Participation in 12 Step groups, during and after formal treatment has been associated with positive outcomes for people with substance and process addictions. Hailed as the standard for recovery from nearly any type of addiction, the Alcoholics Anonymous model of 12 Steps and 12 Traditions is one of the oldest treatment programs around. There are many 12 Step programs for various addictions and compulsive behaviors, ranging from Cocaine Anonymous to Gamblers Anonymous—all using the same 12 Step methods. There are also 12 Step programs available to support loved ones of people with addiction, such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon
The 12 Steps were created by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous to establish guidelines for the best way to overcome an addiction to alcohol. The program gained enough success in its early years for other addiction support groups to adapt the steps to their own needs.
Although the 12 Steps are based on spiritual principles, many nonreligious people have found the program immensely helpful. The language emphasizes the presence of God as each participant understands God, allowing for different interpretations and religious beliefs.
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