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What are the basics of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program?

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Quick Answer

The Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program begins with the person admitting his problem, believing a higher power can help him and turning himself over to that power. He must list those he has harmed and attempt to make amends. The final steps involve continuing to admit wrongs and helping other addicts.

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Full Answer

The first step a person takes is admitting his problem, so he understands he needs help. He must also admit it to others. Step two is believing in a higher power. This doesn't have to be God, as Alcoholics Anonymous is open to those of all religions. In step three, the person turns his life over to that higher power.

In step four, he admits to his faults, which he then admits to himself, his higher power and another person in step five. Step six is becoming ready to have these character defects removed, and step seven is asking the higher power to remove them.

In step eight, he lists people he has wronged. In step nine, he makes amends with each person. Amends are avoided if it may hurt the victim. If the person isn't sure what he should do, he consults with his group about it.

In step 10, he continues to admit his wrongs. Step 11 is continuing to communicate with a higher power. Step 12 is giving back to the Alcoholics Anonymous community by helping other addicts with these same steps.

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