The 12 Steps of AA and NA

The Principles Behind Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous

There are many approaches to addiction recovery and substance use disorder treatment, but the 12-step model has proven to be one of the most time-tested and effective. Before you start working the 12 steps, it can be helpful to know what each step entails to understand the actions you’ll need to take.

The principles behind AA and NA include support, accountability, and sharing. These principles are outlined in detail in the program’s famous 12 steps, and the basic ideas are simple to understand and easy to put into action. This simplicity is at the heart of the 12-step model and one of the keys to its enormous success.

If you are worried about yourself or a loved one  suffering from addiction, it is time to seek help. You owe it to yourself to begin exploring the many significant aspects Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) offers.

What Are the 12 Steps?

If you genuinely want to understand the power of groups like AA and NA, you need to start with a thorough look at the 12 steps that make it all possible. Here are the 12 steps of AA and NA:

  1. Admitting you are powerless in the face of the substance you have been abusing: Whether that substance is alcohol, prescription medications, street drugs like heroin, or a combination, this admission of powerlessness is the first step on the road to recovery.
  2. Belief in a higher power: Whether that power is God, the spirit, or the universe’s moral arc, belief in a higher power is a cornerstone of the 12-step model.
  3. Turning your life over to a higher power: The third step of the 12-step process is turning your life over to a higher power. This relinquishing of power is an essential part of the AA and NA models.
  4. Making a moral inventory: Taking an honest inventory is the next step on the road to recovery, and it can take time and effort. Making a list of moral failings and past mistakes can be a painful process, but it is also an essential one.
  5. Admitting the nature of our moral shortcomings: Admitting to moral faults is a critical step in the AA and NA process and necessary for moving forward.
  6. Making a plan, with God’s help, for overcoming those challenges: Now that the shortcomings and moral difficulties have been identified, it is time to craft a plan to overcome them.
  7. Ask God for help in overcoming obstacles and challenges: No one overcomes a substance use disorder independently, and asking God for help is a crucial part of the AA and NA model.
  8. Make a list of people you have wronged: Alcoholism and substance use disorders are not solo diseases; they have widespread repercussions for everyone in the individual’s orbit. That is why making a list of people who have been wronged is so critical to lasting recovery.
  9. Make amends: Identifying the people who have been wronged is only one step; the other half of the process entails making amends and making it up to the identified individuals. This process is a brave step and a vital one for long-term recovery.
  10. Conduct a personal inventory: Now that you are on the road to recovery, you need to continue with a detailed personal inventory. Crafting a unique list of your strengths and weaknesses is an essential part of the 12-step process.
  11. Focus on spiritually guided self-improvement: Overcoming addiction is a marathon, not a sprint, and continuous self-improvement is an integral part of success.
  12. Experience a spiritual awakening: Belief in a higher power is a vital underpinning of the AA and NA model, and the final step of the 12 is an overwhelming spiritual awakening. If you talk to your fellow AA and NA members, you will hear their inspiring stories of success and spiritual awakening.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

Benefits of Attending 12-Step Meetings

The 12-step model has become a cornerstone of the addiction recovery process. Compared to other methods used to approach and overcome substance use disorders like alcoholism and drug addiction, the 12-step model has proven highly effective and easily replicable.

AA and NA fellowship has demonstrated many advantages over the years. Here are some of the many benefits that addicts, alcoholics, and their family members can derive when they embrace the 12 step model of accountability and recovery:

  • Provides a sober recovery community. Being surrounded by sober people is a powerful force for good and one of the most important benefits of the 12-step recovery model.
  • Helps build a strong support network. Having a strong support network is critical for those in recovery, and the 12-step model provides that support.
  • Holds people accountable. It’s easy to slip up when going through rehab, and without accountability, a single mistake could end in a full-scale relapse. By holding their members accountable, 12-step programs can reduce the risk of relapse.
  • Keeps people engaged in their recovery and self-improvement. Addiction recovery and self-improvement are inextricably linked, and you cannot have one without the other. The 12-step model includes a strong focus on improving oneself and building a better and brighter future.

If you or a loved one suffers from alcoholism, drug abuse, or any other substance use disorder, it is vital to get the right help. The chances are that help in recovery will include some 12-step program, and now that you understand the many advantages of this time-tested model, you can move forward with confidence.

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.