A 12 Step program is designed to help alcohol addicts overcome their alcohol addiction through a process of admittance, self-awareness, making amends, and committing to following a higher power. According e Medical News There are a variety of 12 step programs available for a range of addictions and each tends to adopt the original steps as outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous to best fit the needs of the group.
When an addicted person commits to the 12 step program he has:
- Admitted that he is powerless over his addiction and that his life has become uncontrollable. The first step honors the fact that the most basic thing an addict has is free will. An addict must hit rock bottom and realize that he has a choice to remain addicted or to pursue recovery. Although the addiction often makes the addict feel powerless, free will allows the addict to choose a different path.
- Come to believe that a power greater than himself could restore him to sanity. This is where the addict chooses to step out of the darkness and find his roots in a higher power. The addict will commit to a process of self-nullification that will require him to reach out and seek help.Chosen to turn his will and life over to the care of a higher power. This is the first decision made of the addict’s free will and can launch the addict on a direct path to recovery.
- Made a searching and completely honest inventory of his moral self. This form of introspection is a proactive way for the addict to acknowledge his authentic self. This inventory clears way in the moral self for a higher power to take hold.
- Admitted to the higher power, to himself, and to at least one other human being the true nature of his wrongs. This is the key to freedom, it allows the addict to let go of former choices and the addiction baggage. The letting go is possible because sharing the wrongs sets him free to live.
- Become completely ready to have a higher power remove all these character defects. This step requires the addict to perform an inner cleansing therefore feeling fully renewed. This step can often happen quickly as recovering addicts have often already examined these defects in previous steps.
- Humbly asked the higher power to remove his shortcomings. Step 7 is naturally an extension of Step 6, where now the addict has the space from the inner cleansing to ask the higher power to remove all shortcomings. This pleading and asking for help is transformative and humbling.
- Made a list of all persons he harmed, and has become willing to make amends. This is a preliminary step to Step 9 – here the addict inventories those he has hurt and is now willing to admit all wrongs.
- Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when it would injure him or others. The addict has previously made amends with himself and now it is time for him to seek forgiveness from others. He will admit his wrongs and acknowledge the pain he has caused. This allows him to be able to correct all mistakes.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when he was wrong he promptly admitted it. Step 10 is a recap of Steps 4-9 and is a constant process throughout the remainder of the addict’s life. Although the addict will continue to Step 11, this step will always be present. He will continue to take inventory and pursue making amends for any wrongs he commits.
- Participated in prayer and meditation to improve his contact with his higher power, praying for knowledge. Not exclusive to a 12 Steps program, this step is implementing practices that humanity has participated in forever. This step can provide amazing results as the addict continues to reach to a higher power for guidance and support.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, he will try to carry his message to all addicts, and to reinforce these principles in all areas of his life. True recovery requires an addict to voice the changes in his life and how the 12 steps has reformed him. This will allow the addict to return to his true inner self.
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