NEVER GET TOO H.A.L.T.!!!!!!!!!!!! – Addiction in the Family

Halt addiction

From the book “ADDICTION: Am I Powerless”

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Limbic Change Takes Time

Once the powerless individual or addict knows and comprehends the truth, once the false beliefs are uncovered and the survival lies exposed there is a time delay between how the limbic system functions (how it responds to stress) and what the rational centers of the brain can control and override.

The delay in a “change of reaction” can take anywhere from a couple of months to several years.  It is a matter of reconditioning yourself to react to stress differently; to respond in healthier ways when confronted by uncomfortable moods and emotions.  It takes time and effort to retrain your brain into a positive and productive mode of reaction and response but it will happen if you make a commitment to practice different behaviors.

Right thinking will return if you have the opportunity to challenge the false beliefs and traumatic experiences in a safe environment.  This risk must be taken none the less; there are no alternatives to working through the problems that have been avoided for so long.  You may experience fear and feelings of uneasiness, but once you are able to go through these feelings, even once, without resorting to the old behavior (using) you will begin changing the limbic system response.  During this process you will begin to see more clearly just how the old behavior of using, truly has interfered with your quality of life.  You will transition from falsehood and illusion to truth and reality; from avoidance to productivity and resolution.

Remember; the limbic system is the same area of the brain that experiences Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  The resolution to PTSD is very similar to overcoming addiction.  There is a reason why people who suffer from PTSD are put into support groups and why survivors of work place or school violence are treated together.  Support and safety in numbers reduces the threat thus the fight or flight response.  (You might consider it a herding mentality in the face of danger.)

Once this “changing of the mind” occurs the negative reactions will be lessened by each experience related to a survival threat.  The first birth day clean will be odd but the second one will have the prior as evidence of still being able to have a great time.   It will become less and less of a reflex/desire to resort to the old behavior of using.  Not gone, but lessened.  With support you will be able to make a good choice rather than overreacting with an unproductive and even fake “fight or flight” response as a false sense of resolution.

Old (automatic) habits aren’t changed quickly or easily, and they are stronger when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT.)  All these conditions are related to survival.  The acronym HALT, is a very popular memory device used to caution members of AA/NA against allowing their conditions to get to dangerous levels.  It is a reminder that resilience is weakened when these conditions are heightened.  These conditions are correlated to an increase in relapse potential.  As mentioned before; hunger, anger, lack of a mate (loneliness) and sleep, are all human survival needs; all limbic system based.

Many recovering addicts and even some trauma survivors have,,,,,,, (Get the book and get what you need to sustain recovery)

By Emmanuel S. John

***(Almost everything posted on this blog/page the data is the Intellectual Property of this author (Emmanuel S. John and should be sighted accordingly if reproduced.)


Going to POT in a slow burn!!! Cancer Truths and Reality!! – Addiction in the Family

Stop smoking the weed and wake up and smell the coffee! It’s making you stupid!

addiction in the family



From the Study

Studies reporting results for direct marijuana smoking have observed statistically significant associations with cancers of the lung, head and neck, bladder, brain, and testis. The strongest evidence of a causal association was for head and neck cancer, with two of four studies reporting statistically significant associations. The evidence was less strong but suggestive for lung cancer, with one of three studies conducted in populations that did not mix marijuana and tobacco reporting a significant association. Suggestive evidence also was seen for bladder cancer, with one of two studies reporting a significant association. For brain and testicular cancers, the single studies conducted of each of these endpoints reported significant associations. Among the epidemiological studies that reported results for parental marijuana smoking and childhood cancer, five of six found statistically significant associations. Maternal and paternal marijuana smoking were implicated, depending on the type of cancer. Childhood cancers that have been associated with maternal marijuana smoking are acute myeloid leukemia, neuroblastoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. Childhood cancers that have been associated with paternal marijuana smoking are leukemia (all types), infant leukemia (all types), acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia, and rhabdomyosarcoma.

