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Can You Complete The 12 Steps By Yourself?

To maintain long-term sobriety, you should find a sponsor early in your recovery process and begin working on the steps as soon as possible.

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were first developed in the mid-1930s as a way for “hopeless alcoholics” to overcome their drinking problems and lead healthy, happy, and productive lives as fully functional members of society. Since the AA program was first established, it has helped millions of men and women from across the globe overcome substance abuse and dependence. The success rates of AA are very well documented. We at Absolute Awakenings believe in the effectiveness of the 12-step model of addiction recovery because we have witnessed it firsthand, time and time again. In addition, many of our current staff members have been actively involved in the program for decades.

Doing The Twelve Steps in a Treatment Program

We incorporate 12-step immersion into our comprehensive addiction recovery program, giving our clients an educational experience while encouraging active involvement while they are still in inpatient treatment. One of the program’s main components we teach in-depth is the 12-step formula. We teach our clients what each of the 12 steps means and how to work through them. We also teach our clients that for the 12 steps to be effective, they must be worked on thoroughly and with a sponsor as a guide.

Can You Complete The 12 Steps By Yourself?

Do You Need a Sponsor to Finish the Twelve Steps?

In short – yes, you do need a sponsor. You can attempt to work through the steps independently, but doing so will not be effective. To maintain long-term sobriety (the whole point of Alcoholics Anonymous, of course), you should find a sponsor early in your recovery process and begin working on the steps as soon as possible. The whole point of having a sponsor is having a mentor, guide, and built-in support system who can hold you accountable while explaining how they successfully stayed sober for an extended period. This is somewhat of a controversial topic. Some believe they can successfully work through the 12 steps of AA alone if they follow the directions in the Big Book (a large text that outlines the entire 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous). The truth is, however, there are many additional benefits to having a sponsor. You will not simply sit down with your sponsor and read from a book. Your sponsor will also:

  • Be there for you whenever you hit a rough patch in your recovery
  • Be there to answer calls whenever you need someone to talk to you
  • Offer you advice on issues and any issues that might arise during the addiction recovery process
  • Introduce you to other men or women who have ample sober time under their belts – friends who can encourage you while being a good influence on you
  • Hold you accountable by checking in with you regularly (in most cases, you will be required to call your sponsor at least once a day so they can ensure that you are staying on track)
  • Offer you valuable insight that you might not be able to get from anyone else

Absolute Awakenings and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

At Absolute Awakenings, we treat alcohol abuse and dependence disorders of all severities by utilizing a comprehensive continuum of care. In addition to proven therapeutic methods of alcohol addiction recovery, we offer a thorough 12-step immersion program geared towards teaching our clients the ins and outs of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. For more information on Absolute Awakenings or to get started on your journey of alcohol addiction recovery, please feel free to reach out at any point in time.


  1. The Twelve Steps | Alcoholics Anonymous. Accessed January 17, 2023.
  2. Kelly JF, Humphreys K, Ferri M. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2020;3(3):CD012880. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD012880.pub2
  3. Wilson B. Alcoholics Anonymous: The Big Book. Courier Dover Publications; 2019.

Absolute awakeings treatment center editoral guideline

At Absolute Awakenings, we take information integrity seriously. We have dedicated our resources to ensure that all content published to our blog is medically sound. As such, all content on our blog has been thoroughly reviewed by a doctorate level clinician such as a Medical Doctor, or Psy.D, so that you can trust all of the data we publish.

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