It can be scary when you or a loved one acknowledges addiction but seeking help through a 12-step program is one of the best methods to obtain sobriety. Since 1935, the program and variations of the program have been helping individuals recover from alcohol and drug abuse, and the process has been woven into many recovery centers because of its effectiveness. Starting a new journey is intimidating, but we want to break down how these steps work and what you will learn.


It’s common to hear when talking about addiction that you have to admit there is a problem before you can fully accept recovery. The first step in the program expands on this idea and asks for the individual to realize they are powerless to their addiction. Sobriety isn’t obtained by “working harder,” it recognizes the unmanageable state of using drugs safely.


The second step revolves a lot around hope. Admitting there is a problem and succumbing to addiction brought you here, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the line. For treatment to be effective, there will need to be faith in the process, yourself, and the person guiding the program. The individual will need to set the ego aside and give into the direction.


Most of the program begins with reflection. The third step is all about action. To boil it down simply, this step is when you decide to get out of your way. It’s here where people choose who they want to turn this power over to for example it could be the process itself, the professionals leading the program, your support system, or even God. The exact nature is entirely down to the individual, but often the “will” is supported by learning to meditate, practicing acceptance, or praying.


Looking within and asking yourself some tough questions is what step four is all about. While painful, it’s important to reflect on the behaviors and attitudes and decide what needs to change. Don’t be fooled by this step; it’s not about criticism. What you are trying to identify are your strengths and how you expand upon them to heal.


If you are truly honest with yourself in the fourth step, the fifth is crucial. When you uncover such harsh truths about your behavior, it can make you feel ashamed or guilty for mistreating yourself and others while addicted. Seeking counsel from others will help alleviate the negativity that might drive you back into old coping habits like drug use. Many people find when they can share their stories that they are not alone with their imperfections and find strength in bond.

Let Go

For some people, the sixth step can be a real challenge. Up until now, there has been a lot of reflection and turning inwards to find what attitudes weren’t working. It’s at this stage where you have to finally let go of past coping methods to discover a greater sense of self. Releasing habits is only one half the battle; the other is replacing them. It’s here where we learn to be patient with ourselves as we fumble towards enlightenment.


Once the moral inventory is completed, those who are working through the program discover humility in step seven. It’s important to recognize the severity of our actions, define our own limits, and comprehend the power of the program to transform our lives for the better.

Social Reflection

Previous steps included internal reflection, but step eight revolves around social reflection. For the program to be the most effective, you need to be willing to acknowledge the role you might have played in hurting those in your life that you care about dearly. From here, you need to be willing to make amends with these people and say sorry for the hurt and pain you might have caused them.

Making Amends

Step nine interlocks with step eight. Again, we move from a sense of contemplation to action. Now that you’ve identified what you have done and to whom, you now move towards making amends with that individual. This step can be challenging but is necessary.

Sustained Growth

After cleaning house, it’s now time to lay the foundation for sustained growth. Continued honesty about where we have gone wrong will make it easier to recognize triggers, thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs that could result in a relapse.

Higher Power

Step eleven talks a lot about “higher power” and what that means for the individual. Again, each person is different and therefore will take a different shape, but here people form a fellowship and make a conscious effort to improve their understanding of the path their lives are supposed to take.

Selflessness and Selfishness

The final stage marries the idea of selflessness and selfishness. You’ll continue to look inward to make the best decisions for you to maintain sobriety but it also asks how or if you can give back. For many, agreeing to mentor other allows you from becoming complacent, holds you accountable for your actions, and maintain the ability to trust others. It’s not advisable to complete a 12-step program on your own. Discovery Place 12-step program, walks all guests through with compassion and leadership. We employ an extensive network of volunteers with long-term sobriety to serve as mentors and usher our guests into the recovery community. To learn more about our recovery programs, contact Discovery Place today.


  • Discovery Place was the answer for my son. He did the 90 day and then the step down program and sober living. We give this organization 10 stars. They met my son where he was …emotionally, mentally, physically. They helped him put his life back on track. Discovery Place employees care about their guests. If your son, brother, nephew, grandson or husband needs excellent supportive care THIS is indeed the facility.

    Kim Morton
    Alumni Parent
  • I have remained sober and it is because of DP. DP is the best place there is, hands down. I keep everyone there in my prayers, and I encourage everyone there to take what they are practicing and do it in their lives, after.

    Roy Mantelli
  • Over the past year, I’ve been putting into actin what Discovery Place taught me, and I have experienced a complete perspective change of the world, and the people in it. I get to be a man of service and love today, and for that I am grateful to Discovery Place.

    Matt Kassay
  • Discovery Place means the world to me. They showed me the tools that I’ve tried to use everyday in my life to think less often of myself, and more frequently of others. I am learning to lend a hand when I am able and to have a honest and humble relationship with God and the people around me. Not only am I clean and sober, but also I am happy and fulfilled.

    Tommy Parker
  • Discovery Place and the men who work there made recovery attractive, and more importantly, fun. There is strength in the struggle. I am forever grateful for my time at Discovery Place.

    Creed McClellan
  • When I got to Discovery Place my whole life was in shambles, but I didn’t know it. I spent 6 months in their programs, participating in all three phases, and was met with kindness and love all along the way. It is unbelievable to me, where I am now relative to where I was when I arrived at DP.

    Lance Duke
  • I can never say enough good things about Discovery Place and the people who work there. Before checking in to DP, I was out of options and out of answers. Fortunately, Discovery Place has a solution. Taking suggestions from the staff at DP saved my life, and as a result, I’m now more content and hopeful about life. I’m grateful for Discovery Place showing me how to live a healthy life so that I can become a better man and help the next guy.”

    Tyler Buckingham

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