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12 Step Programme

Reach out here at Addiction Advocates to benefit from the 12-step programme known to help with addiction recovery. Enquire Now
12 Step Programme
Alexander Lapa
Updated on 23/05/2024
Medically reviewed by
Dr Alexander Lapa (Psychiatrist)

Addiction recovery is a long-term commitment. Whilst it is an extensive process, it is broken up into smaller treatments, activities, and milestones. The 12-step programme perfectly reflects this, delivering small yet impactful intentions, goals, and changes.

Initially developed through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the 12-step programme is now one of the most well-known and effective commitments. Whilst additional addiction treatment is also recommended, to clear the body and restore the mind, each step helps to tap into a higher power and into the act of mindfulness.

Over the years, the 12-step programme has significantly developed, transforming from a spiritually guided process to an inclusive programme. Whilst there are still religious and spiritual variations, each step now offers a stronger connection for everyday people who suffer from alcoholism.

Offering direction, self-awareness, accountability and fellowship, the 12-step programme is now a part of alcohol rehab, offered throughout inpatient treatment and/or aftercare. Designed to resonate with alcoholics, each step offers the chance to learn, forgive and grow through addiction recovery.

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What Is The 12 Step Approach?

Dating back to 1938, the 12-step recovery model was developed as a part of Alcoholics Anonymous. Alone offering a community space to confidentially share struggles with alcohol, AA is experienced led, carrying supportive and recovery driven messages to alcoholics.

Its origins offered a spiritual and religious outlook, tapping into a higher power through prayer and meditation. With an increase in addiction rates, and with the condition impacting the average person, the programme has transformed to connect and inspire all alcoholics.

The programme is broken up into 12 steps, which act as commitments. Each offers a recovery driven focus, which works very well alongside additional addiction treatment. Such commitments are life-long lessons, to revisit, remember and live by.

Accountability to oneself and to others is prevalent across the 12 steps, not only offering a sense of guidance but also a spur of motivation to remain on track. People who suffer from addictions and compulsions are found to benefit from the entire programme, offering a sustainable yet achievable plan of action towards sobriety.

What Are The 12 Steps?

The programme follows a 12-step process, each promoting a commitment to oneself and others. The original structure followed a faith-based approach yet has been developed to meet inclusive needs.

The 12 steps can also be used across the addiction sphere, also incorporated into Narcotics Anonymous meetings and drug rehab. Again, each step can be transformed to resonate with individuals and their particular addictions and compulsions.

The AA led programme follows as:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. 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 on.
  12. 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.

How The 12 Steps Work

The 12-step programme delivers a community-led plan of action, offering guidance towards recovery. It works by bringing together various commitments and changes which are required in order to recover and heal.

Addiction recovery can be tough for many individuals, due to emotional obstacles, denial, a lack of confidence and limited self-worth. The 12-step programme helps to diminish such obstacles, by providing the inspiration, strength, and value to take control of habits and alcohol consumption.

For most clients, the 12-steps will be delivered via group therapy sessions and meetings, offering the chance to share, collaborate and uplift. Whilst alcoholism and further compulsions are personal, sensitive, and unpredictable conditions, there are commonalities between each diagnosis. Those commonalities can be shared, perspectives can develop, and awareness can increase through such a community feel.

Great change can be achieved through the 12-step programme, beneficial for both recovering addicts and their loved ones. Meetings are personalised around each step, yet also individual needs, expectations, and goals.

The programme is now utilised through alcohol rehab due to its benefits whilst tackling poor mental health and its educational content. Further benefits include its convenience, its ability to motivate, and the level of support that can be felt through Alcoholics Anonymous sessions.

The Evolution Of The 12 Steps

The 12-step model has evolved over recent years. Its original messages and intentions remain, yet inclusivity is very important.

Alcoholism is a non-biased disease that can affect all types of people. Whilst certain demographics, upbringings and experiences may increase the susceptibility of addiction, any given person can suffer from substance use disorders. Due to such findings, the wording and the contents of each step have evolved to resonate with different belief systems.

