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The Importance of Step 12 in The Addiction Recovery Journey

Christine O'Kelly
Jan 3, 2008
Step twelve in the 12 Step Program is the culmination of a series of actions in which the addict has experienced a revolutionary change in the way he thinks about himself, others, and the world around him.

Step 12 asks that the addict take this newfound knowledge to help other addicts in recovery. The addict in recovery We do this at work, while shopping, and while socializing.

It is critical that recovering addicts share their experience with other alcoholics and addicts as they who are in the process of working the steps out of the big book. Sharing these experiences is both a life-saving and a life-giving process for the recovering addict which can greatly enrich their own as well as the lives of others.

The Role of Step Twelve In The Recovery Process

There is no better way to truly learn than to teach. Teaching is a challenging and humbling experience, but also one filled with vast rewards for both teacher and student. There is no one more capable of guiding an addict through the process of recovery than one who has been there himself. If the addict in recovery does not guide other addicts through the recovery process, then who will?

Teaching Other Addicts in Recovery

Continuously working with addicts reminds the recovering addict of the insanity of an addict's life. As those in recovery work with others through the 12 Steps, they simultaneously work through them once again themselves, and keep these teachings active in their daily lives.

Relapse Prevention After Completing the 12 Step Program

When one is considering a strategy to prevent relapse one should pay attention to these reasons for relapse by one of the co-founders of alcoholics anonymous, Bill Wilson. Part of a recovering addict's daily strategy in staying clean and sober is to use these as guidelines to see if he or she is on track or headed toward relapse.

- Rebellion against a higher power or the principles of the 12 Step program
- Illusion of having been cured
- Carelessness by not following through with their addiction recovery program
- Complacency
- Guilt over wrongs we refuse to stop doing.
- Too little self-forgiveness
- Too little prayer and meditation
- Failure to seek out spiritual resources
- Feeling physically ill
- Becoming exhausted by not heeding to one's own limitations
- Feeling anxious or fearful
- Depression

One of the primary reasons that addicts relapse is that they begin to forget how destructive drugs or alcohol made their lives. Over time, our minds tend to soften the harsh memories of our past. The moment that the addict begins to believe that the time they spent using was 'not that bad,' is the moment they become at risk of relapse.
About the Author
Christine OKelly is an author for The Mark Houston Recovery Center, a drug rehab in Texas that offers a 90-day relapse prevention program for males designed around the principals of the traditional 12 steps to recovery. The team is passionate about its mission to help men free themselves from alcohol and drug addiction and recreate and reclaim their lives.
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