The Amazing 12-steps
Twin Rivers assists hundreds of clients each year with our programmes that are all underpinned by the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. We appreciate that not all clients are keen on the 12 steps. Some clients believe the 12 steps are too religious but its NOT a religious programme, its a spiritual one which simply means ‘guide for change’. Some clients feel that the 12 step programme has let them down and we have discovered that its important ‘how’ the 12 steps are introduced to clients as everyone is an individual. At Twin Rivers we are NOT immersed in the 12 step programme as much of our psych-education through lectures and workshops are not specifically 12 step based.
The 12-steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) changed lives for alcoholics all over the world. It allowed a full embrace of the concept of recovering from alcoholism. It made it possible for the alcoholic to no longer stand alone, but to find instead a supportive group of peers all working towards the same goal of achieving lasting recovery.
The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says:
“The feeling of having shared a common peril is one element in the powerful cement that binds us.”
Alcoholics Anonymous first published Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions in 1953. Bill W., who along with Dr. Bob S. founded Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, wrote the book to share 18 years of collective experience within the Fellowship on how A.A.
The 12-step program has since then been fundamental in forming many other fellowship groups that address a plethora of addictions, all over the world. Not only has the 12-steps helped thousands of people overcome addiction, it has helped repair families and friendships and have helped people across the board to become the best possible version of themselves!
These groups include:
Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
Codependents Anonymous (CODA)
Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA)
Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA)
Gamblers Anonymous (GA)
Heroin Anonymous (HA)
Marijuana Anonymous (MA)
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
Online Gamers Anonymous (OLGA)
Pills Anonymous – for recovery of prescription pill addiction (PA)
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA)
Family related groups:
Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA)
Al/Anon – for friends and families of alcoholics
Co-Anon – for friends and families of addicts
Nar-Anon – for friends and families of addicts
Survivors of Incest Anonymous (SIA)
All of these programs follow the initial version of the 12-steps of AA, the guiding principles outlining the path to recovery from compulsive and destructive behaviours, in order to restore manageability in one’s life, and to truly recover from alcoholism and other addictions.
The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous are: (and have been adapted to replace the word “alcohol” with other addictions.)
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had 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.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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.
David is the Clinical and Development Director of Twin Rivers Rehab in South Africa and a UK Accredited Addictions Therapist with the Federation of Drug and Alcohol Professionals UK. Articles/Blogs are written with the assistance of researchers and other specialists in the field of addiction and the recovery process