Do you or a loved one feel the need to consume alcohol in excess every day? Has this addiction hindered your work or social experiences? If so, it may be time to get help. Not everyone needs an extensive rehab program to get themselves back on the right track. According to AA.Org, the Alcoholics Anonymous website, “Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere.” Anyone of any age, economic or social class that suspects that they have a serious problem with alcohol is encouraged to find a meeting close to home. Anyone who has a desire to better their lives and start living sober is welcome to join and work through the 12 step program.
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One of the biggest and most well-known aspects of Alcoholics Anonymous is the working of a 12 step to recovery program. Along with a sponsor, each participant in the program will be required to work through, and talk about the steps. Tokens are given at certain months of sobriety to encourage and remind each individual that there is hope, you’ve come a long way but you will be fighting this battle for the rest of your life. Some people will attend meetings all their lives, become mentors and success stories and others will be able to get their addiction under control and use the support of family and loved ones to keep them on the straight and narrow path.

Service Material from the General Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous outlines the 12 step program below. If you’ve been thinking about attending an AA meeting or suggesting it to a loved one but don’t know where to start, start with step number one and begin meetings. Change is a wonderful and scary thing, knowing what you’re getting into can help ease you into the program.

12 Spiritual Principles

  • 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.

As you can tell from their steps, AA encourages a spiritual awakening and a journey of self-discovery through faith. Healing the spirit, healing from the inside out, will help heal the damage that is being done on the outside. The road to recovery is only successful if you take one step at a time and look at sobriety as a journey. Once you decide to take your journey, small accomplishments and milestones will be recognized in a group of your peers. Positive reinforcement has been shown to work better than negative consequences in almost all cases.

AA is non-profit organization and is run by the participants themselves. As a group, they have saved countless lives from a horrible addiction and offered support and guidance to their fellow human beings. Sometimes all you need to kick an addiction for good is to know that someone cares and that they’ve been where you are now. It gets better and AA is one of the oldest, tried and true ways to get clean and sober for good.

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