Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has a twelve-step program that is widely used to help those individuals recovering from alcoholism. Find out the benefits of a 12-step program and how it can help people in recovery.


12 Steps

By its nature, the program provides people with support and creates a spiritual environment that helps a person heal. Anyone can find the steps helpful. Using the steps can be critical to a person’s success in moving forward in recovery. The following is a summation of the 12 steps.

Step 1: Admit powerlessness

The first step in overcoming addiction is admitting a problem and admitting powerlessness to change the situation.

Step 2: Believe a greater power can help restore sanity

A power greater than an individual person must be acknowledged in order to let go of control and seek help.

Step 3: Turning will over to God in one’s own understanding

Giving up control to a higher power or God can be a struggle but the willingness to do so is a critical action step on the road to recovery.

Step 4: Make a personal inventory

An open, honest reflection can help expose the underlying causes of addiction and set a person free of secrets, patterns, and strongholds.

Step 5: Admitting wrongdoing to others

The opportunity to acknowledge hurtful past behavior helps individuals feel safer and releases power of the past on a person’s life.

Step 6: Ready to have God remove character defects

God or a Higher Power is needed to help remove character defects. A person understands powerlessness over addiction and desires.

Step 7: Removal of shortcomings

Asking God to remove wrongs from a person’s character helps build understanding and humility in asking for help. Moving closer to change is important personally and spiritually.

Step 8: List people harmed and be willing to make amends

Physical, mental, emotional or spiritual damage is harmful and acknowledging this can help bring forgiveness to self and for others.

Step 9:Make amends to people

Make amends to people listed in step 8 of the process. This will help the individual with addiction recognize how making amends can help rebuild bridges, past hurts and make restitution for harm done.

Step 10: Make an inventory and admit when wrong

Self-evaluation each day supports engagement in reflection and development of the ability to acknowledge wrongs and fix what is broken. The process helps a person continue to live life without resentment and anger which can lead to relapse.

Step 11: Practice prayer and meditation to improve relationships with higher power

Continue the work with God which may mean going to church, setting aside time to pray or meditate, and practicing stillness.

Step 12: Carry the message to others and live the principles

Sponsorship, helping at meetings and bring people to meetings is part of this step including teaching  others to live well in recovery.


If you or a loved one are looking for 12 step programs, sponsors, treatment or other resources for help with addiction, Hired Power can help. Call us at 800.910.9299 to find out how we can support yours or your loved one’s journey to recovery.