12-Step Integration Offers Worldwide Support
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the program that started it all. Today, AA is available in 175 countries. At BriteLife, our objective is seamless integration of state-of-the-art, evidence-based medical, and clinical services with the time=tested 12-Step model. We appreciate that quality rehab addresses all aspects of the person, including spirituality. The 12-steps are a spiritual plan of action that can change our experiences and bring new (or renewed) purpose into everyday life.
When a person follows a 12-Step program, including getting a sponsor and helping others, recovery becomes more than just not drinking – it is a strategic route to a life that is happy, joyous, and free. The 12-Step program provides a path into long-term sobriety. By engaging our clients quickly on the 12-Steps, we poise our clients to succeed in sobriety long after their completing on treatment.
12-Step Programs are Spiritual, Not Religious
The 12-Steps are a spiritual program of acceptance, change and accountability. We help our clients to connect with a higher power of their own understanding. This requires learning to be guided by a collection of spiritual principles such as honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness. We also inspire our clients to participate in spiritual practices like guided meditation and mindfulness training, that are basic tenets of 12-step recovery. Although many clients wrestle with the notion of a higher power upon arrival, they quickly become fascinated when they witness their peers making practical use of it in their individual recovery. The point is that clients don’t have to have a religious background to gain from the 12-step programs.
Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experiences, strength, and hope with each other. They do this to solve their common problem and help others recover from alcoholism. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. The same would apply to Narcotics Anonymous or other related 12-step programs.
Anyone who believes they have a drinking or drug abuse problem can join. It is open to all ages, genders, education levels, races, and religions. 12-steppers come from all walks of life. They are the recently sober, those coming back after relapse, the old-timers, and so forth. One thing they all have in common is that they want to stop drinking or using and stay stopped. They support others with the same goal. No one will inquire about your personal life, and members only share first names with each other. This rule is why 12-step treatment groups have the word “Anonymous” in their names, Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and so forth.
The 12-Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous
The 12-steps are excerpted from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA’s 12-Step approach follows a set of guidelines designed as “steps” toward recovery. For the most part, all 12-step programs adhere to the same principles but with addiction-specific language. For example, an AA 12-step meeting might only talk about problems related to alcohol.
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.
The 12 Traditions
The 12 Traditions communicate to the members of Alcoholics Anonymous as a group. The traditions are the core governing literature of Alcoholics Anonymous. Most 12-Step meeting groups have also tailored the 12 traditions to their group.
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority–a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking.
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose–to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
- An AA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the AA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every AA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
- Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- AA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
- Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Most substance abuse experts agree that an evidence-based treatment program, personalized to the individual’s needs, is the most successful approach to achieve and maintain abstinence. At the same time, it is a general consensus that 12-step program exposure during rehab is important. 12-step programs offer sober support that is available 365 days per year, without cost, in every quantifiable community worldwide.