Skip to content Skip to footer

What is a 12 Step Program?

Drugs and other harmful substances have long been known to produce unwanted side effects when misused or abused, yet many people continue to put their life at risk. If you or someone you know can benefit from addiction treatment, contact us immediately – we want to help. 

There are more than 23 million people struggling with drug addiction or alcohol abuse in the United States alone. While there is an endless supply of options and methods for treatment, only about 10% of those struggling with addiction receive the help they desperately need. 

In fact, most people won’t even seek treatment, and others have no idea where to go when they need help – which begs the question, “What is a 12-step program, and what can it do for those living with drug or alcohol addiction?” Don’t worry; we’ll break it down for you below!

What is a 12 Step Program?

A 12-step program is a set of rules (steps) initially outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous – a support group for those battling alcohol addiction. Once people saw how well the 12-steps worked with alcohol addiction, they started to adopt similar steps in other types of addiction.

As outlined in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, let’s take a look at the original 12 steps – the steps that started it all:

  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. We’re 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.

In much simpler terms, some people prefer to break the 12 steps down into six phases – refraining from alcohol and drugs, attending meetings, asking for help, gaining a sponsor, joining a group, and becoming active again. When taken seriously, the 12 steps can change one’s life. 

Are 12 Step Programs for Everyone?

12-step programs are designed to help anyone, and while many people find success with it, some people might not respond well to the treatment. With that said, it’s most effective when combined with traditional forms of addiction treatment – detox, medication, and therapy. 

Additionally, 12-step programs often mention ‘God’ – which will likely turn away those that aren’t religious. Rehab facilities allow the patient to use their own definition of ‘God’ or whatever higher power exists in their life, even if that’s themselves. No one is discriminated against.

What are Examples of 12 Step Programs?

While the original 12-step recovery program was designed for those struggling with alcohol addiction, the 12 steps are utilized on a much broader range of addiction types – including cocaine, narcotics, marijuana, tobacco, gambling, sex, overeating, and so much more. 

Let’s take a look at some of the most prominent 12-step programs available today:

  • Heroin Anonymous (HA)
  • Marijuana Anonymous
  • Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
  • Nar-Anon (for friends and family members of addicts)
  • Nicotine Anonymous (NicA)
  • Overeaters Anonymous (OA)
  • Online Gamers Anonymous (OLGA)
  • Pills Anonymous
  • Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
  • Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA)
  • Survivors of Incest Anonymous (SIA)
  • Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA)
  • Sexual Recovery Anonymous
  • Underearners Anonymous
  • Workaholics Anonymous
  • DA –Debtors Anonymous (DA)
  • EA –Emotions Anonymous (EA) 
  • Families Anonymous
  • Food Addicts Anonymous (FAA)
  • Gamblers Anonymous (GA)
  • Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
  • Clutterers Anonymous (CLA)
  • Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA)

Although all 12-step programs follow the same basic principles, each 12-step program for addiction above is designed specifically for a select one or few addictions. Not only that, but each individual going through treatment has unique needs when overcoming an addiction. 

How to Find a 12-Step Program for Addiction in South Florida

Are you or someone you know struggling to beat an addiction? Is the addiction starting to make it difficult to live a happy, healthy, and meaningful life? Have you dreamt of a day when drugs are a thing of your past? If you answered yes to any of those questions, we’re here to help.

Atlantic Recovery Center is a South Florida rehab center providing comprehensive addiction treatment programs in Miami and the surrounding area. We have a quality and proven 12-step program for addiction in South Florida, and we can’t wait to show you all the potential that lives here – contact us today!

Leave a comment