Finally, someone found the initiative to lend a helping hand to those who are greatly disturbed and suffering from the cruel effects of addiction. Currently, there have been so many support groups sprouting from every place on earth. Since addiction is almost considered universal, it is only proper for these support groups to go global and extend their helping hands all around the world. Support groups that deal with addiction include alcoholics anonymous, overeaters anonymous, sex and love addicts anonymous, and the list could go on.
It all originated from alcoholics anonymous. Bill Wilson, an alcoholic himself had founded the group after his rehabilitation. He figured out that the best people who could help those who are experiencing the dark side of addiction are those who have been addicts themselves, those who have experienced the same suffering and ordeal. Thus, he formed alcoholics anonymous which is a group that caters to anyone who is willing to recover and push alcohol addiction away. The goal, of course, is to help these people deal with their addiction problems and start a new life.
Alcoholics Anonymous uses a twelve-step program as a method of recovery from alcoholism. The group was the one who initially proposed this program and was then used and modified by other groups such as emotions anonymous and sex and love addicts anonymous. The twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction, compulsion, or other behavioral problems.
These are the original Twelve Steps as published by Alcoholics Anonymous:
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. 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.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Acceptance of the self for the all the mistakes and wrong choices they have done in their past is the main point of this program. Due to this reason the program also encourages the person that it is not too late for change. Admitting the problem and recognizing they require help from others and most especially from a supreme being, which is God, is the very vital thought of the 12-step program.
In the twelve-step program human structure is symbolically represented in three dimensions: physical, mental, and spiritual. The problems the groups deal with are understood to manifest themselves in each dimension.
It is suggested that members regularly attend meetings with other members who share their particular recovery problem. In accordance with the First Step, twelve-step groups highlight self-admission by members of the problem they are recovering from. It is in this spirit that members often identify themselves along with an admission of their problem, e.g. “Hi, I’m Wendy and I’m an alcoholic.” Such catchphrases are now widely linked with support groups. Some meetings are known as dual-identity groups, which support attendance from certain demographics, so that some areas have for example, women’s groups; men’s groups; and gay, lesbian, transgendered groups. There are also in some areas beginner’s groups as well as “old-timer” groups that limit who can share, or speak during the meeting, by the length of time the members have in that fellowship.
Twelve-Step Programs are there to help individuals face their problems.