Alcoholics Anonymous prescribes 12 simple steps as the solution to the problem of alcoholism. By working these steps with a qualified sponsor, even the worst “drunk” can return to his place in society.
Alcoholics Anonymous is widely considered the original twelve step program. Since the creation of AA in the 1930s, twelve step programs have been created for a huge variety of afflictions.
12 Step Programs Help People with a Variety of Addictions
- Alateen – for teenage alcoholics
- Al-Anon – for friends and familes of alcoholics
- Sex Addicts Anonymous – for people with sexual compulsions
- Debtors Anonymous – for people who “debt” compulsively
- Domestic Violence Anonymous – for victims of domestic violenc
- Smokers Anonymous – for those who want to quit smoking
- Gamblers Anonymous – for treatment of compulsive gambling
This, of course, is is simply a small sample of the 12 step programs available today. Whatever the specific addiction in question, the related 12 step program came from Alcoholics Anonymous.
AA members are quick to point out that while many members first come to the program to quit drinking, AA is not a drinking-cessation program. In fact, abstinence from alcohol is a prerequisite. Physically removing yourself from alcohol for a few days is not the goal…it is the price of admission.
The long term goal for members of Alcoholics Anonymous is to live a rich, fulfilling life marked by happiness, joy, and freedom.
This is done by finding a God of your understanding and developing a relationship with him. This relationship leads to a deep spiritual experience, changing your heart and your whole outlook on life.
The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous…
Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Step 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.
Step 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.
A Spiritual Experience Through Alcoholics Anonymous
Admittedly, the idea of God puts off many prospective members. They feel as if they have had a large enough dose of God from their childhood experiences in church.
While AA has no opinion on church or religion, it encourages new members to approach their new life with an open mind and a fearless spirit. Alcoholics Anonymous will never tell anyone what God to believe in. It will simply help you find a God of YOUR understanding.