Addiction treatment can be the single most powerful time in someone’s life. Those in recovery often cite experiences within their first days if treatment as life changing and an experience that saved their lives. All over the country people belong to a fellowship called Alcoholics Anonymous or AA. These people meet to attain and maintain sobriety. The only requirement is a desire to stop drinking. Shortly after AA began, the Oxford Group, a Christian organization influenced the early members of AA about the spiritual principals needed for recovery. Bill Wilson, co-founder of AA, wrote what would become known as “the Big Book”. He recognized that people struggling with addiction need a simple, yet powerful, program to become the crux of recovery. Today the original 12 steps have been modified very little, only edited down to include less reference to God.
Since then, the 12 steps have become synonymous with AA. Many treatment providers use the 12 step program as a basis for achieving and maintaining recovery from all types of addiction, not just alcohol. Additionally, the 12 step program is used to help people deal with certain emotional disorders.
The 12 steps begin by challenging the notion that no matter what a person has free choice and ends with the closing of the loop and giving back to those who can use this deep spiritual experience to improve their lives. Today’s 12 steps are recognized as:
While the 12 steps are widely recognized as a treatment program, they are not a stand-alone solution or cure for addiction. Professionals agree that addiction is not something with definite cure, but a constant series of activities designed to keep a person abstaining and improving their life and spiritual health. The ideal role of the 12steps is one facet in a multi modal approach. Other types programs like behavioral therapy, group therapy, and one on one counseling, all used together to help heal the whole person.