12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited:  September 09 ,
| 4 Sources

The 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous is one of the more popular treatment programs in use today. This program is available in virtually every country on the globe.

The use of the 12 step study guide helps those in the program to stay on course and offers inspirational guidance during times of crisis. Here are some facts about this program.

  • The 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous are used to help people who have a problem with drinking. 
  • The program can be used by those who are long-term drinkers as well as those who are not. 
  • In addition to helping the person, the program also helps those close to the person such as family members and friends.

By using the 12 step study guide, drinkers are better able to focus their energies on recovery through lifestyle changes. The principles that are laid out in the program often center on the inner person and how to best interact and relate to others.More details can be found here.

In many ways, the program offers a means of making big changes in the person's life in a productive, reasonable manner.

The 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous include:

1. Being Honest - Nothing positive can happen for the addict until he or she faces the problem and accepts the fact there is a problem that needs to be resolved.

2. Faith in a Higher Power - In order to fully recover, one must have faith in a power greater than himself, and have faith that this power can help them with their problems.

3. Willingness to Surrender - The person must be willing to surrender the problem to this higher power.

4. Inward Examination - The person must be willing to examine his or her own inner person and understand that recovery is a process.

5. Integrity - Of the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous, this is often the most difficult to achieve. More detailed information can be found in the 12 step study guide.

6. Willingness to Accept - This means a willingness to accept themselves as they are, defects and all.

7. Humility Toward Higher Power - In this phase, the person must ask the higher power for help that they cannot do on their own.

8. Willingness to Make Amends - In this part of the 12 step study guide, persons are asked to make a list of those they have hurt in the past, and to then make amends.

9. Willingness to Forgive - In the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous forgiveness is very important. It is important to forgive others as well as oneself.

10. Maintenance - The willingness to maintain the positive benefits that have been made along the way.

11. Being in Touch - Spending time in prayer or mediation to learn what the higher power has in mind for your new life.

12. Willingness to Serve - This involves putting the whole thing together and sharing yourself with others as you can.


The above is a much-abbreviated explanation of the program and should not be taken as a complete discussion on the process.

In addition, members of the program are encouraged to meet regularly with others who are recovering and to share their stories, both good and bad, among themselves. This informal group session is considered one of the most useful and beneficial parts of the overall program.

You can learn much more about the 12 step study guide and the program itself by visiting one of the many group sessions that take place all over the world. There is usually one close to most locations.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl

Licensed Medical Health Professional 

I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LPC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More

More on the 12 steps of alcoholics anonymous on our main 12 step program of AA page

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