Alcohol abuse is a complex issue. It’s an addiction that can affects all parts of a person’s life. If you or a loved one have an alcohol problem, you know how hard it can be to quit. Alcoholics Anonymous, or the 12 steps of AA, can be an important part of the process.
This group has been instrumental in understanding alcohol addiction and recovery for years. A support group like this can be an important part of the recovery process. Take a look below to learn more about Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 steps of AA.
About Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a global support network for people with alcohol addiction. Many people join voluntarily, while others are court ordered to attend meetings. The philosophy of the program is the 12 steps of AA. However, there are groups who adapt the steps to fit the preferences of non-religious membership.
Specifically, the purpose of the group is to provide an ongoing network of support to help members refrain from drinking. Meetings are held regularly and frequently. Moreover, it’s customary for each member to have a sponsor, someone who has successfully remained sober and can provide advice to the newer individual. Sponsors act as a guide and mentor throughout the program.
The 12 Steps of AA
The 12 step recovery process is built on the principles of making amends to those you have wronged in the past and striving each day to be responsible for your decisions with regard to staying sober. Therefore, let’s take a look at each of the 12 steps of AA.
- We admit we are powerless over alcohol. Moreover, that our lives have 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.
- Continue to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admit it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God. Furthermore, 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 Origin of 12 Step Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Up until the 1930s, people struggling with alcohol or drug addiction didn’t have any type of hope to recover. In fact, even the best hospitals in the world would deem these people as ones who were in a hopeless situation. When the first fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) began, everything changed, and people started staying sober. The reason these meetings still work to this day is because the philosophy of AA is one of the best there is.
Those who began Alcoholics Anonymous understood that people with addictions have a hard time connecting with others. Specifically, they lie to doctors, friends, family members, spouses, and children on a regular basis. AA found that when one person in addiction talks to another, it’s extremely therapeutic. That’s why, almost 100 years later, the fellowship continues to grow and other programs are now available.
For example, each of the following is a valuable 12 step program option:
What Happens in 12 Step Meetings?
These meetings are a place for men and women to share their experience, strength, and hope with one another. In these meetings, you can share, or you can simply sit and listen to gain wisdom from others in recovery. Furthermore, by going to these meetings, you’ll hear from people who have been through similar situations.
Misconceptions about 12 Step Meetings
Many people steer clear of these meetings because they believe the meetings are religious. However, the reality is the meetings encourage spirituality, but they’re not religious by any means. Spirituality is simply being willing to take an inward look at yourself to see your truths so you can recover. The steps are a set of tools that help you find the root causes of your addiction.
How Alcoholics Anonymous Promotes Recovery
Many people turn to drug and alcohol abuse because they feel alone. Even if they have a family, they may not feel supported by their loved ones. When addiction negatively impacts the family unit, some members may not understand the problem and can make it worse by blaming or enabling.
In 12 step groups, people dealing with addiction may find true support for the first time. Here are peers who know what you’re going through. They’ve had many of the same struggles. Connecting with others who’ve been there can make you feel part of something.
Members of your 12 step groups can also give you a great deal of encouragement. This is important for all phases of recovery. Although recovery may become easier over time, it’s not unusual for someone to still have cravings years into it. Taking part in a 12 step program regularly or just on occasion can help you during those tough times.
When you feel supported, valued and encouraged, your chances of recovery increase. It’s important to instill value and self worth. You won’t be so quick to escape into using when you feel worthy of something better.
Alcoholics Anonymous in Asheville, NC
These guiding principles of Alcoholics Anonymous can be used with the services offered at Crest View Recovery Center in Asheville, NC to help you stay on course throughout the process of getting sober.
For example, highlights of our facility include:
- Reality therapy
- Rehab program and intensive outpatient program
- Family and group therapy
- Nutrition counseling, yoga, meditation, and more
Getting sober doesn’t have to be a lonely process. Call us at (866) 327-2505 to find the support you need. In fact, learn more about the 12 steps of AA today.