12 Step Programs

What is the 12-step program?

The 12-step program is a recovery model that was founded by the creators of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is a guideline that helps alcohol addicts recover from their addiction and maintain abstinence. When the 12-step program was first developed, it was used for alcohol addiction, but over the years it has been adopted to treat other forms of addiction. The primary aim of the program is for people to help others achieve abstinence through regular meetings each week. One can be healed entirely once they start the program by surrendering to a higher power. This means a person should accept that they have an addiction problem and it has control over them.


Types of addiction it treats

The 12-step program was initially used to treat alcohol addiction but is now used widely to treat various types of addictions. Some of the common addictions that are treated with this program include:

  • Cocaine addiction
  • Gambling addiction
  • Cigarette addiction
  • Crystal meth addiction
  • Sex addiction
  • Marijuana addiction

While the 12-step program involves a set of principles that guide one to abstinence, the principles can apply to any addiction. There have been a few variations to the program such as cocaine anonymous and debtors anonymous that are made to suit the specific type of addiction. This means the program can be a guiding model to use on other types of addiction and their abstinence. The program also relies on believing in a higher power which most people do not like because it sounds too religious. That is why various adoptions to the model have been made to suit one's preferences.


The Process

The model has 12 steps that one needs to follow for full recovery are as follows:

  1. Admitting the addiction has power over one
  1. Believing in a high power for assistance
  1. Turning the control to the higher power
  1. Taking inventory
  1. Admitting the wrongs done to others, oneself and the higher power
  1. Letting the high power correct any shortcoming's or mistakes in one's character
  1. Asking one's high power to get rid of the shortcomings
  1. Writing down the mistakes done to others and making amends for these wrongs
  1. Getting in touch with the people that have been hurt, provided it does not cause any harm to the person
  1. Still taking inventory and accepting mistakes
  1. Practicing meditation and prayer to connect with the high power.
  1. Sharing the message of the 12 steps to other people in need


The 12-step program can be used alongside other alternative methods for drug abstinence. This program is highly recommended for use after rehab to help one maintain their sobriety. The 12 steps of the program are usually not necessarily followed but area guide on how one can maintain their abstinence. With the group support that the model offers, one is bound to have lower chances of relapsing into addiction.