Alcoholism – 12 Steps to Success

The first step for treatment of alcohol dependence begins with sobering up and cutting off the supply of alcohol. This first phase is called detoxification. Simply put, it means to remove poison. Alcohol withdrawal produces the same symptoms as drug withdrawal and can be extremely unpleasant.

Old Habits

The next step is to restore the person’s health. After alcoholics have “dried out” and some degree of health has been restored, the individual may be treated with tranquilizers, antidepressants, or therapy. Unfortunately, these procedures are rarely successful and often limited. People often return to their old habits.

Alcoholics Anonymous et al

The mutual help approach has been fairly successful with groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and various spiritual groups, to understand and help current and past alcoholics. Participants at AA meetings admit that they have a drinking problem, and share feelings and resolve to stay “dry” one day at a time. 12-step programs are often used with alcohol and drug programs. Nearly 80 percent of those who remain in AA for more than one year got through the following year without a drink.

Sadly, it seems that alcohol and drug abusers will often not face their problems until they have hit “rock bottom.” If they are willing, AA offers a practical approach to solve their problem.

The 12 Steps to Success

1. Admit that you are powerless over alcohol – that your life has become unimaginable.

2. Believe that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity.

3. Make a decision to turn your will and your life over to the care of that greater power.

4. Make a soul searching and fearless moral inventory of yourself.

5. Admit to the higher power, to yourself and to another person, the exact nature of your wrongs.

6. You are entirely ready for all of the defects of your character to be removed.

7. Humbly ask for your shortcomings to be removed.

8. Make a list of all the people you have harmed and be willing to apologize to them.

9. Make direct amends to all the people you have harmed whenever possible, unless doing so would cause harm to them or others.

10. Seek ways to improve, either through prayer or meditation, and for knowledge and the power to focus in order to carry out your goal.

11. Continue to make a personal inventory, and when you are wrong promptly admit it.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, try to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all your affairs.

(Adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous)

This report is not a diagnosis. We hope this information can guide you toward improving your life.

Review our Knowledge Base or the links displayed on this page for similar and related topics.