What Does the Big Book Teach?

Referred to as the Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism is the guiding book for all 12 step programs. With over 400 pages, the Big Book is filled with personal anecdotes of alcoholics and the 12 steps that pave the path to recovery. Written by Bill W. and Dr. Bob, the first two members of AA, it teaches by examples and stories of both what not to do and what works.

The 12 Steps

Chapter five of the Big Book includes the 12 steps for the alcoholic and addict. These include such underlying principles as admitting that we are powerless against alcohol and that is has made life unmanageable to finding something bigger than yourself, some sort of “God as we know him.”

Big Book

The Big Book is a guide for all 12 step programs.

The 12 Steps also dictate that alcoholics recognize and acknowledge the wrongdoings that addiction lead them to do and reach out—if possible—to make amends to those we have hurt.

The final step, step 12, is perhaps one of the most important in the whole AA philosophy. It states that as recovering alcoholics, we have an innate duty to do service for others, specifically other alcoholics.

At the root of the 12 steps is the idea that people cannot—or perhaps do not—recover from alcoholism on their own. You can’t do it alone and therefore alcoholics need each other to help them get and remain in recovery.

If you’ve tried to get sober on your own and failed, call 800-839-1686Who Answers? today. Don’t do it alone, let us help you get into the treatment you need and make the changes to live a life of recovery.

The Stories

A large portion of the Big Book is devoted to personal accounts from early AA members. Two of the most popular stories are from the book’s authors, Bill’s Story and Doctor Bob’s Nightmare.

These stories describe the destruction that alcohol creates and how it’s next to impossible to overcome without the 12 steps. They tell how people lost money, their families, and more, and yet AA brought them back from the edge.

These stories, and to an extent the 12 steps themselves, are not just for those in early recovery. Those in 12 step programs always reference back to the book. They use it as a constant and continuing guide to recovery and you are never “done” with the Big Book. There is always something more to be gained, an insight made, or a connection formed.

What are the Alcoholics Anonymous Daily Reflections?

The 12 Traditions

In the appendix of the Big Book, you can find the 12 traditions outlined. These are principles that coincide with the 12 steps, yet detail how AA groups and meetings should be operated.

Are You Ready for Recovery?

If you’re tired of being addicted to alcohol or drugs, it’s time to make a decision. Call 800-839-1686Who Answers? today to learn about your treatment options and find the help you need to start on the road to recovery. It may be the call that saves your life.

How Our Helpline Works

For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous.com helpline is a private and convenient solution.

Calls to any general helpline (non-facility specific 1-8XX numbers) for your visit will be answered by American Addiction Centers (AAC).

We are standing by 24/7 to discuss your treatment options. Our representatives work solely for AAC and will discuss whether an AAC facility may be an option for you. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither AlcoholicsAnonymous.com nor AAC receives any commission or other fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a visitor may ultimately choose.

For more information on AAC’s commitment to ethical marketing and treatment practices, or to learn more about how to select a treatment provider, visit our About AAC page. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA.