12 Steps of NA Explained

Most people are familiar with the term Narcotics Anonymous (NA) but don’t know much about the program. NA is self-described as a non-profit fellowship, or society of men and women for whom drugs have become a major problem. The main purpose of Narcotics Anonymous is to promote addiction recovery through its famous 12-step program. If the addict is willing to accept the principles of the 12 steps and prepared to put in the effort to follow them, they can achieve sobriety. The 12 steps of NA explained in this article are suitable for anyone who is struggling with substance abuse and addiction.

The NA 12 Steps:

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

You realize that you cannot control your addiction or the disastrous effects that it has on your life. You are facing the reality of your situation and are approaching it with humility, and the acceptance to make the necessary changes that will bring sobriety back into your life.

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

You have come to accept that there is a greater Power outside of yourself that can restore you to wholeness, and you decide who or what that Power is: God, Spirit, etc. The Narcotics Anonymous 12 step program is not a religious organization, and does not espouse to who or what the Power is.

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

You have decided to surrender your will to the will and guidance of God. You are now in His care and believe that He will direct your behavior and provide you with wisdom. 

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

You delve into the underlying layers of your psyche to discover unhealthy thought and behavior patterns that must be broken so that you can enjoy true healing and restoration.

5. 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 some of the hidden darkness that you carry. You are now able to admit to God, yourself and another person the reasons that dictated your behavior.

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

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

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

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

8. 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 try to make amends and restore relationships through your words and actions.

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

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

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

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

11. 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 communion with your Higher Power, and only allow Him to lead you.

12. 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 hope necessary to make a full recovery. You also share these 12 steps with others to give them hope, and to use as a pathway of their own to recover from addiction.

The Narcotics Anonymous 12 step program continues to help many addicts maintain sobriety and live a fuller, happier life. There is a 12 step program for anyone who has a substance abuse problem, including alcohol, or other types of addiction. If you struggle with addiction you can get real help by using the NA 12 steps program.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.