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Discovering the Spiritual Principles of Alcoholics Anonymous

Discovering the Spiritual Principles of Alcoholics Anonymous

Posted by Daniella Park on 22nd Feb 2024

Substance abuse is a scourge that affects millions worldwide. Although primarily a behavioral crisis, addiction poses significant medical and economic challenges as well.

Many countries lose millions of dollars annually to drug-related costs. Such losses are typically due to expenses associated with treating addiction and reduced economic productivity occasioned by the unfortunate deaths of addicts.

Since the reasons for substance abuse vary from one addict to another, it’s imperative to adopt a multi-pronged approach when addressing the scourge. Many abstinence organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have developed a system of tokens whereby recovering addicts receive anniversary medallions, signifying milestones accomplished in their recovery journey.

Besides recovery coins, AA has also introduced a 12-step set of spiritual principles to encourage recovering addicts to remain resilient on their newfound paths to full abstinence to minimize cases of relapse. Here’s everything you need to know about Alcoholics Anonymous’ spiritual principles for sobriety.

Recovery coin

Introducing Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-Step Spiritual Principles

The 12-step spiritual principle is a set of guiding doctrines developed by Alcoholics Anonymous, the world’s leading abstinence fellowship dedicated to helping chronic alcoholics give up the habit.

The overarching objective of the 12 principles of AA is to encourage alcohol users to achieve and maintain complete sobriety. The initiative also helps to foster personal growth by impressing the significance of nurturing healthy habits among former addicts.

Through its 12-step spiritual principles, Alcoholics Anonymous takes a wholesome approach to addressing addiction. The organization believes that staying clean requires more than simply keeping off drug cues. Former addicts must also commit to teaching certain virtues in their lives to become more respectable and productive members of society.

But like many abstinence programs associated with Alcoholics Anonymous, the 12-step spiritual principle isn’t exclusively applied by AA. Many sobriety support groups have adopted these guidelines to help their members deal effectively with substance abuse.

It’s also worth noting that AA’s 12-step spiritual guidelines aren’t restricted to compulsive drinkers. If diligently practiced, these doctrines can help address different addiction problems, including drug, food, and gambling addiction.

recovery Anniversary Medallion

AA’s Spiritual Principles

1. Acceptance

The first step in addressing addiction is to accept that you’re hooked. It’s difficult to deal effectively with chronic alcohol abuse if all you do is deny or downplay the problem.

The doctrine of acceptance is equally important when you’ve already made a commitment to quit alcohol. It can help foster self-love when struggling with rejection.

2. Hope

Life would be utterly meaningless without hope. For most people, it’s the optimism for a better tomorrow that makes every moment worth living.

Alcoholics Anonymous understands that drug cues are never far away. Sometimes, the mere thought of hanging out with your drinking buddies is all it takes to break your commitment to abstinence.

However, the hope of becoming a better version of you can help fight every drinking urge.

3. Faith

The Holy Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11:1 as “the evidence of things unseen.” This spiritual virtue goes hand in hand with hope.

Having complete faith in your higher power can be instrumental in aiding addiction recovery.

Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need to be a religious fanatic to practice faith. Simple acts like prayer and meditation can help you stay positive on your road to sobriety.

4. Courage

It takes great courage to say no when your weaker soul thinks otherwise.

But, according to many former addicts, simply saying no can avoid opening up a vicious cycle of events that could have you relapse into your older alcoholic ways.

So, be brave enough to decline an offer that you believe is not in your best interest.

5. Honesty

Honesty is the cog that drives most relationships. Once trust goes out the window, it might take forever to bring it back. So, it’s understandable why this virtue appears on the spiritual principles of AA.

Always resist the urge to tell a lie, even if speaking the truth puts you at a disadvantage.

6. Patience

Humans are difficult to deal with. You’ll occasionally lose your patience as you navigate life’s chaos.

But instead of yelling at the neighbor next door for belting out loud music, relax and take a deep breath, then approach the situation calmly.

You could also find the inspiration to keep cool by simply glancing at yourrecovery medallions.

7. Humility

Humility is one of the most admirable character traits. It’s also a core tenet of Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12-step spiritual principles.

As a recovering addict, you’ll run into numerous encounters that test your character.

Practice humility by apologizing whenever you wrong someone. A heartfelt apology can de-escalate what could have been an ugly situation.

8. Change

Changing your mind doesn’t necessarily indicate a weakness of character. It means you’ve finally weighed the options and found what truly serves your interests.

So, keep an open mind even as you strive to avoid unhealthy behaviors. Most importantly, take concrete actions that indicate your willingness to sacrifice something for the greater good.