Twelve Step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Al-anon, Cocaine Anonymous and others don’t just address the substance or overt behaviour. In progressing through the 12 Steps other benefits will be realized. These are know as the rewards of recovery. One example is;


o     Faith instead of despair.

o     Courage instead of fear.

o     Hope instead of desperation.

o     Peace of mind instead of confusion.

o     Real friendships instead of loneliness.

o     Self-respect instead of self-contempt.

o     Self-confidence instead of helplessness.

o     A clean conscious instead of a sense of guilt.

o     The respect of others instead of their pity and contempt.

o     A clean pattern of living instead of a hopeless existence.

o     The love and understanding of our families instead of their doubts and fears.

o     The freedom of a happy life instead of the bondage of an alcoholic obsession.





  1. Pingback: Step 4 « Out Here Hope Remains

  2. Wonderful comment Oldude59,
    Ofcourse, the original 12-Step program was indeed extracted from the culture of the 1930’s. Since then the 12-Step programs have come to be seen as not narrowly religious but are spiritual in nature. That is, principles that are timeless in human relations and are based on the very best ethical, moral and altruistic practices of being.

    While one can change one’s religion or belief, spiritual principles are enduring.

    A newcomer may see that such rewards are possible by studying the actions, comportment and lives of people in recovery – from any program if examples are readily available.

  3. The additional benefits that you list are also received through other methods that are not 12 stepped based. In fact many of the benefits you suggest come from almost every religious experience. The fact that 12 step programs rest on religion based principles – what else should someone expect!

    Don’t get me wrong – any program that I would suggest to assist in recovery would include pointing and suggesting that life has greater meaning than material pleasures, such a getting high or escaping from current life situations temporally. It’s just the exclusionary tone of voice that I object. I believe as strongly as anyone that my program is the best on the planet but I have to make room of others that do fine work like those of which you write. I do this in a sense of humility.


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