Al-Anon 12 Steps for Recovery
12-step programs are powerful peer support groups designed to help people recovering from substance use disorders, behavioral addictions, and sometimes other co-occurring mental illnesses. The goal of 12-step meetings is to help people achieve and sustain abstinence or sobriety from drugs and alcohol. Also referred to as the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Al-Anon 12 steps, these programs tend to help those struggling with substance use disorders develop healthy coping skills, feel the support and acceptance of the recovery community, and transition into life after rehab. If you are interested in this additional level of support for yourself or a loved one, keep reading to learn more about the 12-step program offered at our Sebring drug rehab.
What Are the AA 12 Steps and 12 Traditions?
The 12-step program for addiction was first developed and implemented by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a recovery group designed to help people in recovery from alcoholism or alcohol use disorder. The basic premise of the 12-step model is that people can help each other achieve and maintain sobriety, but that healing cannot come about unless people with these disorders surrender to a higher power.
Although rehabs like our Banyan treatment center locations offer faith-based 12-step programs, this higher power does not have to be the Christian God. Additionally, the 12-step movement can be a powerful tool for some individuals, but others may struggle with the strong religious element of the program. For this reason, many rehab centers offer non-religious 12-step alternatives. Even so, twelve-step programs remain a commonly recommended and used treatment modality for several types of substance use disorders.
Because recovery is a lifelong process, there is no wrong or right way to complete the twelve steps and twelve traditions. In fact, most participants find that as they grow in their recovery, they’ll need to revisit some steps or tackle several at once. Steps 1, 2, and 3 are considered the foundation of 12-step recovery, and it’s recommended that participants of the program practice them daily.
The Al-Anon 12 steps are:1
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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 12 traditions speak to the members of Alcoholics Anonymous as a group, unlike the 12 steps, which are focused on the individual. These traditions are defined in the Big Book or the main governing literature of AA. However, other types of 12-step groups have modified these traditions to create different recovery plans.
The short form of the 12 step traditions is as follows:2
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity.
- For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority — a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose — to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every A.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees personally responsible to those they serve.
- Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Additionally, while the 12 steps of Al-Anon are the original version of the 12-step model and are still widely used today, other adaptations of this program have since been created to help individuals with other kinds of substance use disorders aside from alcoholism. These groups include Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Nar-Anon (for friends and family members of addicts), Nicotine Anonymous (NicA), Overeaters Anonymous (OA), Online Gamers Anonymous (OLGA), and Pills Anonymous (for recovery from prescription pill addiction), to name a few.
To support those with drug or alcohol addictions in their recovery and transition to a sober life after rehab, our Sebring, FL, drug rehab connects patients to 12-step meetings all over the nation to help them find support and a community that is nearby.
Benefits of 12-Step Programs
Although there have been many advancements in addiction treatment since the introduction of the 12-step program, these additions do not negate the value of the twelve steps in recovery. Some advantages of 12-step groups and meetings include:
- Access to meetings offered in multiple locations nationwide
- Access to peer support and a sober community
- Deconstruction of denial and improved ability to recognize and admit substance abuse problems
- Development of compassion for those who have been affected by and are struggling with addiction
- Development of relapse prevention skills and skills that promote self-restraint in recovery
- Education on how addiction happens and how treatment like this can help
- Gained tools that can be applied for the rest of their lives
- Increased self-observation and self-awareness regarding behaviors that contributed to addiction
- Increased sense of commitment and accountability in recovery
- Opportunity to help others and possibly become a recovery advocate
- Opportunity to practice restraint and build self-esteem with the help of other sponsors and other members
- Self-acceptance and ability to change harmful or self-destructive behaviors
- Structure in early recovery, encouraging the individual to avoid too much free time, which provides opportunities for boredom
The 12-step model provides support, encouragement, and accountability for individuals who genuinely want to recover from substance use disorders and live sober lives. The sponsorship model, as well as regular meetings held in various locations, encourage the kind of social support that has helped thousands of people stay clean.
Finding 12-Step Meetings Near Me
Are you interested in beginning the Al-Anon 12 steps for addiction recovery? Look no further. As one of few rehab centers in Sebring, FL, Banyan can help you or a loved one find a 12-step meeting in your location that works for you. We also offer various levels of addiction treatment at our facility, including medical detox and residential care.