional distress to someone else. You can write letters, call, or meet them face-to-face. Do whatever works for the both of you.


Continued Self-Assessment

During this part of the recovery process, you’ll keep taking a hard look at yourself.

You’ll understand that, yes, you’re still going to make mistakes. The difference now is that when you do, you’re ready to admit it and ask for forgiveness immediately.



Now, you’ll find out which methods of self-care allow you to connect with yourself and your Higher Power.

Maybe you enjoy prayer, maybe meditation helps, or maybe you have another hobby that allows you to feel connected. It’s all about making an effort to continually connect with your Higher Power.


Sharing With Others

The final step in the recovery process is certainly one of the most rewarding.

Now that you’ve had a spiritual awakening and have made it through the previous steps, it’s time to help others.

You’ll think about how you can share this process of recovery with others struggling with addiction. You’ll make a commitment to continue the program and to do what you can to remember the 12 steps in your daily life.


Are You Ready to Begin the Recovery Process?

Overcoming addiction isn’t something that happens overnight. It might not always be linear, and some of these steps may require more time and effort than others do.


However, it’s important to remember that recovery from addiction is possible. You just need to be ready to take the first step. The 12 steps will guide you through the recovery process.


Are you ready to accept the gift of help?


If so, then learn more about the types of recovery we have to offer, our facilities, and how we use the 12 steps.

Reach out to us today to start the process of ending addiction’s control over your life. We promise you it can and will get so much better.


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