What are the AA 12 Steps?

What are the 12 steps of Alcoholics anonymous? Learn the AA 12 steps here.

It was in 1935, in Akron Ohio, that Alcoholics Anonymous had its beginning, when recovered alcoholic Bill W. met Dr. Bob S. who was still drinking heavily. Dr. Bob was greatly influenced by Bill’s successful recovery, and was impressed with the theory that alcoholism was a disease, something Dr. Bob has never considered. The two men began to work successfully with alcoholics at Akron City Hospital, and the rest is history. In 1939, they published a textbook entitle Alcoholics Anonymous which outlined the famous 12-Steps. The AA 12-Steps captures the philosophy and methods of recovering from alcohol addiction.

Most people are familiar with the term “AA 12 step program” but don’t know much about it unless they are an alcoholic or are closely associated with one. AA is a non-profit fellowship of men and women who have a serious alcohol problem. The aim and purpose of AA is to promote alcohol addiction recovery through the 12 steps of AA program. If an alcoholic is willing to accept the principles of the AA 12 step program and commit to following these principles, they can achieve sobriety. The 12 steps of AA are explained below, and are appropriate for anyone who is struggling with alcohol addiction.

The AA 12 Steps:

  1. We admitted that we were powerless over our alcohol addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

You realize that you cannot control your alcohol addiction or the negative effects that it has on your life. You are willing to face the reality of your situation, and approach it with humility, and agree to make the necessary changes that will bring you the victory over your addiction.

  1. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

You accept that there is a Power greater than yourself that can restore you to wholeness, and you decide who or what that Power is: God, Spirit etc. The 12 Steps of AA program is not a religious organization, and does not espouse to who or what the greater Power is.

  1. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

You made the decision to surrender your will to the will and guidance of God. You are now in His care and you agree to follow His will and direction for your life.

  1. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

You have examined the underlying layers of your psyche to discover unhealthy thought and behavior patterns that must be replaced with healthy alternatives, which will bring you true healing and restoration.

  1. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

By searching within your self, you have now seen the exact nature of the dysfunctional mindset that you carry. You are now able to admit to God, yourself and another person the reasons that dictated your unhealthy behavior.

  1. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

You agree to actively work to identify the dysfunctional conditioning within you, so that you can improve your mental health and be prepared to make the necessary changes in your life.

  1. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

You ask your Higher Power to actively remove the darkness from you.

  1. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

You realize the mistakes you have made and are trying to make amends and restore relationships through your words and actions.

  1. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

You proactively try to make amends, except when it would do you or the other person more harm than good.

  1. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

You continue to evaluate yourself and admit your mistakes as you become aware of them.

  1. We 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.

You seek to improve your spiritual union with your Higher Power, and only allow Him to lead you.

  1. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

You are now being renewed daily by your spiritual path, and have found the answers necessary to make a full recovery. You agree to share these 12 steps with others to give them hope, and also to use as a pathway for their own addiction recovery.

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These are the 12 Steps of AA, and serve as the core foundation of their alcohol addiction recovery program. If you have an addiction to alcohol you should use the AA 12 Step program to assist you in your own addiction recovery.



  1. http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/historical-data-the-birth-of-aa-and-its-growth-in-the-uscanada
  2. http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/About-AA/The-12-Steps-of-AA


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