You might think that the 12-step program is meant to keep you sober. Although that’s a basic truth, they are also meant to help you transform your life. Essentially, the 12-step program is meant to facilitate an entire transformation of who you are. For many individuals struggling with substance abuse, 12-step programs have been very effective in helping them maintain their sobriety. Also, it creates a supportive community one can contribute to and benefit from.
How the 12-Steps Programs Can Help Treat Addiction
If you think about it, that’s what’s required. If you want to get sober and stay that way, you’ve got to change your lifestyle, friends, thinking, and choices. You’ve got to think about yourself and your life in a new way. You’ve got to relate to people differently. And most importantly, you’ve got to relate to yourself in a healthy and loving way.
In fact, if you take a few of the 12-steps below, you’ll see that they encourage a new way of life that includes the presence of a higher being as well as repairing your life:
- We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – 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 God
- 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 God 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, practice these principles in all our affairs
The Value Of Supportive Communities
In general, these 12 steps are essentially a program designed to assist freedom from addiction. The steps include recognizing powerlessness to substances, making amends with yourself and others, and as mentioned above, establishing a connection with a higher power. With this program, AA has been incredibly successful in facilitating sobriety in millions of people.
Although the whole idea of using spirituality might turn you away, you might find that it becomes the key to the program. But you might be turned off by having to make a list of your character defects, you might find that by doing so you recognize why some of your relationships aren’t easy. You might not like admitting powerlessness, doing so might relieve you of feeling responsible for the addiction.
It’s true that at first, you might not warm up to the 12 steps and all that it invites you to do, but if you’re set on staying sober, then recognize that you’re going to have to change your life. And once you realize that it is this program that has worked for millions of others, then you might be okay with allowing the 12 steps to facilitate your new life.
As individuals find the right treatment and communities for them to address their drug or alcohol abuse, a 12 step program can be useful. At Westwind Recovery®, individuals can participate in 12-step programs as they build a community through our sober living program. Westwind Recovery® offers several unique locations, such as:
So reach out to us today and see how we can help you or a loved one recover.