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What Are the 12 Steps of Recovery?

Even for those uninitiated in the world of recovery from substance abuse, the idea of a 12 step program is familiar. It’s crossed over in a sense and has become a generally understood concept across society.

As is commonly said, recovery is a lifelong journey, meaning that treatment is just the beginning. Once you complete a rehab program, be it inpatient or outpatient based, the work of maintaining that hard won sobriety starts. Life is full of triggers and situations that might drive you to relapse and use again so actively engaging in staying sober is a must.

A 12 step program helps you do just that and is a type of support group for those on the journey of recovery.  

What Are the 12 Steps of Recovery?

The concept of 12 steps was started decades ago by another familiar name in recovery from substance abuse, Alcoholics Anonymous. AA was founded back in 1935 with the initial writings that now make up the 12 steps starting to take shape around 1939.

While the history is interesting, the more common question that comes up is, “what are the 12 steps of recovery?”. As per AA, they are:

  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.

You’ll no doubt notice the heavy religious/spiritual nature of the steps but being religious is in no way, shape or form a prerequisite for finding value and guidance in the process. Support groups that utilize the 12 step model are first and foremost about the support you find within them. 

How Are 12 Step Groups Incorporated Into Rehab?

12 step groups are incorporated at the later stages of rehab and thereafter. If you move to a sober living home, for example, participation in a 12 step group may be required as a condition of your stay.

The integration of a 12 step group is based on the idea that a great way to stay sober is to have a support system of people who know what you’re going through. A group that is free of judgment and intimately knows the depths of addiction themselves.

12 step programs, and any other type of support group for that matter, are a place to develop camaraderie and friendship of like-minded people who are on the same path as you and therefore understand what you’re going through. The mentor/mentee relationships that are formed also create a sense of accountability that helps people avoid relapse.

Get Help With Addiction at Valley Recovery Center Agua Dulce Today

At Valley Recovery Center Agua Dulce, we firmly grasp the imperative for continued care after your treatment with us is complete which is why we make sure to help you with aftercare and develop a relapse prevention plan. Reach out to us to learn more about what we offer or to get more information about 12 step programs and how they help heal addiction. 

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