The Last Three Steps Explained
Everyone knows that 12 step programs have been a successful component of substance abuse and addiction treatment since the 1930s. The 12 steps themselves are the reason that these programs have been so successful, and continue to be used today. The first four steps are about dealing with the present, while steps five through nine deal with the past. However, the last three steps are a little murkier, as they deal with the future. Understanding these three steps is key to a lifetime of sobriety.
The 10th step is all about personal responsibility. Basically, it asks participants to honestly assess their actions and thoughts, be accountable for them, and admit when they are wrong. By doing this, it is easier for the substance user to maintain their sobriety, and stay in recovery. There are also other benefits, including:
- being a role model to friends and family,
- being someone that can be relied on at work,
- being a respected member of the community, and
- being able to trust yourself.
All of these things are benefits to the person in recovery, as well as those around them.
According to Alcoholics Anonymous, the 11th step states, “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.” In other words, seeking a deeper spiritual purpose and guidance. By doing so, a person can aid their recovery in a number of ways. This includes:
- lower anxiety,
- less depression,
- conquering adversity in life without addictive substances,
- increased drive and ambition, and
- hope for a brighter future.
These benefits help a person avoid falling back into the cycle of addiction, and allow them to lead a fuller and happier life.
The final step of the 12 step program involves giving back by spreading the word about 12 step programs, and helping others get the treatment they need so that they too can overcome their addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 12 step programs are important, because they offer support and instruction in healthy living that benefits those that participate for their entire lives. By letting other people know about the 12 step process, and getting them involved, members of 12 step groups can help their communities and society, at large.
If you or someone you know is suffering from the disease of addiction, there is hope. Participation in a 12 step program may be just the thing you need to begin your own recovery. In time, you too can reap the rewards of the last three steps, and be a role model and positive addition to your family, community, and society.