The 12 step approach to recovery is a concept that has been around for over 70 years. Addiction treatment centers in California regularly adopt the 12 steps because of how effective they have been in helping individuals recover from addiction. Each treatment center has its own way of integrating the 12 steps into its programs.

The 12 steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish a step-by-step plan for recovery. Although the creators of the program initially intended it for alcoholics, it has also proven effective in helping drug addicts. The plan is used worldwide in a wide range of treatment programs.

What is the 12 Step Approach to Recovery?

The original 12 step program has not changed in its wording, scope, or focus since its inception. The steps are as follows:

Step 1:

Admitting we are powerless over alcohol—that our lives have become unmanageable.

Step 2:

Coming to believe that a Power higher than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step 3:

Making a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step 4:

Making a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Step 5:

Admitting to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 6:

Being entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 7:

Humbly asking Him to remove our shortcomings.

Step 8:

Making a list of all persons, we have harmed and be willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9:

Making direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10:

Continuing to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admitting it.

Step 11:

Seeking 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.

Step 12:

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others who struggle with addiction. Furthermore, we strive to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Do I Have to Be Religious to Practice the 12 Steps?

One of the reasons why the 12 step approach to recovery has been criticized in the past is due the religious wording. However, it should be noted that neither the founders nor current members of Alcoholics Anonymous intend to impose any particular religious belief on anyone practicing the 12 steps.

Furthermore, many rehab programs in California adopt their own version of the 12 steps in ways that make sense to their clients. In addition, the 12 steps are practical when applied regardless of whether you are religious or what religion you practice. You never have to feel pressured or judged by those around you who may have a different religious belief.

Does the 12 Step Approach Work?

The evidence to support the 12 step program’s effectiveness in treating alcohol or drug addiction is scattered at best. You may find differing opinions for experts in the addiction treatment field.

 However, thousands of former addicts have provided endless testimony and statements on how the 12 step program or AA groups have been instrumental in their recovery.

Substance abuse treatment programs in California continue to include the 12 steps into their treatment programs because of the impact that it makes in their clients’ lives.

Learn More About the 12 Step Approach to Recovery

If you are interested in learning more about the 12 step approach to recovery, contact Summit Estate today. We offer 12 step programs as a part of our addiction treatment therapies. To get started with your treatment, call 800.701.6997.

Summit Estate Recovery CenterSummit Estate Recovery Center logo offers private and semi-private rooms, as well as other luxurious amenities such as Jacuzzi, sauna, steam showers, fully equipped gym, executive business center, and more. The serene nature of the residential property creates a comfortable substance-free living environment. Stays usually range from 30 to 90 days. You can fuel your recovery in several different ways – from counseling and holistic therapy to gourmet meals and sober adventures. To learn more, visit