The 12 step program is beneficial to people in addiction recovery as it offers them ongoing support as they maneuver life without drugs or alcohol. The 12 step method was initially created by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA or AL-ANON) as part of alcohol addiction treatment. Founders Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith believed that the only way addicts would achieve sobriety was by completing each of the steps. Fortunately, the 12 steps of AL-ANON have since been expanded. They now address all manner of addictions, and our Pennsylvania drug rehab offers 12 step recovery programs to clients who could use the additional support.

What Are the 12 Step Principles?

The main text of AA – “The Big Book” – lists the 12 steps, each of which centers around a particular milestone the person must achieve to move forward in recovery. Although the AL-ANON 12 steps were originally founded on religious principles, because each of the steps is represented by a word, they apply to people who are non-religious, as well.

The 12 principles of AA are as follows:

  1. Honesty: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Hope: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Surrender: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Courage: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Integrity: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Willingness: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of characters.
  7. Humility: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Love: Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Responsibility: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Discipline: Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Awareness: 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. Service: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and practice these principles in all our affairs.

As we mentioned previously, while the 12 steps were originally intended to be applied to alcoholism treatment, other groups have been created that are centered on the same 12 steps. For instance, Narcotics Anonymous’s 12 steps are the same as those of AA and are used to help people addicted to opioids in their recovery.

How Do 12 Step Programs Work?

The purpose of our 12 step recovery programs in Pennsylvania is to provide support, encouragement, motivation, and accountability for people who genuinely want to achieve sobriety. These programs are designed to give recovering addicts a guideline on how to not only manage personal healing but also how to apply the principles of recovery to their daily lives and reconcile with those who were hurt by their actions.

12 steps programs at our PA drug rehab offer two unique features: group discussions and personal work via sponsorship. AA 12 steps and other similar groups are usually held in group settings, during which a counselor leads the discussion and asks the group various questions regarding their recovery.

At our addiction treatment facility, all participants are encouraged to share their thoughts during the group not only to encourage other members but also to receive sound advice from our experienced counselors. These are judgment-free zones where clients can lay everything out in the open and leave no stones unturned. However, we do not force participation, though it’s advised to benefit the most from these groups.

Then there’s sponsorship. Sponsors are experienced recovering addicts who guide new members of the group as mentors. According to NA 12 step principles, a sponsor is simply another person in recovery who’s willing to share their journey through the 12 steps. This can be a much-needed accountability partner and boost for beginners.

Our 12 Step Addiction Recovery Meetings

As we mentioned, our 12 step recovery programs are designed to encourage our clients and teach them clever and efficient relapse prevention skills they can apply to their day-to-day lives. Our center for addiction treatment in Pennsylvania is here to support patients through every step of their recovery process through the use of evidence-based modalities like medical detox, psychotherapy, and more.


If you’re interested in our 12 step recovery programs or want to learn about our other rehab programs, contact Clearbrook Treatment Centers today.


Not all programs are available at all locations. Please contact the location for availability.



  1. AA – The Twelve Steps


Related Reading:

Art Therapy Ideas for Substance Abuse

Are The 12 Steps Really Necessary For Sobriety?