12 Steps in
Alcoholism Recovery

2021 | 4 SOURCES

The twelve steps in alcoholism recovery as designed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have helped many alcoholics stop drinking and remain sober. The 12 steps of AA outline a recovery process that, when followed closely, is a map to sobriety.

It should be noted that AA alone is not sufficient treatment for many alcoholics, but it can be part of a comprehensive treatment program.

These twelve steps in alcoholism recovery are designed to be practiced in the company of other people. That’s why there are twelve step support groups. Members join together to discuss the steps, share experiences, and support and encourage each other.

These are self-help groups, meaning that they are conducted by alcoholics themselves rather than being facilitated by a professional.

The 12 steps of AA are as follows:

  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 asked 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 out.
  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.

Following the twelve steps in alcoholism recovery in order is important. Each step builds upon the one before it. Members are also encouraged to find a mentor, or sponsor, to advise and encourage them as they work the steps.

Programs Other Than Twelve Steps in Alcoholism Recovery Plans

The 12 steps of AA are not the only recovery program available. The 12 steps of AA are very popular, probably the most popular program worldwide, but other programs are available and may in some cases be more helpful.

Smart Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training) views alcoholism as a maladaptive behavior rather than a disease. They offer a four-point program to maintain motivation to stay sober, cope with urges, problem-solve, and live a balanced lifestyle. This program does not carry the religious overtones of AA and may be preferable to some.

Women for Sobriety is a program to help women deal with alcoholism. It consists of thirteen steps. Some believe it is a more useful program for women than the 12 steps of AA, because it does not require one to believe they are powerless over anything.

Women in our society often feel powerless anyway, and a treatment program that compounds that belief may be harmful.

There are many other programs besides these from which to choose if you prefer to engage in something other than the twelve steps in alcoholism recovery. You might want to talk with an alcohol treatment counselor about the best program for you.

More steps in alcoholism recovery on our 12 step program of AA page

Alcoholism home page

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