Sharing experiences with others in similar situations has important therapeutic benefits that have traditionally helped those struggling with substance use. The 12-Step philosophy was pioneered by Alcoholics Anonymous. The basic premise of this model is that people can help one another achieve and maintain abstinence from substances of abuse, but that healing cannot come about unless people with addictions surrender to a higher power.
The 12-Step meetings provides a safe, rich environment to learn and grow while participating with others that have similar and different backgrounds and experiences. The benefits of this approach are invaluable to growth: from learning new information to trying new behavior; improving communication; instilling hope; improving social skills and relationships; and knowing you are not alone.
The 12 Steps are:
- Admitting powerlessness over the addiction
- Believing that a higher power (in whatever form) can help
- Deciding to turn control over to the higher power
- Taking a personal inventory
- Admitting to the higher power, oneself, and another person the wrongs done
- Being ready to have the higher power correct any shortcomings in one’s character
- Asking the higher power to remove those shortcomings
- Making a list of wrongs done to others and being willing to make amends for those wrongs
- Contacting those who have been hurt, unless doing so would harm the person
- Continuing to take personal inventory and admitting when one is wrong
- Seeking enlightenment and connection with the higher power via prayer and meditation
- Carrying the message of the 12 Steps to others in need