12 Step Programs

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If you are struggling with an addiction or know somebody who has, chances are you have heard of 12 step programs. Doubtlessly the most well known is AA. Indeed, AA is where the whole idea of these programs originated, and has the largest following. It was founded by a couple of guys struggling with addictions of their own â and who decided that they needed to take control of their lives and that they were willing to do anything to accomplish that. 

While the goal of 12 step programs may vary from program to program, they are all centered on 12 integral steps, which are as follows. 1- powerlessness; 2-hope; 3- faith; 4- inventory; 5- honesty; 6- preparation; 7- letting go; 8- humility; 9- forgiveness; 10- continuously inventory; 11- conscious contact; 12- carrying the message. In addition to these 12 steps, most of these types of programs are also based on a foundation of religious beliefs, generally Christian â although in recent years many have adapted to fit the beliefs of a variety of individuals, including agnostics and atheists.

12 step programs are designed so that everyone participating is working toward a common goal, regardless of their individual situations. The common addictions and common path to self control are something of a glue that works to bind different people from different walks of life and different situations together toward a solution that will benefit each individual and the group as a whole. In addition to working toward recovery, 12 step programs also give each participant a built in support group. Best of all, while the group is working toward a common goal, each person is able to tackle their situation at their own pace and in their own time â there is no pressure aside from encouraging progress.

These 12 step programs work so well because rather than simply treating an addiction, they treat a person as a whole â mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The 12 steps can be applied to virtually any situation that a person is struggling with. As anyone who has ever struggled with addiction can attest, recovery doesn’t happen overnight â if ever. Most addicts will never consider themselves fully cured or recovered. Indeed, the majority would tell you that it is a continuous process.


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