AA is a self-help, volunteer organization begun in the mid-1930s that views alcoholism as a disease, not a defect of will.
Its founders, themselves alcoholics, maintained that persons with the disease should completely stop drinking, but they did not concern those who could handle alcohol.
This position contrasted with the premises of most temperance advocates, who saw drinking as a moral choice and opposed any alcohol use by anyone.
The Twelve Steps embody the wisdom of the founders of AA about pursuing ongoing recovery from alcoholism.
The procedure they describe has evolved into one of the most successful programs for helping alcoholics.
Many drug treatment programs also have based themselves on this twelve-step model.
The abbreviated Twelve Steps are:
- admission of powerlessness;
- belief in a greater Power;
- submission of one’s will to that Power;
- admission of wrongs within self;
- readiness to have God remove these faults;
- humble prayer for removal of these short-comings;
- list persons whom one has offended;
- make restitution to those whom one has offended;
- continue to take personal inventory;
- seek through prayer and meditation to improve conscious contact with God; and
- having realized a spiritual awakening, try to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all affairs.