While some programs may vary slightly in the interpretation of the 12-step addiction recovery program, most follow a similar process, which includes 1) recognizing that there is a problem, 2) having hope or faith that returning to a healthy state is possible, 3) submitting to a higher power, whether it be a Christian God or other being, 4) recognizing any faults, 5) admitting any wrongdoings, past and present, 6) letting go of these faults and recognizing that it is time to change, 7) focusing on healing, hope, prayer and meditation, 8) making a list of those whom the addict may have wronged in the past, 9) personally making amends with the people on that list and letting them know that recovery is in progress, 10) taking responsibility for any actions, whether they be positive or negative, such as a possible relapse, 11) maintaining conscious contact with a higher power and 12) giving back to others. Typically, the 12-step program is altered for the person who is battling with addiction. For example, religion, personal background regarding the addiction and other factors may play a role in customizing the 12-step program to better serve the addict.
While the 12-step program is not limited to Christians, a central focus on and recognition of a higher power can help addicts to recognize their own humanity and weaknesses. A recognition and respect for a higher power also helps to foster the ability to submit an individual's own will to that of a more powerful benefactor.