At Beach House, we believe the spiritual principles of the 12-step recovery program support our whole-person wellness approach to alcohol use and substance use disorder treatment.

With a team of mental health clinicians, psychiatric providers, and addiction treatment specialists, we help a diverse population of patients address substance use disorders and their co-occurring conditions successfully and compassionately. 

The 12-step program has been the most widely adopted addiction recovery solution since the middle of the 20th century. In fact, it is one of the many effective therapeutic interventions offered at Beach House Center for Recovery.

If you or a loved one are living with an active substance use disorder and searching for effective treatment, the 12-step program may be the best option.

Continue reading to learn more about this life-changing treatment modality. 

What Is the 12-Step Recovery Program?

The 12-step addiction recovery program is a set of guiding principles and spiritual practices developed in 1935 by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to help individuals overcome alcohol addiction and maintain sobriety. 

While it was initially created for people struggling with alcoholism, it has since been adapted and adopted by various other support groups and organizations to address addictive behaviors and compulsions. 

The core idea behind the 12-step program is that individuals can achieve and sustain recovery by following a structured series of steps that promote self-awareness, personal growth, and spiritual development.

The 12-step program also offers a consistent support system that increases the likelihood that program participants will manage substance use disorders effectively in the long term.

What Programs Use the 12-Step Model?

Alcoholics Anonymous is the original and most widely known type of 12-step program. However, many other effective options are designed to address specific types of substance use and support people affected by addiction disorders. 

These programs include the following:

Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provides support and a structured recovery program for individuals with narcotic addiction. Modeled after the principles of AA, NA offers a safe and confidential environment where individuals can share their experiences, seek guidance, and work through the 12-step recovery program tailored to drug-related issues and achieving sobriety. 

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a worldwide support group dedicated to helping individuals struggling with compulsive gambling behaviors. Modeled after the 12-step recovery program, GA provides a safe and supportive environment where people can share their experiences, seek understanding, and work through their gambling addiction. 

The core mission of GA is to help those struggling to abstain from gambling, regain control of their lives, and address their addiction’s emotional and financial consequences. 

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) and Dysfunctional Families

Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA), also known as Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families, is a support group and recovery program designed to assist individuals who grew up in homes marked by alcoholism or other forms of dysfunction. 

The program acknowledges that children raised in toxic or hostile environments often carry emotional scars and unresolved issues into adulthood. ACA offers a safe space for individuals to share their experiences, explore the impact of their upbringing, and work on healing.

ACA focuses on addressing common traits and behaviors that can result from growing up in dysfunctional families, such as low self-esteem, difficulty with trust and intimacy, and a tendency to repeat destructive patterns. ACA members seek to break free from these negative cycles and develop healthier ways of living and relating to others. 


Al-Anon is a support group for family members and friends of individuals who are struggling with alcoholism or substance abuse. It provides a safe and confidential space where people can share their experiences, challenges, and emotions related to their loved one’s addiction. 

Al-Anon operates on the principle that family members and friends of those with substance use disorder can be profoundly affected by the addiction and benefit from their support and recovery.

The focus of Al-Anon is to help individuals cope with the impact of addiction on their lives, develop healthier boundaries, and learn practical communication skills, especially when communicating with their affected loved ones. 


Nar-Anon is a program designed for the family members and friends of individuals struggling with narcotics addiction. Much like Al-Anon, Nar-Anon provides a supportive and confidential environment where people can share their experiences, emotions, and challenges related to their loved one’s addiction to narcotics.

The primary goal of Nar-Anon is to offer guidance and emotional support to those who are affected by a loved one’s substance abuse. The program helps participants understand the nature of addiction, set healthy boundaries, and develop coping strategies to deal with the impact of addiction on their lives. 


Gam-Anon is a recovery program for the family members and friends of individuals who struggle with gambling addiction, often called “compulsive gambling.” 

The primary purpose of Gam-Anon is to provide support, understanding, and guidance to those who are impacted by a loved one’s compulsive gambling behavior. The program helps participants learn about addiction, develop healthy boundaries, and acquire coping skills to deal with the financial, emotional, and interpersonal turmoil often accompanying gambling addiction within a family or social circle.

In addition, there are 12-step programs that focus on addictions to specific substances, like methamphetamines, cocaine, and heroin. The 12-step model is also used for behavioral addictions like sex addiction, shopping and spending addictions, and addiction to work.

Principles of the 12-Step Addiction Recovery Program

There are 12 spiritual principles of AA and other 12-step recovery programs. 

Although the individual steps might vary depending on the type of substance use disorder, the 12 steps generally include the following actionable items

  1. Honesty: Acknowledging your lack of control over your addiction
  2. Hope: Recognizing the existence of a Higher Power
  3. Faith: Pursuing strength from your Higher Power
  4. Courage: Acknowledging and taking inventory of all wrongs or transgressions committed while you misused substances or engaged in an addictive behavior
  5. Integrity: Admitting out loud your transgressions to another person and your Higher Power
  6. Willingness: Looking to your Higher Power for aid in correcting personal faults
  7. Humility: Pursuing correction of personal faults through meditation or prayer to your Higher Power
  8. Responsibility: Writing a comprehensive list of people harmed by your transgressions with a willingness to make amends
  9. Discipline: Making amends to those harmed by your addiction except in cases where reaching out would cause further harm
  10. Perseverance: Taking continual inventory of behaviors and admitting wrongs
  11. Awareness: Seeking continual spiritual guidance from your Higher Power through prayer and meditation
  12. Service: Helping support recovery for others struggling with addiction

The spiritual principles of the 12-steps recovery program empower people struggling with addiction to pursue recovery in a meaningful and actionable way no matter what stage of recovery they are in.

These steps are often accompanied by phrases commonly used in recovery groups, such as “One day at a time,” “Let go and let God,” and “Keep it simple.” 

Discover the 12-Step Program in Florida With Beach House Center for Recovery

Twelve steps could change your entire path.

Beach House Center for Recovery offers a broad spectrum of evidence-backed support programs to address multiple facets of addiction and contributing disorders. 

We encourage participation in 12-step programs onsite and after inpatient treatment concludes.

To learn more about the 12-step programs or to get the help you need now at Beach House, please contact our compassionate admissions counselor today.