The Twelve Steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Recovery Program are the spiritual foundation for personal recovery used not only by people with an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) but also by their friends and family in Al-Anon and Alateen programs becomes. People who have adopted the Twelve Step Manifesto have found that not only does it provide them with an opportunity to stop drinking, but it also provides a structural framework for them to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
A recent Cochrane review, which rated the effectiveness of AA and other 12-step interventions for AUD, found that using these community recovery resources was as effective as proven treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help people to help maintain recovery...
Of the twelve steps, step three can best be described as the process of handover. It is claimed that lifelong recovery can only be achieved when you make the decision to surrender your will to a higher being. Step three is defined as “(to) make a decision to surrender our will and our lives to the care of God as we understand Him.”
Establishing the Twelve Steps
While AA describes its program as non-religious, it is based heavily on a belief in a higher power, which they colloquially refer to as God..This does not necessarily mean a Christian God, but every higher spiritual being in which a person can put their faith.
While AA has spawned dozens of other drug and alcohol recovery programs, the concept of God used extensively in the text can make some people feel uncomfortable. While AA clearly welcomes people of all religious beliefs and denominations, the colloquial language and references are firmly based on Judeo-Christian traditions in which the spiritual being is male (“he”) and the term “prayer” suggests a close connection to higher power .
For those who are atheist or dissatisfied with these core beliefs, there are other recovery programs that may be just as effective and far more appropriate.
About step three in AA
Members of AA and other twelve-step programs strive to find a new path by embracing spirituality and admitting that they cannot control their addiction on their own. Although the journey begins when a person comes for their first meeting, real recovery begins when the decision is made to “let go” and let greater power take over.
It may be difficult to do this, especially in a culture where people are taught that they are masters of their own destinies, but many find comfort and relief when they sincerely move on to step three. Step three enables a person to use faith as a means to accomplish the impossible by working within a community rather than alone.
Ultimately, without belief, no one – no alcoholic or someone in an unfortunate situation – can make that leap..Active believing and embracing a higher power is both an act of devotion and courage.
After reaching step one (admitting fainting) and step two (consistent with the fact that there is indeed a higher power), step three goes beyond words to actions. It opens the door to the remaining steps and allows a person to begin the process of self-reflection (step four) and admit the nature of their wrongdoing (step five).