12 Step

12 Step Groups

The Twelve Step tradition is a time tested method of recovery from various obsessive-compulsive behaviors which the affected individuals believe have made their lives unmanageable.  These simple tools for living have been used by millions of people to successfully change their lives and recover from negative and even life threatening behaviors.  They are based on a set of Spiritual (not religious) principles originally created by Alcoholics Anonymous in the United States in 1935.  Anonymity as a Spiritual principle is the underpinning of the Twelve-Step way of life.  Sharing and supporting in 12 step groups with like-minded individuals and ongoing fellowship is a major ingredient in the success of the program. 12-step groups are based upon the original works of Dr. Bob and Bill W., co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). There are more AA groups in the community than other 12-step groups for the simple reason that AA has been around since the 1930's and it is more established than other 12-step groups. Nonetheless, there is an abundance of 12-step groups from which to choose in devising a 12-step group program and support for remaining clean and sober.

These groups are:
AA - Alcoholics Anonymous
NA - Narcotics Anonymous
CA - Cocaine Anonymous
MA - Marijuana Anonymous

While family and significant others may attend "open" 12-step meetings, there are specific 12-step groups for family and significant others to attend.

These are:  
Nar-Anon Family Groups
Co-Dependents Anonymous

These groups seek to help family members and significant others of chemically dependent persons. In this way, support is available to every person affected by chemical dependency.  

While attending and talking at meetings is certainly helpful, working a 12-Step program entails a good deal more. When a person is working a 12-Step program, they are attending at least 2 12 step group meetings per week, they have a 12-Step sponsor, and they are working the 12-Steps with their sponsor. If a person is going to meetings only and is happy with their sobriety, that is very good. But, the 12-Steps represent the heart of the AA program, and to skip these, is to miss out on a great deal of personal discovery, learning, and healing. Some people attend 12-Step meetings only and then say the program didn't work for them. There is a saying among 12-Step groups, "It works if you work it." That means the whole program. So, if you know someone who has attended meetings and they continue to struggle with sobriety, encourage them to give the whole program a try by getting a sponsor and working the 12-Steps.