Twelve Step programs are well known for their use in recovering from addictive and dysfunctional behaviors. The first 12 step program began with Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) in the 1930s and has since grown to be the most widely used approach in dealing not only with recovery from alcoholism, but also from drug abuse and various other addictive and dysfunctional behaviors.

The first book written to cover the 12 step program was titled "Alcoholics Anonymous", affectionately known as the Big Book by program members. Following the subsequent extensive growth of twelve step programs for other addictive and dysfunctional behaviors, many additional books were written and recordings and videos were produced. These cover the steps in greater detail and how people have specifically applied the steps in their lives. An extensive chronology and background about the history of A.A. has been put together at Dick B.'s website.

The twelve steps of the program are listed above and on the steps page in generic form. Other groups who have adopted the 12 steps to address their own particular addictive or dysfunctional behavior have similar ideas, usually with only minor variations. These steps are meant to be worked sequentially as a process of getting rid of addictive behaviors and should result in a growth in freedom and happiness, as outlined in the Promises. The general governing approach for A.A. groups was originally laid out in the Twelve Traditions, and they remain the guiding principles for most 12 step groups today.

There is a wealth of further information about 12 Step programs in Wikipedia, including a list of 12 step groups, and also from the numerous links in our directory of recovery related websites.

Newcomers Guide

View the Newcomers Guide for some straightforward tips and a quick overview about starting a 12 Step program. It could be the best thing you ever did.

Newcomers Guide

View Newcomers Guide


Browse our forums to discuss working the steps in general or for a given particular step or to get support for the journal software or worksheets.


View videos covering the steps in general or for each step individually. These cover a wide variety of perspectives about the 12 steps.

Step Fellowships

Review how the different fellowships (A.A., N.A., O.A, CoDA, etc.) have worded their versions of the 12 steps, with links to associated resources.


Find an online meeting in our calendar of meetings. These are broken out by fellowship, website and meeting format (video, chat, telephone).

Big Book

Read the book that first laid out the 12 steps, known fondly as the Big Book. First written in the 1930s, it contains timeless principles.

Journal Software

Download free journaling software for your Windows desktop (or an alpha version for Mac OS X) for working all of the 12 steps.


Download worksheets with questions for all the steps or Step 4 inventory questions specific to childhood, adolescence and adulthood.


Our directory (currently undergoing revision) has links to numerous web resources for recovery, grouped by topic or type of resource.