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What does 12 step mean?

12 step in this context refers to the 12 step approach originally of alcoholics anonymous, but now utilized by a number of 12 step organizations associated with addictive behaviour in general.

12 step work is essentially a form of group self-help. The central themes of 12 step work are to reach a recognition of one�s powerlessness over their addictive illness, but also to recognize that there is a higher power which can have a protective and nurturing effect. It is core to 12 step principles that this higher power is not necessarily a religious one.

What are the 12 steps?

1st of the 12 steps: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol�that our lives had become unmanageable.

2nd of the 12 steps: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3rd of the 12 steps: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4th of the 12 steps: a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5th of the 12 steps: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6th of the 12 steps: We\’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7th of the 12 steps: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8th of the 12 steps: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9th of the 12 steps: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10th of the 12 steps: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11th of the 12 steps: 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.

12th of the 12 steps: 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.