The Study


SPICE IS NOT NICE!!!!! – Addiction in the Family

(The following is from multiple sources in and out of the US)

“It’s not marijuana but it’s similar to, it’s similar to incense. And she seems to be having convulsions of some sort.” –Demi Moore’s friend in a recorded 911 call as the actress was having a fit in the next room after smoking synthetic cannabis in 2011.

What Is Spice?

fod_emergingdrugs addiction



Also known as: “K2,” “fake weed,” “Bliss,” “Black Mamba,” “Bombay Blue,” “Genie,” “Zohai,” “Yucatan Fire,” “Skunk,” and “Moon Rocks”

Spice is a mix of herbs (shredded plant material) and manmade chemicals.

It is often called “synthetic marijuana” but it is not.  Unlike marijuana the chemicals is spice are not natural!

Its effects are sometimes very different from marijuana; much stronger. It is most often labeled “Not for Human Consumption” and disguised as incense.

The chemicals used in Spice have a high potential for abuse and no medical benefit.

When scientists tested Spice, they found it had no connection to the cannabis plant, but instead contained JWH-018. Huffman’s compound acts like the real thing, unlocking the brain’s cannabinoid receptors, to give the sensation of being stoned. The problem is most related to not closing these receptors down, turning off the high or rush.

JWH-018 was banned in the UK in 2010 and in many US states in 2011. But then the chemists started making Spice with other synthetic compounds (of which there are over 400) that were legal, and the Spice continued to flow.

Most of the chemical in Spice are illegal but they are mixed with others.

It can be smoked straight but it is often mixed with marijuana, sometimes without warning.  By adding it to marijuana people can sell the drug as stronger and more potent.

WHY?????  Spice users report feeling relaxed with changes in perception. Some experience extreme anxiety, paranoia and visual and auditory hallucinations. Science has not yet studied the drug to determine its long term effects but they know it acts on the same receptors as THC.  The problem is that some of the chemicals in spice effect the receptors adversely possibly causing permanent damage.

There are many chemicals in spice that remain unidentified

In 2011, Spice was mentioned by patients in the emergency room 28,531 times. This was a drastic increase over the 11,406 mentions in 2010  People report symptoms: fast heart rate, throwing up, feeling nervous, feeling confused and hallucinations. High blood pressure and reduced blood flow to the heart. Heart attacks and death have occurred and Withdrawal symptoms.  The truth is we don’t what it does yet.  Some evidence suggest that heavy metals are present.

1Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. Drug Abuse Warning Network, 2011: National Estimates of Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits. Rockville, MD, May 2013. Available at:

Past year use of K2/Spice (sometimes called “synthetic marijuana”) in the two years the survey has been tracking its use. 5.8 percent of 12th graders reported its use this year, compared to 7.9 percent last year and 11.3 percent in 2012. This was associated with an increase in the perceived risk of taking synthetic marijuana once or twice among 12th graders. Use of the hallucinogen salvia also dropped significantly among 12th graders in the past year to 1.8 percent, from 3.4 percent in 2013.





From the book ADDICTION: AM I POWERLESS (Self Assessing; a user’s guide to the truth.)


“Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking and self-pity, we steps on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate.”  This line is from page 62 of the book “Alcoholics Anonymous” in the chapter titled “How It Works.”  If this is truly the condition of the addicted, is it any wonder they struggle to give up a fast acting solution to difficult emotional dilemmas like fear and apprehension?  What are these hundred forms of fear referenced in the statement above?

In my 3 decades of practice I have never met a substance abuser who was not driven by fear.  These forms of fear start with being afraid of not having enough of the chemical; fear of being kept from the chemical, trying to avoid people who might confront them about the chemical or even the fear of being exposed as an addict or alcoholic. (Let’s not forget the fears resulting from lies and misdeeds; even guilt.)  The list goes on and might actually surpass one hundred.  I am certain that there is always some level of fear from which the powerless person responds.

