The 12-steps of AA

What are the 12-Steps of AA?

The 12-Steps of AA has been proven to be an effective approach to sustainable, long-term recovery from addiction. Essentially the heart of all the teachings of AA, the formation behind the 12-steps started in 1938 when two men, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith wrote down what would later be referred to as the first edition of the Big Book. These teachings and the steps are the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Emerge Healing Center incorporates the teachings and practices of AA along with other treatment methodologies based on the client’s individualized treatment plans.

The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA):

In AA, a common phrase is to keep “working the steps.” What this really means is continuing to study the 12 steps and what they mean, and then applying them whenever possible to one’s life. When an alcoholic first begins treatment, the steps are usually intended to be done in sequent order, with some lasting longer than others, and many repeating themselves. However, there is no one “right” way to use them.

So, what are the 12 steps? See below.

  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.


As previously mentioned, Alcoholics Anonymous is based on the 12-step program created by founders Bill Wilson and Robert Holbrook Smith.

Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was a stockbroker from New York and had struggled with drinking for years. He found that helping others with their own sobriety in turn helped him with his. In fact, he was among the first to recognize that alcoholism is a disease, not a moral failing. Bill believed that any alcoholic could recover, regardless of their past or current situation.

Robert Holbrook Smith, also known as “Dr. Bob” was an American physician and surgeon who founded Alcoholics Anonymous with Bill Wilson. Based in Akron, Ohio, he came in contact with Wilson in the spring of 1935. Their first meeting together was the start of a life of sobriety not just for them, but for millions to come.

Today, AA can be found in over 180 nations, with a membership estimated at over two million and its literature translated in over 100 languages.


More often than not, an alcoholic is affecting more lives than their own. Families and loved ones of the individual often experience ongoing feelings of hopelessness and desperation for the situation and have no place to turn.

Al-Anon, which is a 12-step program designed specifically for friends and family members of alcoholics, is also a good way to learn more about how to help a loved one who has a drinking problem. The program, which is based on the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program, helps people deal with their own feelings and emotions as well as the alcoholism of a loved one. Being able to speak about their own experience and loved one, as well as hear from others, can be crucial in the healing process for both parties

AA Statistics

Alcoholics Anonymous, the worldwide fellowship of sobriety seekers, is the most effective path to abstinence, according to a comprehensive analysis conducted by a Stanford School of Medicine researcher and his collaborators.

In the Big Book itself, the literature for AA, the success rate is listed as approximately 50%, plus 25%. This means that an estimated 50% of members stay sober, 25% relapse but return to sobriety and 25% return to a life of addiction. However, since the nature of the group is anonymity, it can be difficult to pinpoint hard and true statistics. What we do know is that millions of addicts and loved ones have seen the benefits of AA in their lives.


For additional information on Alcoholics Anonymous, visit

To find AA meetings in Georgia, visit

To learn more about Al-Anon, visit

Help for Alcohol Use Disorder

If you’re concerned that you or your loved one needs help with alcoholism, contact us today for a confidential assessment. Emerge Healing Center is here to help you determine the best option for your needs. Our highly-trained staff is here to answer any questions you may have and get you into the most effective program possible.