12-Steps Withstand Test Of Time
When you think “alcohol treatment” you are likely to think of Alcoholics Anonymous and its 12-Step program. And there is a good reason for that – while other trendy alcoholic treatments have come and gone, the 12-Steps remain.
“I think it has withstood the test of time because it works as long as the willingness and desire is there to stop drinking,” said Shari McGivern, an advanced practice psychiatric nurse in Akron, Ohio, and licensed independent chemical dependency counselor, according to a report from the McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers.
The 12-Steps were introduced in 1938 and were published in the first edition of the book Alcoholics Anonymous, known as The Big Book, the following year.
The theory is that recovering alcoholics need to work through these steps with the help of other recovering alcoholics, not alone.
“You don’t do these just one time, you do them all the time, which is a way of life,” McGivern said. “It causes a total transformation morally, spiritually and, a lot of times, physically. The average person doesn’t have these tools. These are tools to change a lifestyle.”
It appears to work – AA says about 33% of its members have been sober for 10 years or longer.
Here are the 12-Steps:
- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- 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.
- 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.