The original programme can still be experienced, beneficial for those who find comfort and peace in prayer and meditation. At the opposite end of the scale, the programme is also suitable for those who do not follow spirituality and will instead benefit from a holistic addiction recovery process.

The 12-step model has also transformed from a support group focus to a part of the comprehensive recovery process. Offering extensive results, elements of the programme are found across alcohol rehab.

12 Steps Within Alcohol Rehab

The 12-step model works seamlessly alongside the treatments and steps of alcohol rehab. The level of accountability, motivation and guidance helps to promote mental awareness and commitment, whilst also working through detoxification, therapy, and long-term planning.

Whilst the model is highly effective, it does work to its best alongside addiction treatment and rehab. Core treatments are in place to promote physical and psychological recovery, perfectly followed by the lessons and pledges of the 12 steps.

Following the 12-steps also provides a set of goals to achieve, whilst also working through addiction treatment. The goal of removal can be achieved through alcohol withdrawal. The goal of amendments can be fulfilled through therapy. The goal of continuity can be worked towards through relapse prevention planning.

Appropriate themes and messages can be found across the alcohol rehabilitation process, to strengthen recovery. The 12 steps are used across our network of alcohol rehab clinics here at Addiction Advocates.

Long Term Recovery With The 12 Steps

Recovering from an addiction is a lasting process, which must be understood and committed to in order to remain on track. It can be a difficult process for many, resulting in obstacles, relapse risks and regress.

The 12-step programme can be used throughout the process, to alleviate such difficulties, redirect recovering addicts and provide an ongoing support network.

The programme is incorporated into aftercare services, which works alongside relapse prevention planning and lifestyle management. Making physical changes and taking visible action will be essential, alongside the psychological dedication to recovery.

Find Alcohol Rehab Help

Alcohol rehab help is available in a multitude of ways. Opting for the right type of help, for your needs, will be possible here at Addiction Advocates.

Reach out to complete our admissions process, with the chance to experience alcohol rehab, aftercare, and the renowned 12-step programme.

Frequently Asked Questions

How successful is Alcohol Rehab?
Alcohol rehab is successful. Whilst supporting alcoholics throughout the recovery process, it offers the tools and treatments to withdraw from alcohol, make some positive changes and manage recovery.

The rehab process is personalised to individual needs, responses, and goals. Its contents will differ between clients to accommodate. With that, success will also have a different meaning.

Your meaning of success can be achieved by committing to alcohol rehab. Whilst it cannot cure you, it can guide you towards a sober and fulfilling life.
How long does rehab last?
Rehab is offered through inpatient and outpatient timelines. Inpatient rehab is the most proactive, which can usually be completed in 4 weeks. The timeline for each client will however differ, depending on personal needs and availability.

Outpatient rehab is a longer process as it is flexible. It’s normally completed over a 3-6-month period. Again, depending on your personal needs and urgency to recovery, outpatient rehab may be more suited.

Rehab can last as long as you need it to. Whilst there are average timelines, the rehabilitation process is equipped to help you through to sobriety. If that takes a number of months, instead of days, it will be worthwhile.
Are there free options for Alcohol Addiction help?
There are free options, from outpatient treatment to local support groups. Alcoholics Anonymous sessions are free, with a focus on the 12-step programme service. A wealth of quality meetings and resources are delivered through AA.

Outpatient treatment is funded by the NHS. Depending on your needs and degree of alcohol problems, suitability levels will differ. Reaching out here at Addiction Advocates will be worthwhile, to run through your available options.
Seth Bolton

Seth is an author, addiction recovery expert and fully accredited member of the national counselling society. He has experience working with a wide range of addictions and mental illnesses using a number of evidence-based therapies and programmes such as the SMART models of addiction recovery.

What do our previous clients think?

Really enjoyed my time at Asana lodge. Staff are great and most have previous experience of the afflictions that affect all the clients, so they can relate to the situation you are in. I feel ready now to tackle the outside world with all the skills I have learnt.
Thank you to all the staff at asana lodge from management to the cleaners, everyone made me feel so welcome and really went above and beyond to help me in my recovery. highly recommend anyone seeking help with addiction depression and anxiety to go to asana lodge and heal your mind body and soul.
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