Step 5

Step 5 sounds a lot like "confession," but in reality it should be seen as a letting go of these "desires" and "initial choices" spoken about in Step 4. By speaking out this inner baggage the addict begins to let go of the things which have plagued he or she for years.

"The Fifth Step is the key to freedom. It allows us to live clean in the here and now. Sharing the exact nature of our wrongs sets us free to live. After taking a thorough Fourth Step, we have to deal with what we have found in our inventory. We are told that if we keep these defects inside us, they will lead us back to using. Holding on to our past would eventually sicken us and keep us from taking part in this new way of life. If we are not honest when we take a Fifth Step, we will have the same negative results that dishonesty brought us in the past," quote from the booklet entitled Twelve Concepts for NA Service.

According to Hazelden, at step 5 recovering addicts "share our lists with our Higher Power and another human being. This confession often brings a vast sense of relief. In addition, Step 5 refines the information gathered in Step Four. We ask our listener for an objective view of our inventory with others and asking for their feedback helps bring our self-image into clearer focus."

Related Articles


The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational purposes and does not constitute the practice of medicine. We encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician or nutritionist if they have any concerns regarding health issues related to diet, personal image and any other topics discussed on this site. Neither the owners or employees of nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Call 800-895-1695to discuss treatment options

Treatment Center Directory

Need Help? Find a Treatment Center

If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction and need help entering into recovery then we are here to offer help in any way we can. We have over 14,000 Treatment Centers listed on our Directory. You can search by Zip Code, City or State. Click here to search for a Treatment Center that is right for you.