Author: Alex Thompson

Alcoholism Recovery Stages: Six Steps to Beat Alcohol Addiction

what are the 12 steps of recovery

The Twelve Steps themselves are the essence of Alcoholics Anonymous. They are the directions meant to provide members a path to lasting sobriety and a substance-free lifestyle. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine. For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Admitting you’re wrong is difficult, and many AAers find it hard to do to this day. However, it’s also much easier to do after you’ve gone through the 12-step program. If you can truly examine how you’re doing and continue to admit you’ve been wrong before, both recovery and life become easier. For individuals who wish to become sober, admitting they need help is often one of the hardest parts of the entire process. Those of us in recovery know what it’s like to worry that others will judge us based on past decisions, but the benefits of a life in recovery are too important to continue living a life in addiction.

A trained substance abuse counselor can help put one’s mind at ease, teaching them some important coping skills. Denial and ambivalence can have a very adverse effect in the early days of the recovery process. SMART Recovery is a secular alternative to 12-step programs like AA. Rather than emphasizing powerlessness and embracing a higher power, the SMART Recovery approach emphasizes viewing substance use as a habit that people can learn to control. It draws on aspects of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and helps members to build motivation, cope with cravings, change addictive thoughts, and adopt healthy habits.

The steps outline how people can work together to find recovery from addiction, continue to resist urges and avoid triggers, and re-establish a fulfilling and healthy life. It’s important to note that these programs aren’t designed to simply help an individual find sobriety but to help them support others and repair relationships, as well. We hope this introduction to the main alcoholic recovery stages has been helpful. There is now a convincing answer to the question of “can you recover from alcoholism.” It is much easier to beat alcoholism with the help of trained professionals at a rehab center.

For many people, these groups may serve as their primary resource for changing their behavior, but they also often augment formal treatment. Such programs can also be helpful for long-term support and care. Step 12 transforms the addict from a recipient and into a giver. As they have benefitted from treatment, meetings, and the 12 steps, they can help another person through those trials as well. After surrendering their freewill to addiction in Step 1, Step 3 asks the addict to choose sobriety, to choose recovery.

what are the 12 steps of recovery

We believe the 12 Steps can be a critical element of a long-term recovery program. Accordingly, we include the teachings and principles into our treatment program. Along with admitting we need help, this is one of the hardest steps of this process.

With or without a traditionally defined higher power, this step is about willingness to surrender the thoughts and actions that contribute to the addiction. Step 5 asks that the addict take their mental inventory and share it with an objective listener. Without giving voice to the collected fears and judgements, there is the possibility that they could remain internalized and impede recovery. Demographic preferences related to the addicts’ drug of choice has led to the creation of Cocaine Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous and Marijuana Anonymous. Think of people who you believe hurt as a result of your past actions.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it

This stage begins after approximately three months of not drinking alcohol. It is also known as “maintaining abstinence.” If the person started in an inpatient alcoholism treatment program, they would now move to an outpatient one. This choice depends on a few factors, including the cost of alcohol rehab – inpatient facilities are more expensive. In this stage, a person suffering from alcoholism learns relapse warning signs and how to put the tools learned in previous stages, so their life of sobriety continues. People discover the extent, to which using alcohol has compromised their quality of life. They learn to manage anger and build healthy relationships and acquire employment skills.

  1. There is no set timeline for how long it will take someone to go through the steps.
  2. When a person begins recovering from alcoholism, they start a journey through six specific stages of alcohol recovery as they learn to lead a life without alcohol.
  3. If underlying issues are left unresolved, however, one faces a higher risk of forms of compulsive behavior other than compulsive drinking, such as gambling, excessive sport, excessive sexual activity, or compulsive eating.

This keeps going, eventually leading to several people finding recovery. Recovery isn’t about making one decision or doing one thing that makes you stop using substances. For step four, it’s crucial that you look inward and truly ask yourself some questions.

Stage Four: Acting

Some physically manifested signs include restlessness, nausea, insomnia, shakiness, and sweating. During the pre-initiation stage, a person is feeling these effects of alcoholism, but they do not typically want to alter their habits. They are likely to act defensively when the topic is brought up and deny being an alcohol addict. This is the first of the alcoholism recovery stages and the most difficult one. There are many different paths to substance use recovery, and 12-step programs are just one resource that people may find helpful.

An inpatient rehab center’s program of recovery for alcoholics involves therapy and intensive counseling to help find positive ways of coping with the issues that led them to start abusing alcohol, to begin with. Treatment programs last for a minimum of 30 days and can go on for one year. Ideally, one should choose a facility located in a quiet and peaceful area, where it is easier to focus on getting better. A person recovering from alcoholism is encouraged to transition to outpatient treatment after completing his or her residential stay. Echo Recovery is a nonprofit education and recovery support organization committed to helping those seeking treatment for SUD. We know 12-step programs can be difficult to grasp at first, especially if you’re not accustomed to the thought of a higher power in your life.

Research suggests that 12-step interventions and mutual support groups can be essential in recovery. Of all stages of alcoholism recovery, this one is the longest – studies show it can last up to five years. Despite their efforts, some people go back to drinking in this period, but this shouldn’t be seen as a setback.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S.)

While some of them may seem easy enough to understand, there’s something to gain from each one that you may not have realized before. Since AA places such a focus on what you can do one day at a time for recovery, you’ll find some “just for today” quotes that can help illustrate how to navigate certain steps. Believing in this higher power may help someone find meaning in their life outside of addiction. For instance, they may find a greater sense of community by joining a spiritual or religious group.

Dr. Okhifun is a passionate medical doctor, with over five years’ experience as a general practitioner. His passion for medical education led to his journey in medical writing. He also serves as medical coordinator and content writer for Gerocare Solutions, for which he also volunteers as a health advisor/consultant for the elderly.Dr. Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) addresses compulsions related to relationships, referred to as codependency. Once you’ve thought it over, reach out and attempt to make amends with those on your list.

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Now, the addict must be open about their behavior and the effect it had on others. “Power greater than ourselves” is a turn of phrase that causes a great deal of conflict in the 12 step community. The most important part of step 2 is that the addict nullifies the addictive portion of their self and takes hold of hope that sobriety is possible with help. The purpose of the 12 traditions is to help provide guidelines about the relationships between the group and the community as well as between individual members of the group.