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The 12-Steps

Here are the 12-Steps. Remember: They are called “steps” for a reason. You need to take them – one by one…day by day…choice by choice.
These steps WILL LEAD to your recovery.

  • Step 1We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable
  • Step 2Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
  • Step 3Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God
  • Step 4Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
  • Step 5Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
  • Step 6Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
  • Step 7Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings
  • Step 8Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
  • Step 9Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
  • Step 10Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it
  • Step 11Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out
  • Step 12Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

About the 12 Step Program

Twelve Step programs are well known for use in recovery from addictive or dysfunctional behaviors. The first 12 step program began with Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) in the 1930s. The 12 Step approach has since grown to be the most widely used approach in dealing with not only alcoholism, but also drug abuse and various other addictive or dysfunctional behaviors.

The first book written to cover the 12 step program was titled “Alcoholics Anonymous”, affectionately known as the Big Bookby program members. Following the subsequent extensive growth of twelve step programs, numerous books and other media were created to cover the steps in more detail and for different addictive and dysfunctional behaviors. An extensive chronology and background about the history of A.A. has been put together at Dick B.’s website.

The twelve steps of the program are listed above in generic form. Other groups who have adopted the 12 steps to address their own particular addictive or dysfunctional behavior have similar ideas with some variations. These steps are meant to be worked sequentially as a process of getting rid of addictive behaviors and growing in freedom and happiness, as laid out in the Twelve Promises. The general governing approach for A.A. groups was originally laid out in the Twelve Traditions, which remain the guiding principles still in use today.

There is a wealth of further information about 12 Step programs in the Wikipedia, including a list of 12 step groups, or from the over 300 links in our directory of recovery related websites.

About 12Step.org

The 12Step.org web site strives to gather and produce resources that make it easier to work a 12 step program. There is no official affiliation with A.A. or any other 12 Step group. Resources on this site for working a 12 step program include the following.

  • The Steps – Overview of the 12 steps with comments from various sources about how each step works.
  • References – Some classic references for working a 12 step program. These include the A.A. Big Book and theN.A. Basic Text.
  • Tools – Various tools to help you work a 12 step program, including free journal software and free worksheets, as well as references to other worksheets on the web.
  • Meetings – We do not currently keep a registry for face-to-face meetings, but we have several references to web sites that do. We do keep a calendar of online meetingsfor the numerous chat rooms and other meetings in cyber-space. These are broken out by type of addiction (alcohol, drugs, codependency, etc.)
  • Web Sites – Over 350 categorized links from across the web about recovery and 12 step programs. You can also leave helpful comments about a site or rate a site or suggest an additional site if it is not listed.

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