This type of ongoing participation in a program that improves members’ lives is very different from a destructive drug or alcohol dependency. Twelve-Step programs have overarching principles and traditions that may seem unusual to people unfamiliar with addiction and recovery.
Some people may be able to recover on their own, but most cannot – and there is no shame in that.
Although the Steps were initially conceived from a Christian point of view, the core principles have been beneficial for millions of people who do not believe in God.
Like other texts and programs, the 12 Steps are a series of words and concepts that are open to interpretation.
People are free to participate or not, and to take what works for them and leave the rest.
There is hope that participants will embrace the wisdom of some of the 12-Step principles but they are also encouraged to think critically and to find their own way. Twelve-Step recovery is full of guiding principles and suggestions, but there are actually very few rules.