What Is The 12 Step Program?

The 12 Step Program is for those suffering from alcoholism and other forms of addiction who are seeking to break free from substance abuse. It is frequently implemented at Christian drug rehab centers. As the name implies, those participating in the 12 step program follow a series of steps that will help them live free of alcohol.

This 12 step program is fundamentally spiritual in nature. That is to say that a belief in a higher power is a core part of this program’s process. The higher power does not have to be the God of any particular religion, or even a God at all. The program leaves it up to each participant to define what the higher power is on their terms. The “higher power” concept comes into play philosophically because it communicates a fundamental tenet of the 12 step program – that there are those things in our lives which are beyond our control. As human beings we only have so much power over our circumstances and what happens to us.

The 12 Steps are the following:

  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.

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