Let me be clear here; the fear does not have to be real.  It can be imagined and projected; many substance abusers become quite paranoid as a result of their use and because of the shame related to their past misdeeds.  These fears result in flight to their chemical shelter.

As mentioned above the addict’s greatest fear is quite simply that they will not have enough.  Their fear is that they will not have enough of anything and everything; but mostly that they will not have enough of the perceivably needed substance; the one that makes everything else, OK.  (Needing this chemical solution is perhaps the most glaring symptom of Powerlessness.)

Please remember; fight and flight which originates in the limbic system area of the brain are survival based responses; methods of dealing with a threat to survival.  The powerless person struggles with the misconception that the substance somehow resolves these threats to peace and safety (otherwise known in modern society as stress).

Unfortunately there will be an increase in the threat responses when a person begins to abstain.  About 95% of the perceived threats at this time are illusionary and not real at all, not factual.  These feelings are really occurring inside the mind of the addicted but for most people there is often no actual danger associated with these feelings.  Many recovering people identify a “sense of impending doom” as a major reason they used.  “A feeling as if the end was near.”  I assure you that this phenomenon is short lived and easily overcome but you will have to go through it to get to the other side.  It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.

The addict’s second biggest fear and a great cause of an addict’s anxiety is that someone or something will get in the way of, or in between them and their substance.  Think about that for just a second.  The second biggest fear you have is often your loved one’s first approach to the problem.  They shout and threaten; “YOU NEED TO STOP USING!”  You hear; “I’m going to make your life even harder.”  They seem to create needless fear and stress and thereby create more cravings for you.  These voices are often just the fallout from your own past choices; issues that should have been addressed long ago but were easily ignored thanks to the chemical’s ability to make them seemingly go away.

You are also powerless over your loved ones’ reactions to your use; they have the right to express their opinions but their feelings are no more facts then yours are.  The upside, should you stop using, is that then they no longer have that bone of contention and the stress of it is then transcended.  (This is what happens when you go through something instead of around it, it gets resolved.)  At the time of confrontation it seems that they are forcing the addicted to choose, usually on the spot, between the addict’s best and most reliable friend the chemical and a person who brings them only stress inducing demands.

Another goal in writing this book is to allow you the time and ease necessary for you to make an honest and thorough appraisal of the chemical problem; without demands.  I wanted to provide for you an atmosphere without threats of penalty or retribution.  A comfortable format without your having to commit to anything beyond taking an honest assessment of your relationship to a chemical.  A dynamic where no one gets let down if you chose not to change the behavior.

My hope has been to circumvent the defensive reactions of denial and to avoid the worries or stress about what the results of this process means.  To move beyond the fear of the possible future discomfort regarding what it would be like to be abstinent.  I want to let you reach your own decision, in your own time and in your own way.  My hope has been to avoid the primary stress state that you might have conditioned yourself to treat with the chemical.  The last thing I want to do is create more stress in a powerless person; more anxiety and even greater cravings in a person who has become vulnerable due to circumstances possibly out of their control.  I do however want you to have the unbiased truth.  At some point it becomes necessary to ask questions about the elephant in the living room.

I ask you to consider one thing when it comes to your family; their motive.  The people who tell us the truth are the ones we want to bring closer.  There is another old adage; “Cut off false people for real reasons and not real people for false reasons.”  The truth is that if you cut off some of these “real people” you only create more fear for yourself; the fear of being alone and abandoned.  Reactions can be very self-destructive.  The great and almighty powerful chemical loves it when you do that.  Some addicts say that this is the chemical trying to get you alone so it can kill you.

By Emmanuel S. John

I urge to try to this book if you have any questions about your use.  I wrote it for you: Thirty years of experience and truth!  No one will ever know you read it but you will have the truth and the decision will be yours; the whole truth, your truth, will be yours.

