Table of Contents
Since the 1930’s, a 12 step program, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA), have helped millions of recovering addicts maintain their sobriety and live drug free. It only takes one small step to begin the road to sobriety and 12 simple steps to increase the chance of a long lasting recovery.
One of the most effective tools for maintaining sobriety is having a large network of support; the 12 step program is a support group for recovering addicts. The 12 step groups are designed to bring recovering patients together in a safe and positive environment where they can share their experiences with and gain insight from one another. During the 12 step meetings, recovering addicts learn the following 12 step plan:
The 12 step program allows recovering addicts to understand that they lost their willpower to addiction and need to avoid their substance of choice in order to maintain their sobriety. They should not be ashamed or embarrassed to admit that they are powerless; it is actually empowering to be able to understand their weaknesses and constantly strive to strengthen themselves.
Finding hope, the second step learned during the 12 step meetings, does not apply only to the Christians or Catholics that believe in God; it applies to any spiritual expression or entity that someone may find comfort in. It is important to have someone or something to turn to when they are feeling lost or lonely.
When recovering addicts surrender themselves, they allow their spiritual entity to guide them where they need to go. The third step in the 12 step program teaches them to do whatever is God’s will and no longer participate in normal, worldly behaviors.
When people think of inventory, they picture a company with assets. Like a company, recovering addicts need to check themselves every once in awhile. They need to recognize their flaws and failures as well as their accomplishments. Taking inventory is important, so important that it is two out of the 12 steps in the 12 step plan. Once recovering addicts have taken their inventory, it is necessary that they share it with their peers; this allows them to connect with other members of the 12 step group.
For most recovering addicts, it is difficult to return to their normal, daily lives; therefore, part of the 12 step program is to help them prepare for recovery by teaching them to have an open heart and mind. With an open heart and mind, they are more open to change and receiving help. They are also more understanding and realize that their actions may have hurt more than just themselves.
One of the most important steps for those who attend 12 step meetings is making a list of amends and actually making the amends. Addiction hurts not only the addict, but all of their loved ones. Many relationships are damaged; therefore, this may be difficult but is extremely important for a successful recovery.
Prayer and meditation are also necessary for a successful recovery. It allows recovering addicts to connect to their inner psyche in order for them to pinpoint certain triggers or deep-rooted issues that may be contribute to their addictive personalities.
Helping others, the 12th step in the 12 step process; when people help others, they significantly boost their self-esteem. They are also able to share their experience and may guide others toward finding relief from their addiction.
The 12 step meetings are the best way to increase the chance of a long life full of health and happiness.