AA and other 12-step programs have become almost synonymous with addiction recovery.
The 12 steps are summarized by AA as follows:
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. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
8. Made a list of 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.
Does AA work in overcoming addiction – some peer reviewed studies peg the
success rate at approximately 5-10% (AA claims 33% or higher)
AA is a self-identified Christian organization – is this a good or bad or neutral?
Is anonymity important/necessary?
AA’s philosophy is that recovery is a lifetime commitment – is this reasonable?
Is it necessary for alcoholics to give up alcohol altogether?
Are the 12 steps meaningful/accessible to non-believers?
Should non-violent drug offenders be sentenced to attend 12-step programs?