What are Twelve-Step Programs?

All Twelve-Step programs find their roots in Alcoholics Anonymous – which was formed in 1935. Twelve-Step programs offer regular meetings where alcoholics and addicts try to help each other stay sober by providing a non-judgmental support network. These groups stress that alcoholism/addiction is an illness – not a character flaw – which can be treated by working a series of twelve steps that emphasize accepting one’s powerlessness over addict ion and dependency on a force beyond the self. Members work through the steps at their own pace and usually with the help of another member called a "sponsor." These programs stress honest self-assessment, humility, and reliance on others for support and encouragement. 

Many other self-help groups have adopted the twelve-step philosophy. These groups include Narcotics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous. Likewise family and friend support groups like Al-Anon, Alateen, and Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) have adapted the 12 steps for their own use.

There are also programs such as Smart Recovery which are abstinence-based self-help programs, focusing on empowerment and developing a positive lifestyle.  

Information on local Twelve-Step groups can be obtained by calling the following numbers or websites:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous – (814) 237-3757
  • Narcotics Anonymous – 1-800-494-3414
  • Al-Anon and Alateen – (814) 237-5855
  • Celebrate Recovery
  • Smart Recovery
Alcoholics Anonymous

Show All Answers

1. I do not have any health insurance. How can I get treatment for myself or my family member's substance abuse problem?
2. My health insurance will not pay for drug and alcohol treatment – what should I do?
3. What can I do if I think someone I know has a drug or alcohol problem?
4. What are Twelve-Step Programs?
5. How can I tell if my substance use is problematic?
6. How can I tell if my child has a drug or alcohol problem?
7. What is Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder?
8. What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)?
9. What is codependency? Does your office fund outpatient services for codependents?
10. Are prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications addictive?
11. My church group or community organization is interested in a speaker to address alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues. Who should I call?