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What Are the 12 Steps of AA?

A woman asking, "What are the 12 steps of AA?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is probably the most widely known 12-step rehab program. However, it’s not the only one that exists. One of the reasons several other 12-step formats are available is because they are effective. What are the 12 steps of AA? If you’d like to learn more about the 12-step program at Woodland Recovery Center, call us today at 662.222.2989.

The Purpose of the AA 12 Steps

As a whole, the purpose of the 12 Steps of AA is to help people with alcohol use disorder recover from destructive behaviors and bring order into their lives. Each step along the way has its own goal and purpose, including:

  • To learn from others in recovery
  • To stop denying addiction
  • To develop hope
  • To encourage faith in the recovery process and in the self
  • To repair broken relationships
  • To develop a sober support community
  • To understand and address the root causes of negative behavior
  • To develop self-confidence
  • To help others in recovery

The Steps encourage behaviors that are integral to healthy living and emotional growth. AA and the step model were created by men of the devout Christian faith. The program once leaned heavily on religious beliefs. Today, however, no religious belief or affiliation is necessary to join the membership or benefit from this recovery model.

What Are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous?

There are slight variations of the AA 12 Steps depending on the source. More modern versions have replaced references to God with the more general “Higher Power.” What are the 12 Steps of AA? The Alcoholics Anonymous website presents the original 12 Steps of AA, which consist of the following concepts:

  1. I admit I do not have power over alcohol, and my life has gotten to the point that it is unmanageable.
  2. I have come to believe that a Power that is greater than myself could restore my sanity.
  3. I made the decision to give my will and my life over to a Higher Power as I understand it.
  4. I have searched within myself to take a moral inventory without fear.
  5. I admitted to myself, to another individual, and to my Higher Power the complete nature of my mistakes.
  6. I am fully ready to have my Higher Power take away my character defects.
  7. I have humbly asked my Higher Power to take away my shortcomings.
  8. I have created a list of all of the people that I have harmed, and I am willing to pursue amends for my wrongs.
  9. I have offered direct amends wherever I could, except when it could cause additional harm to others.
  10.  I will continue to re-examine myself, and when I am wrong, to admit it promptly.
  11. I have sought, both with prayer and with meditation, to improve my intentional contact with a Higher Power as I understand it.
  12. I commit to bringing forth this message to alcoholics and to practicing these 12 principles in everything I do.

The question “What are the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous?” is easy to answer. Understanding how they help lead to recovery is more complicated.

“Working” the 12 Steps of AA

There is no magic in the 12 Steps of AA. Members of the recovery program are encouraged to meditate on the steps, pray about them if applicable, discuss them, journal about them, and do their best to live by the principles the Steps represent.

Working through the 12 Steps the first time can take months or years. People who remain in AA for many years may go through the steps again and again. In doing so, they find a deeper commitment to their recovery each time.

What Are the 12 Steps of AA? Learn More at Woodland Recovery Center

At Woodland Recovery Center, we recognize that participation in a 12-step program is just as important as other types of treatment. For more information about AA and all of the programs we offer, call Woodland Recovery Center today at 662.222.2989 or contact us online, and we’ll get back to you.