12 step programs are the widely accepted approach to treating alcohol and various other addictions. Originally used by Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1930’s, many organisations related with the treatment of alcohol and drug addictions now use a 12 step program.
The program is essentially a form of self help, where the central topic is the recognition of one´s powerlessness over the addiction. It also recognises that there is a higher power that can have a positive effect on oneself. However, it’s vital to note that in the 12 step program, the higher power need not be a religious one.
The program’s main aim is to assist an individual to defeat their addiction in stages. The first step is to admit powerlessness over the addiction. This is recognisable to the popular stereotypical Alcoholics Anonymous scene where someone stands up and says “Hi, my name is John and I´m an alcoholic.”
Other stages comprise of making a choice to change your life and the acknowledgement of the wrong that has been done to others through addiction. A successful 12 step program concludes by learning to live life addiction-free and in turn, to help others suffering from addiction as well.