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The 12 step model of treatment - A holistic approach

Addiction isn’t a choice and The 12 Steps are spiritual, guiding principles which outline a programme of action for tackling the many problems related to alcoholism, drug addiction and behavioural addictions. The programme supports the person struggling to restore manageability and aims to explore and heal the reasons behind a person’s use or gambling. Honesty, willingness, acceptance, courage, compassion, forgiveness (of self and others) are integral to ‘working the steps’.

AA was founded in 1935 by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob. Smyth – they drew their inspiration for the 12 Steps from the Oxford group and the belief that all problems rooted in fear and selfishness could be changed by following the 12 Step Programme and trusting in God or as many may say Higher Power or a power greater than ourselves. Integral to this is the Four Absolutes – a moral inventory of absolute honesty, purity, unselfishness and love.

This model also is the basis for Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Heroin Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Sex Addictions and Food Addicts Anonymous. All offer a 12 step approach to recovery based on the success of the original AA model. The 12 steps were also adapted by Al – Anon/ Alateen, a programme of recovery for families and friends affected by a loved one’s drinking.


Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step 2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 

Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Step 6: We're entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends tothem all. 

Step 9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step 10: Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Aiséirí has been providing a health led, holistic model of addiction treatment for 40 years.

The 12 Step Model can be described as a programme or guide where you admit you need help, seek help, reflect on the impact of your actions and actively resolving these.

It involves continual personal growth & reflection. It involves developing connection with self, community and spiritual connections. It involves seeking and accepting support and help. It requires a person be open, honest and willing to grow and change.

It is unique in that it considers all the determinants of health – not just becoming drug, alcohol and gamble free but looking at each component of a person’s life and applying the 12 step programme to each area. This is a significant change in a person’s life and requires time and a lot of care, it is broken down into a ‘one day at a time’ approach to alleviate overwhelm.

What recovery has to offer


Life beyond your wildest dreams

Entering into recovery from addiction is not just about being free from substances or gambling; it's about embarking on a transformative journey that opens doors to a life of unimaginable possibilities.







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