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12-Step Program: Everything You Need To Know About The Program and Addiction Recovery

October 26, 2021

Addiction may be a lifelong process, but it doesn’t mean that the road stays the same the entire time. There are steps to undertake to ensure the best form of recovery. The 12-Steps Program is an approach that lets the patient track their progress. Some may breeze through the steps while others may have to revisit a few, but the fact remains that these are healthy and reasonable guidelines for addiction recovery.

What Is The 12-Step Program?

The 12-Step Program was initially formulated and developed by Alcoholics Anonymous. This is a program that consists of twelve steps in order to help a patient curb any addictions and to prevent relapse and attain independence.

Its founding principle is for patients to surrender to a higher power to remain sober and be free of the shackles of addiction. But despite the religious principles, the program has been useful for non-religious individuals. The program emphasizes the presence of a higher being which can be interpreted in numerous ways – serving a God, a bigger purpose, or personal beliefs.

What Are The 12 Steps Involved In The Program?

1. Honesty

Recovery begins when the patient finally confronts the presence of addiction. A lot of patients cannot even admit to themselves that they have a serious problem. They tend to brush it off for months and years until it reaches a dangerous level. This state of denial delays the urgent treatment that addiction patients require.

You can encourage your loved ones to be honest so that they can begin their healing. They need to be able to admit that they are powerless in the face of their addictions and that it is time for professional intervention. 

2. Faith

The entire 12-Step Program revolves around a higher power. This can be executed if the patient has enough faith and belief in such a being. The second step is all about forming a deep-rooted faith in a higher being. This sense of faith shall serve as a foundation for the rest of the steps.

3. Surrender

In this stage, the patient admits their helplessness in the face of their addictions. Their addiction enables their self-destructive behavior and this problem is impossible to overcome when they are all by themselves. They need to surrender to a higher power so that they can admit that they need serious intervention to overcome their struggles.

4. Soul-Searching

This step involves forcing the patient to take a closer look at the negative repercussions of their addictions. They are forced to internalize the damage they have done. The goal isn’t to make them loathe themselves. The goal is to make the problem appear real to the point that it affects their friends and family.

5. Integrity

This step focuses on enabling the patient’s growth. The patient must come clean by admitting to themselves and to the higher power that they have done bad things. After successfully acknowledging the extent of damages they have caused they can move forward in recovery by practicing integrity.

6. Acceptance

It is going to cause more harm than good if the patients will just gloss over their addicted selves. If they choose to ignore that aspect of their lives, it will just come back haunting them in the future. It is important for them to accept that being an addict is a part of who they were. That part shouldn’t be shunned. Instead, it should be embraced, acknowledged, and provided with the proper medical assistance that promotes healing. After that, they can let go of that version of themselves.

7. Humility

This step is all about asking for help from a higher power. The humble stance reiterates that the patients are not high nor mighty. They have made mistakes and they cannot overcome these on their own. They need assistance from a higher power because sheer will and determination would not suffice.

8. Willingness

This step is all about expressing one’s willingness to change for the better. It is also about being willing to make reparations for all the damage that has been caused, both on themselves and on their loved ones. 

9. Forgiveness

It may seem challenging for patients to make amends with the people they have hurt. However, it is necessary for healing to take place. Asking for forgiveness is an important part of healing because it gives closure and absolves guilt. It also confirms that second chances are possible. 

The patient needs to have a sound relationship with their friends and family since these individuals are the ones who will make up their support system as they go through the healing process.

10. Maintenance

This step is all about keeping the patient in check. No one likes to be micromanaged but an accountability system is a must in order to lessen the chances of relapses. This step can be performed through daily meditation and introspection. These help the patient realign their thoughts and feelings to keep them on track.

11. Making contact

The 11th step is about making contact with a higher power to let the patient rediscover their purpose. If the patient is religious, then this step is all about finding a way to connect with God, to understand His ways, and to know that He has a plan and the power to execute it.

Non-religious patients can still execute this step by connecting with their version of a higher power. It can be their relationship to the support group of recovering patients or even a specific patient’s story that inspired them the most. This step involves prayer and meditation.

12. Service

The last step is all about giving back to the community. This is when they apply everything that they have learned from the program in order to help other patients. This is also proven to be effective in helping maintain sobriety. As the saying goes, “to keep it, you have to give it away.” This is also important for the continuity of the program. 

Now that you are familiar with the 12-Step Program, you now have an idea of what to expect as this gets implemented in your healing journey. For more questions and assistance, contact R&R Recovery today.

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