Updated: Apr 27
What Is Addiction?
Addiction or Dependence Syndrome can be defined as a chronic condition wherein the person, typically an addict compulsively craves a substance or behaviour, and loses their control over its consumption/execution. Addiction can have severe, progressively deteriorating effects on physical health, mental health and wellbeing. Timely treatment of any addiction is important before it seeps in and affects other aspects of our life. Although medications have proven to be effective for the treatment of various addictions, ample number of researchers have argued that a blend of psychotherapies and pharmacotherapy is effective for addiction treatment. Since it is a relapsing disorder, meaning, the patient or addict seeking treatment has the tendency to fall back into their old habits of addiction, it is supremely important to use modalities that continue during and also after the recovery has been made. One such intervention is the 12 Step facilitation therapy.
About The 12-Step Facilitation Therapy
The twelve-step facilitation by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) follows a set of 12 guiding principles that are essential to move forward on the road to recovery for alcoholics and people with other addictions and dependencies. These “steps” guide the members of the Alcoholics Anonymous foundation on their journey to abstinence with an aim of carrying the message forward to other alcoholics.
The 12 steps were originally published in the book Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism also known as “The Big Book”. The original traditions have been adapted since their first publication and have since then been used along with other therapeutic approaches for drug and alcohol addiction treatment at self-help groups, rehabilitation facilities and addiction treatment centres etc.
A typical 12-step facilitation meeting consists of the members seeking support and a facilitator. It begins with an opening prayer recitation followed by reading the 12-steps and traditions from the Big Book followed by discussion, sharing stories and experiences, announcements and closing recitation.
These meetings provide social and emotional support to addicts currently on the road to recovery as well as members who are now sober. The sober peers share their stories of success and their experiences, which encourages others to shun their addictive habits and gives them hope.
The Twelve Steps Of Recovery
The twelve steps of recovery are laid on the philosophy of:
A. Acceptance: The foremost step in recovery is to accept that the problem of substance use or behaviour was unmanageable on your own and that you have no control over it.
B. Surrender: To surrender to the higher power and seek its support for recovery.
The twelve steps of recovery by AA are as follows:
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable- Recovery begins with being honest to ourselves and accepting that we are powerless over our habits.
Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity- to put your whole faith in a higher power and believe that only they can guide you to the right path now. The original 12 steps have the influence of christanity and spirituality and hence a over the time, members and groups have found their own relative definition of “higher power”.
Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him- to surrender your will to the higher power.
Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves- to search within your soul and seek to find shortcomings of their behaviour.
Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs- to come forth and accept your shortcomings to God and to other people.
Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character- be ready and open to remove these shortcomings entirely.
Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings- to humbly ask the higher power for his help to remove faults and shortcomings of our behaviour
Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all- to make a list of persons that have been harmed by your behaviour, intentionally or otherwise.
Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others- to make amends to your wrongings and change them.
Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it- to maintain that sense of acceptance throughout the whole journey and after.
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- praying to the higher power and meditating in order to lead life spiritually.
The principles of the 12 Steps have been extended to all other addictions, showing immense promise in the recovery process for all those afflicted.