If you love someone who is struggling buy them a copy.  I promise it will make more sense and touch them deeper than you will ever be able to.  It might just save their life!


***(Almost everything posted on this blog/page the data is the Intellectual Property of this author (Emmanuel S. John and should be sighted accordingly if reproduced.)



A FEW RELAPSE ISSUES FOR BOYS AND GIRLS (A few considerations) Addiction in the Family

Mr right addiction


The following from the book ADDICTION: Why They Use (A handbook for anyone who loves an alcoholic or addict) is now free to read for Amazon Kindle Unlimited members. (Click here)

(The following are just some considerations for both seeking treatment and issues of relapse prevention: they are not easy facts to consider. )

Gender and Using

While addiction is a medical condition, a disease, the resulting complications of the disease can vary greatly with gender.  These variances between how addiction affects men and women may result from obvious differences in physical make-up, but also include substantial differences in socialization during both childhood and adult experiences.  While it can be argued that metabolism and hormone differences affect the nature of the disease the majority of the gender differences seem to be more related to issues of socialization and programming. An entire book could be written to discuss this issue so I will focus only briefly on this subject in regards to relapse potential.

Because this is not a book about the physiological aspects of the disease and physical gender differences, I’ll leave those discussions to the medical professionals and biologists.  However, when considering the obvious differences it should be noted that outside of physical segregation to avoid sexual contact, the majority of treatment programs in this country make little if any adjustment for physical and socialization differences in their treatment programs and treatment protocols.

Male Issues

One of the most identified emotional struggles for men regarding addiction is the popularly held belief that men are more reluctant to share their emotional vulnerability and that they are less likely to talk about their needs or desires.  We’ll jump right in by stopping for a moment to reflect on the issue of “talking about their needs or desires.”  Please note that as we have already discussed in great detail, that the major reason addicts keep using is that they have become convinced that they “NEED” the drug.  This should already identify for you a major problem in the attainment of clean time for men.  If I’m a man and I don’t talk about my “needs” and on top of that I am fearful that you will interfere with my needed substance then you can see we are at an impasse and a serious obstacle to recovery has already presented itself.  “I don’t want to talk about it.”

While this male impediment of discussing emotional needs has decreased some in the past several decades, the vast majority of addicts left untreated are those in the forty and over group who grew up in the John Wayne error of “big boys don’t cry” and “taking your licks like a man.”  An addict can only “suck it up” for so long.  You can’t “walk-off” addiction, it’s a disease, and it only gets worse.

While issues related to not being able to handle your liquor and manage your emotions, may be perceived by many adult males as a sign of weakness these signs are less obvious when you surround yourself with other males of similar dysfunction.  There is a 12 Step program saying which suggest that addicts are always “seeking lower companionship.”  Three homeless alcoholic men sitting on the curb in the urine soaked clothing will still elevate themselves above their peers.  This may be partially because of the innate competitiveness in men but it is usually more correlated to issues of poor self-esteem.

Another one of the obstacles to men getting sober is their inability to talk to and meet relationship prospects when clean and sober (also a self-esteem issue.)  They are often confounded by the notion of approaching a woman without some liquid courage.   These are social skills that many of them have never developed because their socialization and meeting women evolved out of a party or bar environment.   The skill set of meeting and getting to know women sober is a difficult one for most males to acquire.  If they are unsuccessful at overcoming this obstacle they are at high risk for eventual relapse as sexual encounters are often seen as their last vice.

Female Issues

Probably one of the most glaring facts about women addicts and relapse is simply this; the more attractive they are the more likely relapse is to occur.  While this statement may seem controversial at first blush it is really quite simple to understand.  Interested parties (men and women,) both addicted themselves or not, are more likely to enable a woman and tolerate her addictive behaviors simply because she is attractive.  More attractive women are more likely to be offered a free drink in a bar or offered to share in a drug without a “monetary” exchange.

