Understanding 12 Step Programs

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Everything You Need To Know About 12 Step Programs

If you are wondering what the 12 step program is all about, then you’re at the right place. In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about what 12 step programs are and the importance of it in addiction recovery.

First of all, let’s find out a little more about what it is.

The History of the 12 Step Program

Founded on the 10 June 1935, the first 12 step program was used by an alcoholic man called Bill Wilson, who used it to help another alcoholic man called Dr. Bob Smith, in the hope that he would live a happy life without alcohol. This is the story on how the world famous organisation, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was established. Since then, the 12 step program has evolved and is being used not only to help those recovering from alcoholism, but also for various other addictions, such as drugs and even gambling.

What is a 12 Step Program?
A 12 step program is a set of principles that addicts must follow in their addiction recovery efforts in the hope of achieving long term sobriety.

What are the 12 Step Principles?
Here is the full set of 12 step program principles used by the AA, but please note that while it may be directed at alcohol addiction alone, the core of it will be used for various addictions and its structure will never change.

“The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

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

The list can be found on the AA website by clicking this link: http://aa.org/en_pdfs/smf-121_en.pdf

The Advantages of 12 Step Programs
Recovering addicts that join a 12 step program will find that it replaces their addiction completely. 12 step programs also give those in recovery the opportunity to interact, listen and take strength out of stories shared by those in a similar position as themselves. This helps keep the recovering addict motivated to remain alcohol or drug free and also to receive much needed support from those who understand what they are going through.

The Types of 12 Step Program Meetings
There are various types of 12 step program meetings that can be done, here’s a quick look at them:

Big Book Meetings – This meeting starts by reading a passage out of the AA Big Book, which contains instructions on how best to follow the entire 12 step program, for successful recovery from alcoholism.
Tradition Meetings – This involves going through one of the 12 traditions that are used by those in the program.
Speaker Meetings – One of the participants in the 12 step program is asked to tell their addiction and recovery story to everyone in the meeting.
Discussion Meetings – This involves the nomination of a chairperson, who will host the 12 step program meeting and choose a topic to discuss. In this session, the choice to actively participate is not a necessity.
Single Step Meetings – This meeting focuses on one single principle of the 12 steps each week.
45 -60-90 Meetings – These 12 step program meetings are an option for those running tight schedules at work or at home.
Meal-Time Meetings – This type of 12 step program can be done over breakfast, lunch or supper and member s are encouraged to share food they bring along.
Male or Female Meetings – This 12 step meeting gives recovering addicts the opportunity to interact with people from the same gender, often making things a little bit more comfortable for those who are shy or withdrawn.
Language-Specific Meetings – Depending on where you from, there 12 step meetings available for those who speak one specific language.
Religion-Free Meetings – While some may be against the belief of a higher power, there are 12 step programs available that are specially designed for atheists or agnostics.

Where to Find a 12 Step Program
12 step programs are very popular and are practiced all around the world, and possibly near to where you stay! If you need access to a 12 step program, feel free to call us now and we’ll gladly find one near you. If you need access to a rehab however, we provide access into the best private addiction treatment centers in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Thailand.
Call us now and let one of our qualified addiction counsellors find the best treatment for you or a loved one.

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