12 Step Program Treatment Centers in Missouri

Admitting powerlessness over an addiction is not a sign of weakness.

No one chooses to become addicted to alcohol. Although addiction was formerly looked at as a choice one could avoid, most experts now agree that alcoholism is an illness. One treatment option for those living with alcoholism is going to one of the 12-step program treatment centers in Missouri, like the Aviary Recovery Center in Eolia. We can help participants move into sobriety and assist in their long-term recovery.  

Someone who abuses alcohol may be doing so as a way to cope with psychological stress, pain, and frustration. People living with alcohol addiction commonly feel isolated from others. They may have started drinking as a way to anesthetize themselves from experiencing difficult emotions. 

No one wants to experience pain, either physical or emotional. When people don’t address painful memories and situations directly, the emotional pain tends to fester. It is challenging for people to admit they have a problem and may abuse alcohol as a way to “keep the lid on” and avoid dealing with them. Going to a 12-step program for help means making significant life changes, but no one has to walk the steps alone. 

This type of alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) treatment includes a high level of support from its members, all of whom are living with alcoholism. Peers lend help and support to others in getting (and staying) sober. 

History of Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was responsible for developing the first 12-step program. The fellowship for people with alcohol use disorder (alcoholism) started in 1935. Bill W., a stockbroker in New York, and Dr. Bob S., a surgeon from Akron, met. Both men had alcohol use disorder (AUD). Bill W. achieved sobriety through the Oxford Group, which focused on universal spiritual principles applied to daily living. 

Once Bill W. was in recovery, he maintained his sobriety by working with other people living with alcoholism. Bill explained to Dr. Bob that alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body, and emotions. Dr. Bob responded positively to being face-to-face with someone who was achieving success in their battle against alcohol use disorder. Dr. Bob stopped drinking and remained sober throughout the rest of his life. 

The fellowship’s introductory textbook, the Twelve Steps of Recovery, was published in early 1939. It explains AA’s philosophy and how this peer support group helps people. The book also includes case studies of 30 members in recovery. 

In the fall of 1939, AA established its second group of alcoholics seeking help in New York. AA started its third group in Cleveland in 1939. From that point, AA grew steadily, and today, it has groups meeting in approximately 180 countries. 

What is a 12-Step Program?

A 12-step program helps participants achieve and maintain sobriety from addictive substances and behaviors. One of its fundamental premises is that healing comes from surrendering to a Higher Power. A person’s Higher Power doesn’t necessarily have to be God; atheists can participate in 12-step programs. A person’s Higher Power could be the Universe, the group attending 12-step meetings, or anything that fits in with their personal views. 

12 Steps to Recovery from Addiction

The 12 steps help members recover from compulsive and out-of-control behaviors and restore a sense of order and manageability to their lives. Through working the steps, members understand that their behavior is a symptom of a bigger problem. To heal and move into recovery, they need to make an effort to determine why they started drinking initially. 

AA’s alcoholic recovery steps are as follows: 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. 
  2. (We) came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. (We) made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. (We) made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. (We) admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 
  7. (We) humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 
  8. (We)made a list of everyone we had harmed and became willing to make amends to all of them. 
  9. (We) made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 
  10. (We) continued to take personal inventory. When we were wrong, we promptly admitted it. 
  11. (We) 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 it 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. 

Source: AA.org

Why Do the 12 Steps to Recovery for Addiction Work?

AA’s 12-step program can be effective for some people living with alcoholism. Members take a good, hard look at themselves when working on the steps. They are required to deconstruct their egos. Then they rebuild themselves, a little bit at a time. 

The program works because it encourages members to embrace and practice these character traits:

  • Acceptance
  • Courage
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Honesty
  • Humility
  • Self-discipline

All the traits listed above represent paths to positive emotional and spiritual changes in one’s life. 

What it Means to Admit Powerlessness in Step One

Admitting powerlessness over an addiction is not a sign of weakness. It means the person is asking for help, leaning on others, and relying on their support system. 

For members, it means admitting that they are living with a disease that has altered their brains. It may seem backward, but admitting powerlessness over alcoholism gives members the power they need to fight against their addiction. 

How Long Does it Take for a 12-Step Program to Work?

There isn’t a specific timeline for people to complete the 12 steps to recovery from addiction. Each member works the steps on their schedule. An AA member can complete the steps in numerical order, but there is no “right” way. 

Some people find they need to spend more time to complete a particular step, or they may take a break from working the steps altogether. Others work on the steps permanently, as they have become part of their attitude and lifestyle. 

How to Get Started in a 12-Step Treatment Program in Missouri

Many residential alcohol treatment programs offer 12-step programs to clients. The Aviary Recovery Center is one of these 12-step program treatment centers. Our treatment approach focuses on healing the whole person with long-term recovery as the goal for all clients. 

We evaluate each client when they come to us for alcohol abuse treatment. Based on the evaluation, our expert team develops a treatment plan reflecting the client’s addiction recovery goals.