Newcomers Guide for the 12 Step Program

So you think that you might be interested in or desperate for (or somewhere in-between) working a 12 step program? How do you get started?

We recommend following the five steps below.



You can start by reviewing some videos that show the wide spectrum of perspectives on the 12 step program, accommodating a wide variety of belief systems.

Then we recommend getting acquainted with at least the first step by reading through some commentary, listening to people share their step or watch some videos that show overviews of step 1.



Find a face-to-face meeting in your area if possible. There should be people in those meetings with varying levels of experience, sobriety and wisdom. Don't be afraid of going. You may be amazed at the warm reception that you find. Many people have said that they finally felt like they were coming home when they went to a meeting. They no longer felt alone.

Other good resources are online meetings (you can use our calendar of online meetings to see if a meeting is available at a given time) or online social networks for recovery. The online resources may be a little less personal, but oftentimes are more convenient, especially if there are not face-to-face meetings in your local area for your type of addiction. Our favorite online recovery website is at There is always someone online there for fellowship and they have many great resources.



Do your best to find a sponsor or at least someone with whom you can have accountability. You will probably have to go to a few meetings and/or join some online social networks for recovery, ask a few questions and see who might be available and willing to be a sponsor or accountability partner. Use your best judgment in finding someone who will help you work your program of recovery.



Work the steps of the program, beginning with step 1. Your sponsor or others in a meeting should be able to help you with this. There are also resources and tools on this website and other websites for helping you to work the program. There are 12 step worksheets for helping you to write out the steps. There is desktop journaling software for recovery, organizing your approach for answering questions about each step. There are online references for some standard texts like the Alcoholics Anonymous' Big Book. And there are numerous links to other web sites that cover different aspects of recovery, for different types of addictions and with different perspectives.



The sooner that you start asking yourself the right questions and giving yourself honest answers, the better your life will be. The sooner that you begin working the steps, then the sooner that you can see the 12 Step promises come about in your life, like numerous others before you.