Do I Have to Take the 12 Steps in Order?

The 12 steps are meant to be defined and interpreted in the way that is best for you as a recovering individual. However, there are some rules concerning their order, depending on whom you ask. Call 800-839-1686 today to discuss AA with one of our recovery experts or to find professional rehab centers that will cater to your needs.

Interpreting the 12 Steps Your Way

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the effectiveness of AA and its 12 steps is “believed to be maximized the more a client is able to personalize the concepts expressed by the steps in her own life.” However, there are certain parts of the program that do need to be taken in order. This is why there is some confusion over whether or not one must take the 12 steps exactly as they are.

It is still important to interpret the 12 steps in your own way in order to create the best recovery program for your needs. In traditional rehab, patients are given a treatment program that is based on their specific situation, needs, and personal experiences in order to help them recover safely and effectively.

In many ways, the steps must be utilized in the same way, and members must be able to define for themselves how they can recover through them. Still, one particular concept is important to define.

Step One Must Occur First

12 Steps in Order

Accepting your powerlessness over the addiction should always be your first step.

Your first step must be to accept that your alcohol abuse has gotten out of your control and that you accept the fact that you require help in order to recover and end your dangerous use.

If you attempt to go through the other actions first, you may still have doubts and give up on your recovery altogether, feeling like you can control your alcohol use on your own. This is a dangerous concept to still have in your mind when entering AA.

“Acceptance, which includes the realization that drug addiction is a chronic, progressive disease over which one has no control” is necessary for a safe, strong, and rational recovery, and it must occur before any other steps can begin (National Institute on Drug Abuse). The other steps, though, can occur in different orders at some points for a very critical reason.

You Don’t Want to Get Stuck

Those who feel like they absolutely must take the steps in order sometimes get stuck on one and then end up struggling. They often will start to feel like the program isn’t for them and quit. Therefore, moving on to different parts of the program can be beneficial and even allows some relief during these times of bafflement.

For example, even if you have not been able to make a full list of individuals to whom you need to make amends to in step 8, you can talk to those you already have listed as you would in step 9 and still stay on track.

How Can I Tweak the 12 Steps to Fit Me?

AA Can Help You Recover

AA is an extremely beneficial treatment option for alcoholism recovery. Call 800-839-1686 to find rehab centers that can help you learn more about AA while in treatment and to even begin attending meetings during your early recovery.

How Our Helpline Works

If you're seeking addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline offers a convenient and private solution to assist you. Our caring treatment advisors are ready to take your call anytime, day or night. Calls are answered 24/7 to discuss treatment and recovery options.

Your call is routed to a general helpline call center where caring admissions coordinators can help you decide what treatment option is right for yourself or for your loved one. Our helpline is NOT affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous/AA nor does AA sponsor the treatment options that are recommended when you call.

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