List of Twelve Step alternate wordings

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This is a list of Twelve Steps alternate wordings of the Twelve Steps set of guiding principles for recovery from addictive, compulsive, or other behavioral problems that was originally developed by Alcoholics Anonymous.[1] The twelve-step method has been adapted widely by fellowships of people recovering from various addictions, compulsive behaviors, and mental health problems. Albert Lachance has even adapted it to dealing with "consumer addictions" such as shopping therapy.[2]

In some cases, where other twelve-step groups have adapted the AA steps as guiding principles, they have been altered to emphasize principles important to those particular fellowships, to remove gender-biased or specific religious language.[3][4][5]

Gamblers Anonymous has made significant changes to Steps 2,3,4,5,6,7 and 12 by reducing references to God, including a financial inventory, and eliminating "Spiritual Awakening".[6]

Most of the alternate wordings are in Step 1 and Step 12:

Program Step 1 Step 12 Reference
Alcoholics Anonymous We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable. 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. [1]
Al-Anon/Alateen alcohol others [2]
Adult Children of Alcoholics the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction others who still suffer [3]
Narcotics Anonymous our addiction addicts [4]
Nar-Anon the addict others [5]
Cocaine Anonymous cocaine and all other mind-altering substances addicts [6]
Co-Dependents Anonymous others other codependents [7]
Steps 3, 7, 11 - replace Him/His with God for gender neutrality
Overeaters Anonymous food compulsive overeaters [8]
Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous food others [9]
Debtors Anonymous debt compulsive debtors [10]
Crystal Meth Anonymous crystal meth crystal meth addicts [11]
Marijuana Anonymous marijuana marijuana addicts [12]
Pills Anonymous pills and all other mind-altering substances addicts [13]
Sexaholics Anonymous Lust Sexaholics [14]
Sex Addicts Anonymous addictive sexual behavior other sex addicts [15]
Steps 3, 7, and 11 replace "Him" with "God" and "His" with "God's" for gender neutrality

Step 12 replaces "in all our affairs" with "in our lives" due to multiple meanings of "affairs"

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous sex and love addiction sex and love addicts [16]
Steps 3, 7, 11 - replace Him/His with God for gender neutrality

Step 12 replaces "in all our affairs" with "in all areas of our lives" due to one meaning of "affairs", i.e. adultery

Sexual Compulsives Anonymous sexual compulsion sexually compulsive people [17]
Gamblers Anonymous gambling Having made an effort to practice these principles in all our affairs, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive gamblers. [18]
Celebrate Recovery to control my tendency to do the wrong thing others [19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ VandenBos, Gary R. (2007). APA dictionary of psychology (1st ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ISBN 1-59147-380-2. OCLC 65407150. 
  2. ^ LaChance, Albert, (2006), "Cultural Addiction; the Greenspirit Guide to Recovery" (North Atlantic Books)
  3. ^ Narcotics Anonymous World Services (February 23, 2007). "World Service Board of Trustees Bulletin #13: Some thoughts regarding our relationship to Alcoholics Anonymous". Archived from the original on October 6, 2007. Retrieved October 7, 2007. 
  4. ^ RonStarR and TraditionallyStepping (January 13, 2006). "NA History Chronology". Archived from the original on February 16, 2008. Retrieved October 7, 2007. Note the 1953 Events Detailing step adaptation: NA emphasizes the unity by starting all steps with 'we' 
  5. ^ Crystal Meth Anonymous. "The 12 Steps of Recovery". Retrieved August 28, 2010. 
  6. ^ Gamblers Anonymous. "Recovery Program of Gamblers Anonymous". Retrieved September 27, 2014.