The Twelve Steps are a set of guidelines for spiritual and character development, a recovery plan that has been adapted by many self-help and addiction recovery groups. They can be found in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, at the beginning of the chapter “How It Works”. The essays on the steps can be read in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. The 12 Steps began in the 1930s as a way to overcome the onslaught of alcohol addiction.
Despite the fact that they are based on spiritual principles, many non-religious people have found them immensely useful. Language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands it, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs. Steps 1, 2 and 3 are considered the basis of a 12-step program and it is recommended to practice every day. The Big Book provides background on the history of AA, including its founders, Bill W., and details stories of other recovering alcoholics who have also found sobriety through the program.
It also provides other information and support methods for alcoholics and their families. However, the Big Book is best known for describing the 12 steps and 12 traditions that form the basis of AA. These processes have been followed by millions of recovering alcoholics around the world and are the main reason why AA is the largest substance abuse support group in the world. Because recovery is a lifelong process, there is no wrong way to approach the 12 steps, as each participant tries to figure out what works best for their individual needs.
In fact, most participants find that as they grow in their recovery, they will need to review some steps or even tackle more than one step at a time. The 12 steps are a path to recovery, and they can be found in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Twelve Traditions are a complement to these steps and describe how AA scholarships maintain unity and relate to the world outside of AA. Many AA members have been in recovery for decades and continue to attend regular AA meetings and re-examine the 12 steps of AA to stay on the path of sustained recovery.