Menu Close

What Are the 12 Steps?

Recovery from a substance use disorder is for life. Having tools and resources to rely on as you work to maintain sobriety—and avoid a relapse—is invaluable. This is why the 12-step program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in the 1930s is so effective. The program focuses on practical everyday steps to foster sobriety. Working through the root cause of addiction, repairing relationships, making amends, and how to cope with triggers as they arise are key pillars of the program. But what are the 12 Steps?

To better understand the 12 steps to recovery and what a 12-step program looks like, call The Arbor Behavioral Healthcare today at 844.413.2690. We can help you or a loved one begin the journey of recovery.

What Are the 12 Steps?

Many people have the misconception that the 12 Steps are tied explicitly to a church or the requirement that you must believe in a God. However, this is not the case. The reference to a “higher power” does not necessarily mean it has to be a religious figure. This component can be interpreted as either religious or secular. Some see the higher power as simply being part of a group of people going through the steps.

The AA service materials list the 12 Steps as follows:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction and 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 this power.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves, to another human being, and to our Higher Power, the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have our Higher Power remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked our Higher Power 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 of ourselves and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Higher Power, praying only for knowledge of its 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 others suffering from addiction and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The biggest takeaway from the 12 Steps is acknowledging you have a disease and committing to managing it. This acceptance allows you to be more open to following the steps to maintain sobriety for life.

12-Step Recovery Program

A recovery program based on the 12 Steps has a built-in structure that makes it easy for anyone to follow and integrate into their treatment journey. The steps can live alongside other therapies—talk therapies or experiential therapies like yoga or equine therapy—utilized in an inpatient or outpatient treatment experience.

A 12-step recovery program complements a rehab experience by:

  • Helping build a toolbox of tips and strategies to maintain sobriety
  • Working to break the addiction cycle
  • Getting to the root cause of an addiction
  • Rebuilding strained relationships
  • Promoting self-awareness and building back self-esteem
  • Fostering spiritual growth

Enroll in 12-Step Immersion at The Arbor Today

The Arbor offers a 12-step immersion program modeled after AA’s 12-Step Program. It aims to help people stay the course of sobriety through a structured program with proven results. The steps focus on learning skills and coping mechanisms to address triggers as they arise and avoid relapse. Fostering a sober support network and repairing relationships strained by a substance use disorder is also an essential part of the program.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare offers more than a 12-step program. A comprehensive treatment plan may include other therapies, such as dual diagnosis treatment, equine-assisted therapy, family therapy and group therapy, and sober living programs.

Contact The Arbor online or call our compassionate team at 844.413.2690 to enroll and begin your recovery journey.