What are the Steps in Addiction Recovery?

The steps to addiction recovery will vary from person to person. Some people may choose to follow a 12-step program for addiction recovery, while other patients may need an alternate method. Some patients may need to follow a program of medication and therapy to overcome an addition to drugs or alcohol.

The 12-step process for addiction recovery was developed by the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Other programs designed for patients recovering from addictions or compulsive behaviors also make use of the 12 steps. The first step in the process of addiction recovery is for the patient to admit that he has no control or power over the substance, whether it is alcohol, hard drugs, or any other addictive substance.

The other steps of the addiction recovery process include accepting that a greater power can help a person overcome the addiction and giving up control to God. God is defined by the patient, not the recovery program. The fourth step of the 12-step program has the patient asses his morality, while the fifth step has him confess his wrongs to himself, to another person, and to his God.


In the sixth and seventh steps, he prepares to and then asks his God to fix his shortcomings. During the eighth and ninth steps, he recognizes the ways in which he has harmed others and attempts to make amends with those he has harmed. As in some cases attempting to make amends can do more harm than good, he should only make amends if it won't cause further damage. Steps 10 through 12 involve continuing to assess morality, seeking out God's will, and finally becoming spiritually awakened.

Some patients may prefer a different path to addiction recovery than the 12-step program. After a patient admits that she has a problem with addiction, the second step may be to find the best treatment option. Depending on the severity of a patient's addiction, she may need medicine to help her through withdrawal and to help her cope with cravings and help her brain restore itself.

Addiction recovery may also include a stay in an in-patient rehabilitation center. Not all patients need to go to rehab, though. Some recover fine at home or by seeing a therapist on an out-patient basis.

The final step for any patient during addiction recovery should be finding support. Some people find attending meetings or group therapy helpful, while others are able to lean on family and friends. A few patients may need to completely remove themselves from their old lives and find a new group of sober friends.



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