Alcoholic addiction, commonly called alcoholism, is a serious problem that requires a serious solution. There are many steps towards recovery, but the most popular are the Twelve Steps championed by the main anti-Alcoholism support group around the world: Alcoholics Anonymous. The Twelve Steps have garnered a fair amount of criticism as well, which will also be covered later on in the article.
The original, published version of the Twelve Steps are as follows: [One] We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable. [Two] Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. [Three] Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.[Four] Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. [Five] Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. [Six] Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. [Seven] Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. [Eight] Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. [Nine] Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. [Ten] Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. [Eleven] 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. [Twelve] 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.
Criticisms have been drawn to the Twelve Step program, however. Some claim that it is somewhat cult-like, encouraging to strip oneself of an identity, essentially, while admitting they are different from everyone else. Critics say this will encourage deviant behavior and eventually self-structure a cult in a local chapter, all while giving the victim no choice in drinking, but rather having zero tolerance of any alcohol. Defenders of AA say that the Twelve Steps are the most effective anti-Alcoholism tools to date, with a significant amount of members (around 36%) sober for over 10 years.
There are many other programs, besides the famed AA, that have similar steps. All alcoholic groups feature the first main rule: to admit there is a problem. Denial can be a powerful thing, and as illustrated by the Twelve Step creed, we can see that it will block effective sobriety.
– Alcoholics Anonymous, The Twelve Steps
– Orange County Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Steps & 12 Traditions