7 Types of 12 Step Programs for Different Issues

All over the world, there are clusters of 12 step programs whose sole mission is to live a spiritual life and be of service to others. These non-religious, non-judgemental groups of people all have one thing in common. Each person in these fellowships suffered from an addiction in one form or another, and has found or is working towards finding a program for living that allows the obsession to be lifted.

The people who create these 12 steps groups were once considered outsiders, black sheep, out of the norm. They are the people that, before joining these programs, were ostracized and alone. However, these programs allow these people to not only recover from their obsessive state of mind, but they also allow these people to thrive, more than ever before.

Each and every 12 step program stems from the original source, Alcoholics Anonymous, and over the last 85 years, dozens of different forms of 12 step programs have popped up, as it is a program that truly works. With fellowships ranging from alcoholism, to drug addicts, to food addicts, gambling addicts, sex addicts, relationship addicts, nicotine addicts, the list goes on. The original 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous outline a method to clear the wreckage of a person’s past, and then propel them onto a journey of goodwill and service to all people. The steps are as follows:

    • 1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol, that our lives had become unmanageable.
    • 2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
    • 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
    • 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    • 5. Admitted to God and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    • 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
    • 7. Humbly asked him to remove our shortcomings
    • 8. Made a list of all people we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
    • 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
    • 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when were wrong, promptly admitted it.
    • 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.
    • 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.

From these 12 steps came the little sibling fellowships, all wielding the same sword of honesty, humility, and spiritual practices. Although each program is dedicated to a different ailment, the ideas are all the same, cleanse the wrongdoings of the past, to make a better future, and above all, treat others the way you want to be treated.

man standing in a group meeting

Narcotics Anonymous

Was founded in 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Aimed towards the recovery of people who suffered from substance addictions other than alcohol, NA has become the second-largest 12 step fellowship to date. With the last several decades showing a rapid influx of drug addiction, NA has been a guiding light for thousands of people around the world to recover and live a better life.

Codependents Anonymous

Founded in 1986 in Phoenix, Arizona, CODA is designed to help people who share a common desire to build and maintain healthy and functioning relationships. This has rapidly become a strong support for both people who suffer from substance abuse, as well as for the people who love them.


Created by the wife of the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Al-Anon was created in 1951 for the family members, spouses, children, and friends of alcoholics. Following the exact same steps as AA, this program helps these people to better understand addiction, and to live a spiritual life of their own, regardless of whether their loved one is still using or not.

Sex Addicts Anonymous

Founded in 1977, this fellowship was created to help individuals who suffer from compulsive sex addiction. Members vary between people who are addictive with people, pornography, etc. SA has helped to reconnect and save countless marriages since its birth.

Eating Disorders Anonymous ‘

Created in 2000 in Phoenix, AZ, Eating Disorders Anonymous has shown to be extremely helpful in a time in history where people suffer from eating disorders more than ever before. In a society where the perfect figure is paramount, this fellowship has saved the lives of thousands of men and women who suffer from obsessive food behaviors.

Gamblers Anonymous

Created in 1957, GA is a program for people who have a desire to stop gambling. It is said that the addiction of gambling is one of the most detrimental addictions, as it can completely destroy every aspect of a person’s life. Also, many people who suffer from other addictions also suffer from gambling.

Adult Children of Alcoholics

Founded in New York in 1978, ACA is a program designed around the idea that addiction affects the family as a whole. The only requirement for membership is a desire to recover from the effects of growing up in an alcoholic or otherwise dysfunctional family.

It is clear to see how great the effect of 12 step programs has made on people’s lives. If they did not work, it is unlikely that so many other programs would have stemmed from the original source. The only real guarantee a person in a 12 step program has, is that they WILL recover, as long as they put in the effort with the 12 steps, and practice them in their daily lives.

Seeking Treatment for Alcoholism and Addiction

If you or a loved one has a problem with alcoholism or addiction and want to experience recovery in a thriving community with lots of people just like you, then call the professionals at Stout Street today at 866-722-7040. Our trained staff is standing by to take your call and help you in any way we can. We know how difficult of a decision this can be and we know what it takes to ensure you find your own person path in recovery.  You no longer have to do it alone, so give us a call today and find the happy and sober life you’ve always dreamed of.