Introduction to Alcohol Recovery 12-Step at an Alcohol Center
Alcoholism is a tragic and lonely disease!
Like other forms of addiction, as people they become more
dependent on alcohol, they isolate themselves, cutting themselves off
from family, friends and activities they used to enjoy. Even when they
want to come out of that world, they think they can or must do it alone.
The last thing a person needs at the very beginning of recovery is to be alone.
The alcoholic will say, “I’ll cut back,” or “I just have to have the will power to stop doing drugs.”
One alcoholic told me that the only way for him to get
clean was for him to do all of the work, there was no other way. What he
was not considering is that as human beings, we are not wired that way.
We are wired for relationship. We are not meant for isolation.
Moreover, what if I told you that you can’t do it all on your own
strength, that you need something from somebody else? The Alcohol
Recovery 12-Step process for recovery was first created in the 1930’s,
by Alcoholics Anonymous, but over the last 70 plus years, over 250
self-help groups have adopted these steps.
Why? Because they work!
In my group discussions at a residential drug and alcohol
rehab center, we discuss how people are body, mind and spirit. Granted,
our spirits can be strong and our determination staunch, but the greater
power is outside of us. That is the power that only God can provide.
Alcohol Recovery 12-Step — What is it like?
Imagine yourself in the kitchen to make a piece of toast. You have everything you need. But when you push down the lever to lower the bread into the toaster, nothing happens. You have done every correctly, so you double check — bread, butter, jam, knife, plate – and you see that everything is in place. But there is one item missing. You have no power to make the toaster work. After a brief “ah ha” moment you plug the toaster in and shortly thereafter enjoy your toast.
The 12-Step process is similar to making toast in one respect, you have to plug into a power source, and when you do, everything can start to work. We believe that people are not meant to be alone, to handle the everyday challenges of life. It follows that people are certainly not meant to be alone during the very hard times. Whatever the power source, it is vital to the process.
Alcohol Recovery 12-Step History
To appreciate the roots of the Alcohol Recovery 12-Step program we need to spend a moment to look into the personal history of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson.
Please consider using the Alcohol Recovery 12-Step program
There are an abundance of web sites and books written about the alcohol programs, and we’ll share a few of them with you to give you a broader base of understanding and point you to a few excellence resources. The 12-Step program is steeped in tradition and firmly supported by spiritual truth, give us all a model of humanity that points us to a better life, a stronger relationship with our neighbors, and an eternal loving relationship with the one who made us.
As you look through this program, think of them as a process. Like a path you walk on to go from A to Z, only you must take all of the steps and go through each in order, otherwise the path does not lead to your final destination. You go at your own pace and move forward as you see fit. Along the way, remember that these steps were written by people just like you, who needed help and had the courage to accept the help. Regardless of your Alcoholism, 12-Step offers improvement for the human condition. Enjoy your reading. Maybe you like Rev. Buchman and Bill Wilson will go through a spiritual experience of your own. If you do, please share it with us.
The 12-Step Program
Please review each step and try to either begin following them yourself or enroll in a local program. Let’s take a look at the steps. You will see quickly that the process includes others and that we are not meant to go through this alone.
Common Questions about 12-Step Recovery
I think my daughter is an alcoholic?
I believe my 28 yr old daughter is an alcoholic. When I try to talk to
her about it, she either gets mad or just walks off. Then I don’t hear
from her for weeks.
What do I do or say to help her?
by: Ned Wicker
Alcoholics are never wrong, because they never have a problem. It’s always you with the problem.
daughter is in denial and will likely be the very last person to admit
that she has a disease she cannot control. You need to get educated
because you’re in for a fight.
Al-Anon is an excellent resource.
Also, get the family members together for a conference because you
can’t do this alone. You’ll need an army and family is the key to
getting your daughter into treatment.
Joe Herzanek’s book, “Why
Don’t They Just Quit?” is a terrific guide, as is “Getting Them Sober”
by Toby Drews. You need to educate yourself, educate the family.
Fields once said “Never smarted up a chump,” and that’s what your
daughter is counting on–that you will never smarten up and she can keep
drinking. Make some calls and prepare for a difficult task, but a
rewarding outcome. You can do this!
Is an addict or alcoholic ever cured?
My husband has been drinking since he was a kid. Thankfully he has
stopped drinking and is now in recovery. When will he be cured? Is he
already cured? How will I know he won’t start again?
Is and addict or alcoholic ever cured?
by: Fairfield Don
I won’t go into too much detail, but in the year 2011 I was in
rehab four different times, 14 to 21 days each. Plus three times in
detox and several trips to the local hospital.
On Dec 13, 2011, the doctor said I would not live through the night. Well, here is it is Oct 18, 2012, and I’m still kicking.
EACH time I was told I could never drink again, and EACH time I proved them wrong.
a person crosses that line to alcoholic addiction, it’s to late to
cross back over. I have not had a drink of alcohol since Dec 13, 2011,
and I now know I will never be cured. Some people are wondering if I
will ever be cured. I will be cured when I take my last breath. I
became a Christian on the evening of Oct 15, 2012, and the craving has
since gone away.
Will I continue to go to AA? Yes, for the rest
of my life. I am 70 years, and God has told me I
as well as millions of other addicts need maintenance. In my opinion: No addict or alcoholic is EVER CURED.
IS AN ADDICT EVER CURED?
by: Joe Herzanek
In today’s world in which more and more information is readily
available, there seems to be more and more confusion regarding the topic
of an “Addiction Cure” Is there a cure for addiction? Some people would
argue quite convincingly that there is.
I will point out that “even quitting use completely, for many years” does not mean that someone is cured.
probably read or hear information on this topic with various points of
view. The concept of an addict who has been clean for years and
years”not being cured” is a tough one to comprehend.
I think one
way to approach this is to review a definition of alcohol/or drug
addiction. Although there are many signs and symptoms, there is one that
is common to all alcoholics and drug addicts, and that is loss of
control. At some point a person will lose the ability to control their
use. Whether they are daily users or binge users, the common thread is,
once they start using they cannot control how much or when to stop.
if we can agree on that point we can go on to a discussion about cure.
To me a cure means a reversal, or absence of the problem or disease. In
the case of addiction to substances I, in the past thirty-three years,
have never seen an addict regain control of their use, to become a
So I believe that if I were to tell
someone they are cured, they may think they no longer have a problem.
That opens the door to another attempt at social use, which NEVER turns
The way I explain it to people is to think of it like
cancer. There is no cure for cancer but cancer often goes into remission
after treatment. It does not mean they have been cured or that a cure
has taken place. It’s still there but it’s in remission.
I have not used anything since 1977, but I’m not cured. My disease is
in remission. If I were to choose to try to drink occasionally or
socially I would bring my disease out of remission and very soon it
would again cause lots of problems.
I don’t tell people they have
to go to lots of meetings for the rest of their life. Each person will
have to decide for his or herself, how much involvement they need to
stay sober and how often they should attend support groups.
and the 12 Steps are the best support for laying that foundation. This
is what has worked the best for the most. And in the long run it is, in
my opinion, better to err on the side of caution concerning this
horrific and devastating disease.