Men often enable women as a whole group, because men are willing to put up with the negative behaviors and attitudes associated with an addiction in women in order to have them as their sexual partners: This phenomena results in women going further down the scale of unmanageability and of severity, regardless of their addiction type.  They are enabled.  One reason is because the major potential point of confrontation in their life (their significant other) is actually supportive of their continued use.  The severity of the eventual consequences increases because they are not facing the earlier more subtle consequences or warning signs of their behaviors.

It should also be mentioned that the social pressures for return to use by male partners is extreme because most men believe that women “under the influence” are more likely to engage in sex acts they would not engage in while clean and sober.  This ultimately results in women struggling to grasp the true level of their powerlessness over their substance.  Further, the shame related to participating in these acts while under the influence often results in more shame and guilt which overwhelms the untreated substance abuser thereby resulting in their seeking of a drug to escape their self loathing, regret and remorse.  A vicious cycle for sure.

Often women become so entrenched in these behaviors that they fail to recognize that they are actually participating in a form of prostitution: Sex for drugs.  Once realized, that behavior can actually evolve into prostitution for cash as the shame of having already crossed the moral line that once existed, is negated.  Because of the fallacious belief that their drug is necessary for immediate survival the long-term moral belief is circumvented or rationalized away.    A good treatment program will address these issues, many don’t!

By Emmanuel S. John



***(Almost everything posted on this blog/page the data is the Intellectual Property of this author (Emmanuel S. John and should be sighted accordingly if reproduced.)


12 Step Research, Practices of Successful Recovery From Addiction

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Data Analysis and Survey Results

The following is data from one of my Masters thesis while at the University or Maryland.  The survey was done with people who were currently active in recovery.  Only people with 5 years of recovery or more were surveyed.  These are their responses.

(I encourage 12 step members and sponsors to utilize these task lists for each step they are working.  Each list provides valuable information on the tools that worked for people with long term sustained recovery.  One of my motivations for doing this project was to resolve the question of how long to work a step.  What I found was that even the people who preached working them quickly did not do so in hindsight.  My conclusion; You can’t “did” a step. No typo.  Meaning you are never finished with them, they are spiritual principles to be incorporated into daily living.  While there are a very few instance in the literature of people going through them in a night this does not say that they completed or finished with them in that time frame. Nor does it say they didn’t talk more about them the next day.)

12 Step Tasks and Step Durations

Recovery Time and Step Duration

The Alcoholics Anonymous “Big Book” (subtitled as the basic text of AA) repeatedly suggests that while steps should be “thoroughly” worked they are to be incorporated into daily living.  In accordance most respondents reported that they have and will continue to work the steps for the rest of their lives.

Participant Data

Average age of respondents was 55 years of age

Average time in recovery 208 months or 17 years and 4 months

Average number of sponsees 5

Average number of sponsors this episode 2.6

85 % do attend weekly step meetings (where available)

79% do not believe in time limits on steps

The following is a list of tasks each member reported doing for each of the steps.  Most often these tasks are assigned by a sponsor or spiritual guide but sometimes they are things heard about while in a 12 step meeting.  (The people surveyed were from the Mid-Atlantic area of the USA.  Maryland, DC, VA, DE and Southern PA.  Not everyone in the survey got clean and sober in these areas.)

Step Tasks

STEP # 1                                %       

Read big book                             71%

Step meetings                            38%

Talked with sponsor               36

Read 12 and 12                          28

Prayed                                             21

Wrote History                            21

Attended meetings                  21

Told story                                      14

Stopped drinking                      14

Other Literature                       14

 Other tasks 42.8%

Wrote letters to sponsor

Read Dr.’s Opinion

Read Bill’s story

Read Little Red Book

24 hour book

Step study group

67% of respondents reported starting their first step in their first month of recovery (which means that 1/3 of people with long term recovery did not start their first step in their first month.)

