The 12-Step Program

“Alcoholics Anonymous® is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety”

-The A.A. Grapevine

The 12-step program is today’s most widely available and popular program that deals with dependency issues. For decades, Alcoholics Anonymous and its over 200 derivatives have provided their members with a methodology and support network – they are responsible for the recovery of millions of people in almost every country speaking almost every language.

The doors of 12-step programs are always open to all who have a desire to stop drinking and/or using. Incoming members are encouraged to pick a sponsor – someone who has been through the steps and is willing to take others through them. The steps are designed to make the individual look inside at those issues underpinning his or her addiction. They also provide direction in taking calculated and healthy action to rectify a broken past, rejuvenate a troubled present, and rescue us from what had become an all too predictable future.

As a supplement to any of the formal phases of treatment we offer at Sober Souls, participation in a 12-step program has been shown to provide individuals with a greater chance at true recovery. As a study commissioned by the National Institutes of Health concluded, “12-step groups and characteristics of the social network were strong predictors of outcome” (Polcin, et. al. 1). In other words, “Together We Do Recover”.

12-step programs are vital not just as an educational tool for the individual entering early recovery – they have proven to be an indispensible tool in the maintenance and promotion of sobriety by providing a support network, a self-help (though sponsor led) program of rehabilitation and an open hand to those still suffering from their addiction. The program recognizes that the wellness of the individual is dependent on a healthier and abstinent lifestyle. Those in the program have surrendered to their addiction: too many times have they tried to simply moderate their problem; too many times have they failed.

Polcin DL, Korcha R, Bond J, Galloway GP. What did we learn from our study on sober living houses and where do we go from here? Journal of Psychoactive Drugs. 2010;