If you want what we have to offer, and are willing to make the
effort to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps. These
are the principles that made our recovery possible:
1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, 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
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
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became
willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were
wrong 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
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps,
we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice
these principles in all our affairs.
This sounds like a big order, and we can’t do it all at once.
We didn’t become addicted in one day, so remember—easy
There is one thing more than anything else that will defeat
us in our recovery; this is an attitude of indifference or
intolerance toward spiritual principles. Three of these that are
indispensable are honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.
With these we are well on our way.
We feel that our approach to the disease of addiction is
completely realistic, for the therapeutic value of one addict
helping another is without parallel. We feel that our way is
practical, for one addict can best understand and help another
addict. We believe that the sooner we face our problems within
our society, in everyday living, just that much faster do we
become acceptable, responsible, and productive members
of that society.
The only way to keep from returning to active addiction is
not to take that first drug. If you are like us you know that
one is too many and a thousand never enough. We put great
emphasis on this, for we know that when we use drugs in any
form, or substitute one for another, we release our addiction
all over again.
Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused
a great many addicts to relapse. Before we came to NA, many
of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be
confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the
disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order
Twelve Steps reprinted for adaptation by permission of AA World Services, Inc.
Reprinted from the Little White Booklet, Narcotics Anonymous.
© 1986 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc., PO Box 9999, Van Nuys, CA 91409
ISBN 0-912075-65-1 10/00