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Step Eight

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Step Eight

Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

When making our moral inventory in Step 4, part of that list had to include other people in our lives, our family, friends and acquaintances.

We were examining our own lives. Maybe one of the points on the list was that my drug use hurt my kids. Ok, the kids are on my list. Who else? Now we are examining our lives from a social perspective.

Addiction Step Eight



Preparing to Make Amends

This is a preparatory step. We are making the list, and then we have to go through a period of self-examination to prepare ourselves to make the necessary amends.

The list is a record of the persons we have harmed through our addictive behavior. Under the influence of addiction we might have treated people badly, stolen from them, or perhaps even physically harmed them.

Step Eight is a preparatory step that is really focused on others.

This preparatory step is really focused on others, as we try to understand and fully experience how we have harmed others. We want to understand from their perspective exactly how our behavior has led to a breakdown of the relationship, how we have inflicted pain on them and how we may proceed with the relationship moving forward.

If you think about it, it’s actually a difficult step, as we prepare to face those we’ve abused, harmed or alienated.

Perhaps we are harboring bad feelings towards somebody, as a result of our addictive behavior. Someone might have been concerned about you and tried to reach out, but that effort was misinterpreted as being hostile or threatening. We do things and we say things in defense of our behavior.

After all, the addict is not wrong, everybody else is. Relationships, even loving ones, break down because the addiction has caused too much distance to take shape. We let people slip away in order to satisfy our need for the drug. The drug has become more important. People become objects and we can toss them away or ignore them.

Step Eight Sets Stage for Next Step

The next step (Step 9) in the process is actually making those amends, and is very closely related to this step. However, like Step 4 is necessary for Step 5, if we can successfully work through Step 8, the next step becomes possible. It deals with our own attitude and our own willingness to make amends.

If you’re in court and the judge orders you to pay restitution for something you have done against another person, the action might even be easier because you’ve been told to take action.

In Step 8, you are the one who makes the list for restitution, and because you’ve been working the steps your list is complete and honest.

But you are the one who has to take action. Others may encourage you, or prompt you, but you are the one who has to say,

“I have done ‘this’ to you and I would like to make up for it.”

In the criminal justice system, when they bring prisoners face-to-face with their victims, it can be a very difficult and emotional meeting. It can also be very therapeutic. But the meeting requires preparation. I know what I need to do, but I need to prepare for it.

Forgiveness is Just as Important

If someone has harmed us this step is likewise necessary to prepare our hearts to forgive others. Forgiveness is an interesting human experience. I may need to forgive somebody for something they do to me, but they may want no part of my forgiveness. Does that mean I don’t forgive them? Certainly not.

I’m the one carrying the resentment, the same, the guilt and that needs to be processed. If I am going to be forgiven for all that I have done as a result of my addiction, I must also be willing to forgive others who may have harmed me.

A couple of passages from the Gospel of Matthew help to illustrate this point. In Matthew 6:14-15, the writer instructs: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

In the next chapter he follows with an admonition: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye” (Matthew 7:3-5).

The hard part is being honest, being complete and being willing to follow through to the next step. Cleansing of the soul is never easy. Step Nine: Once you have completed Step 8 go to Step 9.


and Finally Remember:

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
- Matthew 7:7-8






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**  We're also launching four new classes which will help you learn how to use motivation, affirmation and encouragement to end addiction in yourself or a loved one. Each class will focus on an evidence-based concept, explaining how to illicit positive change in yourself or in someone you love.

We will teach you practical techniques that research has shown to be effective for achieving change and successfully ending addiction. We'll begin offering these classes this September through Learn-It-Live (Learn-It-Live is easy to use teaching tool and you don't need to download anything to use it). Click Register Now! below to join one of our classes. The registration process includes setting up an account, but you determine your screen name to protect your confidentiality.


Four new addiction classes:

- Addiction 101, a FREE 60 minute course introducing key substance addiction recovery concepts. This seminar examines many aspects of drug addiction, including symptoms and treatment. It also introduces the Stages-of-Change as a building for recovery.  It will be held on October 3 at 6:00pm central-time.

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- Intervention, introduces you to Change-Talk as an alternative to "tough-love". Change-Talk is a method, which you can learn, to get an addict (including yourself) to move away from addiction and toward recovery.  This is a 2-hour class that meets October 5, at 10:00 am central-time at a cost of $10.

Intervention
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- Change-Talk, is a building-block for addiction recovery. This course teaches you to recognize, listen to, and encourage Change-Talk in yourself and others.  Research has shown it helps lead to positive change. This is a 2-hour class on Thursday, October 13 at 10:00 am central-time, for a cost of $10.

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- Effective Conversations, explains how to use conversation to connect for recovery. Reflective listening and change-focused conversations often facilitate positive change and addiction recovery. This is a 2-hour class that will meet on Thursday, October 19 at 10:00 am central-time, at a cost of $10.

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