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12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous: How does it work?

12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous: How does it work?



Are you in search of the best recovery process for yourself or for your close one to come out of Alcohol addiction? You are not alone.

Know that it is possible to recover from alcohol addiction and get your life back on track. No matter how many years you’ve abused alcohol or your intake of it, you can get on the path to quitting alcohol and lasting sobriety. One of the most successful programs to quit alcohol is the 12 Steps programs by Alcoholics Anonymous. So, what are these 12 steps to quitting alcohol and how do they work?

Alcoholics Anonymous

The 12-step program to fight alcohol addiction was laid down by Alcoholics Anonymous, a group that has been actively involved in changing the mindsets and conversation surrounding addiction in people since its inception. The science and psychology of addiction is surely evolving and might as well bring a change in the role of Alcoholics Anonymous, but the group and its principles will still likely remain the backbone of alcohol addiction recovery treatment programs and groups.

Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step process of recovery from alcohol addiction revolves around a sense of community. People come together to share their strengths, experiences with each other so that they solve their common problem of alcohol addiction and help others to do the same. There are various mentors, accountability buddies in the process of quitting alcohol to ensure that the individual does not relapse.

How did Alcoholics Anonymous come into being?

The community-based global Alcoholics Anonymous Program was founded by Bill Wilson and Doctor Bob Smith in 1935 with the aim to help individuals get over their alcohol addiction disorder and stay sober through peer support, daily meetings, and discussions. The group eventually grew to include two more groups, and then, Wilson came up with the philosophy and methods of Alcoholics Anonymous, which came to be known as the Alcoholics Anonymous ‘12 steps program to recover from alcoholism’.

Over time, the 12 steps were adapted in several alcohol anonymous groups and addiction recovery programs to help individuals struggling with forms of addiction other than alcohol. People attending these programs either do it voluntarily to quit problematic drinking or as a part of a therapy program for substance abuse or alcoholism. The primary goal of the 12 step alcoholics anonymous programs is to help people with addiction issues stay a sober life.

What is a twelve-step program?

The twelve steps are a set of principles, spiritual in nature when practised as a way of life, can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to become happily and usefully whole.

Do you have to be religious to join?

Although the program takes a spiritual approach non-religious people also benefit from the program. The spiritual aspect comes into play with the twelve steps and the reference to God or a “higher power”.

The 12 steps acknowledge that people may conceptualise higher power in different ways and clarify this with the addition of “as we understood Him” with almost every reference to God. The “higher power” concept is about recognising that some forces are beyond our control.

People of all faiths, even atheists and agnostics have been able to become part of the group and draw maximum strength from the group.

What happens in an AA meeting?

The 12 step program is a type of group intervention where systematically a person who has completely recovered from addiction and is maintaining sobriety from alcohol or any form of drugs shares his / her journey there by instilling hope in every recovering individual to start the journey to sobriety.

How is the AA meeting conducted at Anunitha?

Anunitha invites guest speakers from outside and also has in-house trained professionals who conduct the 12 step program along with other evidence based group and psycho-social interventions.

12 Step of Alcoholics Anonymous Programs Explained

Here are the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous to help someone with Alcohol addiction.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Recovery starts when a person admits they have a problem. And, alcohol has made a negative impact in their lives in the form of health problems, relationship issues, and feelings of shame, guilt, and remorse.

Alcoholics Anonymous

A step towards hope. It is possible to be guided in the right direction if the ego is laid aside for something greater.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Turn your life into a better journey. Ask for help, learn to meditate, express gratitude and practice to accept.

Alcoholics Anonymous

The person should know what to be changed with respect to his attitude and behavior. He needs to examine his thoughts and acknowledging his faults and take steps to correct them.

Alcoholics Anonymous

After taking an in-depth inventory of the thoughts, talk to someone who can help you forget your feelings of guilt and shame.

Alcoholics Anonymous

You let go of the attitudes and behaviors holding you back. You let positive behaviors and interactions to change for the better with the world. The person will find himself back by repeating it.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Most of the people are powerless to overcome their addiction. It will help them recognize the severity of the defects & thus comprehend the higher power’s ability to transform lives.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Learn to recognize the harm you’ve caused to the people around you. You need to be honest and jot down the names of the people you hurt.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Right your wrongs by sincerely asking forgiveness. It is not necessary that the person accepts.

Alcoholics Anonymous

This is about living with a mindful behavior and attitude that helps us to admit our wrongs.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Make a mindful attempt in the betterment of the path by listening to our higher power through meditation.

Alcoholics Anonymous

You learn to trust & share your wisdom with other alcoholics. It is an inspiration for a successful recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 Traditions

The literature of Alcoholics Anonymous has also laid down 12 traditions for the members of the group. They are –

  • Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
  • For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority–a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
  •  The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
  • Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
  • Each group has but one primary purpose–to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
  • An AA group ought never to endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
  • Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
  • AA, as such, ought never to be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
  • Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never to be drawn into public controversy.
  • Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need to always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
  • Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

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