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12-Step Recovery Programme: What It Is And How It Can Help

    12-Step Recovery Programme: What It Is And How It Can Help

    The Twelve Steps is a foundational recovery programme, originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous.

    It is considered a spiritual programme and has since been adapted to not only treat alcohol use disorder but also substance use disorder.

    It is widely used in many rehab facilities during the treatment of addiction.

    Many patients praise this model for not only helping them to overcome their addiction but changing their way of living for the better.

    If you are struggling with an addiction, a 12-step programme could be just what you need to end your dependence for good.

    Where Did The 12-Step Programme Come From?


    12-step therapy originated in the 1930s by Alcoholics Anonymous.

    It involved completing all 12 steps to fully accept your addiction.

    Once you are open to receiving help from others, you can begin to turn your life around, repair relationships and accept guidance from a higher power.

    This higher power often refers to God, but can also be interpreted as any other spiritual figure, or even a person who means a lot to you.

    Although 12-steps was originally developed as a spiritual programme, over the years it has been adapted to also benefit those who have no spiritual beliefs.


    Simply put, the 12-step programme helps you to find your inner strength and use it wisely to overcome issues associated with drugs and alcohol.

    When properly executed, the 12 steps can teach you how to live happily through compassion, love, trust and open-mindedness.

    Many 12-step groups encourage participants to give back to local communities and volunteer when their lives are no longer ruled by substances.

    This helps to make for a well-rounded, holistic recovery.

    How Does The 12-Step Programme Work?

    The 12-step programme operates through meetings in which participants share experiences.

    12-step programmes in rehab are often developed to suit individuals and are offered early on in the recovery process.

    Doing so can help you to acknowledge the parts of your life that require change and how you can use the support around you to achieve it.

    Although the programme was developed by AA, it has proved very beneficial for those with addictions to other substances.

    The 12-steps are essentially a set of directions used to steer individuals away from addictive behaviour and into a life of compassion and recovery.

    In rehab, those who engage in the 12-step programme will be required to attend peer support groups to maintain abstinence.


    Although the 12-step programme will not be suitable for everyone, it can be very useful in helping those who are having a hard time adjusting to life in rehab or acquiring new coping mechanisms.

    12-step programmes also provide a great source of support for those who may not have the support of their friends or family.

    At Rehab Recovery, we know that whilst it is great to have family by your side, this isn’t the case for all clients.

    What Are The 12-Steps?


    1. Honesty: By accepting your problem and overcoming denial, you can begin the first step of the programme. It is also encouraged that friends and family use this step to admit that their loved one is facing addiction.
    2. Faith: You must accept that there is a higher power that can help you heal. It will not be able to operate unless you believe it can.
    3. Surrender: You must recognise that you cannot recover alone. By accepting help from a higher power, you can overcome self-destructive and addictive behaviour.
    4. Soul Searching: You must be able to recognise your own problems and how they have affected not only yourself but those around you.
    5. Integrity: This step will help you to grow. You must openly be able to admit your wrongdoings in front of both your higher power and another person in attendance.
    6. Acceptance: The next step in the programme is acceptance. Wilfully accepting things as they are and letting them go can help you to move forward.
    7. Humility: This is another spiritual step and requires you to ask your higher power to do something that cannot be achieved through determination or self-will alone.
    8. Willingness: Writing a list of people that have harmed you before you entered recovery.
    9. Forgiveness: Beginning to make amends and healing relationships, even with those that have hurt you. Although this can be difficult, it can make a huge difference in your recovery prospects.
    10. Maintenance: You must keep remaining honest and accepting when you are wrong. The 12-step programme believes this is a very important step and will help you advance spiritually.
    11. Making Contact: Connect with your higher power to find out what they have planned for your life.
    12. Service: You must take what you have learned from the 12-step programme and share the message with others. At the end of the programme, you must be willing to apply it to every part of your life.

    Again, though many of these steps are very spiritual-oriented, lots of 12-step programmes are developed from these steps and can be adjusted.

    How Can The 12-Steps Be Useful After Rehab?


    The 12-step programme is a programme that can be easily transferred from your life in rehab to your life back at home.

    Many local communities run their own Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous groups that provide continued support and motivation to keep the 12-steps an integral part of your life.

    Newcomers to the programme are in no way forced to follow the 12-steps if they do not feel able to do so.

    All you are asked is to keep an open mind and to regularly attend meetings.


    Reading AA or NA literature can also help you come to grips with the benefits of the 12-step programme and how it can help any individual from any walk of life.

    The 12-step programme also recognises that there is no ‘cure’ for addiction, but rather that it has to be effectively managed for life.

    The 12-step programme is deemed so effective because it helps those with substance abuse issues to monitor their recovery and make realistic goals.

    Getting Help


    If you are ready to end your addiction and would like to begin a 12-step programme within a rehabilitation clinic, contact Rehab Recovery today on 0800 088 66 86.

    Many of our staff members have first-hand experience of the 12-step programme and can talk you through the ways it has helped them.

    You should never have to struggle with addiction alone – all you have to do to begin the recovery journey is to reach out.

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