top of page

The 12 Steps of AA

12 steps of AA

The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are like a roadmap for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems and getting your life back. They guide individuals through acknowledging addiction, seeking help from a higher power, making things right with those you've hurt, and continuing personal growth and service to others.

The purpose of the Twelve Steps is to help individuals break free from their addictions and find a path to personal recovery and healing.  It's about turning a chaotic, unmanageable life into one that's sober and well-functioning.

The 12 Steps Of Alcoholics Anonymous

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step 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.

Step 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.

These steps are not only a foundation for recovery in AA but have also been adapted for use in other twelve-step programs aimed at a wide range of issues.

Do I Have To Be Religious To Follow The Twelve Steps?

No, you do not have to be religious. AA is not aligned with any specific religion and welcomes people of all beliefs. The concept of a "higher power" can be interpreted in many ways, allowing participants to choose a personal understanding that works for them.

Are The Twelve Steps Only For Alcoholics?

While originally designed for people struggling with alcoholism, the Twelve Steps have been adapted for a wide range of addictive behaviors and substances. There are numerous Twelve Step programs tailored to specific addictions like narcotics, gambling, and overeating.

What Does It Mean To Work The Steps?

Working the steps typically involves attending meetings, reading AA literature, finding a sponsor (a more experienced member who can guide you), and actively applying the principles of the steps in daily life. It is a personal journey that involves both introspection and action.

Looking for an inside perspective? Mike and Glenn host the podcast Sober.Coffee and share their experience and insight into the twelve steps, starting with their very first podcast episode: Step One - We Admitted.

How Long Does It Take To Complete The Twelve Steps?

There is no set time frame for completing the Twelve Steps. The process is individual and can vary widely depending on personal circumstances and commitment. For many, the Twelve Steps are a lifelong endeavor of continuous improvement and dedication.

Alternatives To The 12 Steps and AA

There is a wide array of community support and self-help groups available for addiction recovery where people recovering from addictions get support from others in recovery. They can provide a sense of community as well as accountability in refraining from substance use.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was the first 12-step program, but there are alternatives for those who don’t relate to their focus on a higher power, the belief that you are powerless, and their focus on defects. Some of these alternatives include:

Getting Help For Addiction

If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol or drug addiction, professional help may be the best option to help continue on the road to recovery.

At Care Addiction Center, we offer treatment plans that address every facet of your addiction, serving individuals in Geneva, Batavia, Sycamore, St. Charles, and Kane County, with online addiction treatment available anywhere in Illinois. 

In our mission, we introduce individuals to support groups so post-discharge they have a network of community support to utilize, whether it’s AA, SMART Recovery, or another. 

To get started on the road to recovery, or if you have questions about helping yourself or a loved one, call us today or schedule a confidential assessment online and begin treatment.


bottom of page