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History of the 12-Step Program

The goal of 12-step treatment programs in alcohol and drug addiction recovery is to empower individuals (ironically through powerlessness) to remain sober for the rest of their lives and live a meaningful and fulfilling life. This life-changing treatment process traditionally incorporates a spiritual foundation to strategically create a plan for individuals struggling with any type of addiction.

Origins of the 12-step treatment program

The 12-step treatment program originated from Alcoholics Anonymous and outlines a set of guidelines to help individuals recover from their addiction. Bill Wilson, one of the original founders of the AA program, recognized the need for an effective treatment program for individuals who were struggling.

In 1935, Wilson struggled with alcoholism for years and finally overcame his addiction. He gathered what he learned from his recovery process and sought to help other individuals recover from alcoholism. He believed that alcoholism was essentially a disease that hindered the person’s mind, body and soul. Published in 1939, Bill Wilson wrote the Big Book for Alcoholics Anonymous which became the foundation for the 12-step treatment program.

Today, 12-step programs are used to help individuals recover from all types of addiction. Drug and alcohol treatment centers use Bill Wilson’s guidelines as their foundation for treating substance abuse with the purpose of cleansing the mind, body, and soul from addiction.

What are the 12 steps?

As outlined by Alcoholics Anonymous, the following are the 12-step guidelines for addiction recovery:

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Instilling faith in God is the ultimate foundation for alcohol and drug addiction recovery. Per the 12-step program, His Teachings help to establish a sense of meaning and purpose in the struggling addict’s life. The personal journey of treatment recovery is strengthened and fortified by a supportive community and a team of highly trained professionals who lead the individuals closer to God.

What occurs during the 12-step program?

Individuals who have committed to the treatment process will be able to engage in individual and group therapy sessions to connect them with people of similar experiences. An individually designed recovery plan is created for every individual and is based upon the foundation of the 12 steps and a whole-person approach to recovery, through mind, body, and soul.

The purpose of individual and group therapy sessions is to create a supportive environment for individuals to feel safe and to connect them with professionally trained staff and fellow recovering addicts. Patients have comprehensive options such as inpatient, outpatient, and aftercare programs that is intended to engage individuals in meaningful and productive activities that they can continue to incorporate throughout their lifetimes. The program helps to establish connection within the community and creates a sense of belonging to those who were once lost and referred to alcohol or drugs for solace.

Covenant Hills Christian/Traditional 12-step treatment program

Covenant Hills focuses on a “whole-person” approach to care and uses faith to guide individuals through every part of the 12-step treatment program. This transformative process allows individuals to recognize their struggle and connect to professionals who are dedicated in helping individuals reconnect to God and to their community for support.

At Covenant Hills, the Christian 12-step program is designed to detoxify individuals from substance abuse and restore them with the tools needed to live a life filled with God’s love and protection. Their comprehensive program options are rooted in the 12-steps with the understanding that individuals cannot overcome their addiction alone.

Faith is the foundation for removing the mind, body, and soul from all destructive toxins and restoring the individual’s willpower to remain sober. The 12-step program provides the guidelines needed to begin the healing process for every individual suffering from substance abuse and an absence of faith. Covenant Hills and their highly dedicated staff empathize with each patient and work to design a plan for individuals to remain  sober and follow God’s Word for the rest of their lives.


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