Are you just starting on the road to recovery? If you are, you have no doubt heard about 12-Step programs. Since the late 1930s, 12-Step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and its many offshoots have provided a template for countless addicts to find sobriety. An overwhelming percentage of drug treatment centers employ 12-step programs as a major part of a client’s individualized treatment plan. In fact, there are rehabs where the 12-step approach is the absolute foundation for all their recovery programs.

While 12-step programs can be very effective in recovery, is it right for you? This article will further explore what 12-step programs are, their principles, and how a 12-step approach is used in recovery. Furthermore, you will learn where to find 12-step programs. Are you or a loved one in need of drug treatment services? Call Singing Trees Recovery today and speak to one of our treatment staff.

What are 12-Step Programs?

12-step programs operate through a set of definitive principles that aim to help those struggling with addiction. These groups are unique in two ways:

  • The steps to recovery are discussed and utilized in a supportive group setting
  • People in 12-step programs utilize a sponsor to guide newcomers through these steps.

The main premise of these groups is that members of the group can help each other both achieve and maintain sobriety. However, the way that people find lasting recovery and continued abstinence from substances is by admitting they are powerless over addiction and must surrender to a higher power. For some people, they may struggle with the religious implications of these programs. Over the years, many 12-step groups have modified the higher power philosophy to mean anything that is greater than the individual. This can include the universe, nature, or other concepts.

What are the 12 Steps?

As previously stated, the 12 steps are a guide in helping people move from powerlessness over substances to lasting abstinence and freedom from substances. The following are the 12 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.

It is important to note there are numerous 12-Step groups in existence that cover a wide array of addictions. Examples are Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Marijuana Anonymous (MA), and Crystal Meth Anonymous. There are also 12-Step groups for those with process or behavioral addictions, and these include Gamblers Anonymous (GA), Trauma Anonymous, and Spenders Anonymous. There is even a 12-step group for those with Dual Diagnosis. Additionally, there are 12-groups specifically for family members of addicts, including Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.

How are 12-Step Programs Used in Recovery?

In a drug treatment program or 12-step rehab program, a 12-step approach gives clients a solid framework to understand and process what substance abuse has done in their lives. The steps help people observe and become aware of the behaviors that led to their addiction. With that awareness and help from others, people have a chance to practice healthy behaviors and habits that promote abstinence.

12-Step groups focus on self-acceptance and the ability to change behaviors, and they learn compassion when others struggle with addiction. These principles provide a level of support when people complete treatment and resume their normal lives.

Are You Looking for a 12-Step Program? Call Singing Trees Recovery Today!

12-Step programs are an invaluable tool for people to become and stay sober. If you are looking for a drug treatment facility with solid 12-step programs, call Singing Trees Recovery today. Our Northern California treatment programs are evidence-based and customized to fit your unique needs. We offer residential and aftercare services that provide you the tools and support you need to totally transform your life. Are you ready to take the first step on the road to recovery? Call us right now!


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