85% reported completing the step in their first year (13% did not complete yet stayed clean and sober for 5 years or more)

58% reported working on the step for one month or less (this does not mean that they immediately went to step 2)

83% had completed the step within the first three months of their recovery (this is the average)

8% did not believe that they could complete the step (This goes against the notion of it being possible to complete the step but only by less than 1 in 10 people. )


STEP #2 

Read Big Book                          50%

Read 12 & 12 +                         43

Talked with sponsor               36

Prayed                                             29

Step Meetings/Study              21

Read Came to Believe            21

Learn to trust advice              14

Talked about consequences    14

Talked with other members   14

Other tasks      50%

B/B Chap. 2-4

Listed insanity examples

Little Red Book

Listed what HP would be

Measures taken to be normal drinker

Attended meetings only

Made a list HP attributes

67% or respondents reported beginning their 2nd step within their first 3 months of recovery  (Again for perspective, 1/3 did not start it in their first 3 months but stayed clean and sober for at least 5 years.)

58% reported spending 1 month or less on this step. (Again this does not say they started it in their 1st through 3rd month, only the amount of time they worked it.)


STEP # 3                                %       

Read B/B +                                    50%

12 and 12                                         36

Step meetings                                29

Outlined HP                                  29

Shared with sponsor               29

Prayed                                              22

Read 3rd step prayer                21

other tasks     57%

Tried to Trust HP

24 hour book

Chapter 5

Little red book

Pro and Cons to make decision or not

Attended meetings only

Talked with other members


75% of respondents reported starting this step within their first six months of recovery.  (3/4 did report “starting” this in their first six months.  Most people think that this is a slow pace but it worked, that’s what matters.  That is what I was trying to determine. )

50% reported spending 1 month or less on this step. (Often a time frame given by sponsors to get it done in order to get moving on the 4th.)


STEP #4 

Inventory, Resentments, Fears, sex conduct,

harm to others, assets             43%

Read 12 and 12                             43%

Read Big Book                              36%

Met with sponsor                       28.6

Step Guides                                   21

Step meetings                              14

Tried writing                                 14

Talked with other members   14

Other tasks      50%

Big Book Chapter 5

Used 7 deadly sins as a guide

Little Red Book

List of positive traits from 12 and 12

Attended meetings only


Made a list with friend

92% of respondents did not formally work this step until they had at least a year of recovery.  (ATTENTION:  Despite some opinions the reality is that long term recovery shows a pattern of taking time on the steps, more than 9 out 10 people who stayed clean and sober did not complete their work on this step in the first year.  While you may disagree the evidence is clear that the overwhelming majority of people with an average of 17 years 4 months did not finish the 4th step in their first year.  In contrast the majority of people who relapsed after a year “say” they did.  The consensus among “old-timers” during this research  was that the addicted brain has not yet cleared enough to be searching and fearless before the 1 year marker.)

75% reported spending 3 months or less or this step.

67% did not begin this step until they had at least 1 ½ years of recovery.  (This answer surprised me. The survey could not disclose that this was a guideline but it is the result in hindsight from people with established stable recovery.  I might add that these are people still active in recovery, it was a requirement of the survey participants.)



Met with sponsor (4th)                        79%

Read B/B +                                                  50

12 & 12                                                          28

Not with sponsor                                     14

Step meeting                                              14

Other tasks      50%

Sat quiet 1 hour

Little Red Book

Religious Service       other tasks      50%

B/B Chapter 6

Attended meetings only

Talked with other members


100% of the respondents reported completing this step within 30 days of starting it.  (It’s usually done in a single session but several people spent several days with sponsors.)

92% reported beginning this step after at least one year of recovery.  Only 1 respondent reported completing this step within the first year (@ 6months).  (ONLY ONE!)


STEP #6 

Prayed                                           50%

Read B/B +                                  43

Met with sponsor                    43

12 and 12                                     29

Step meeting                              14

Made list of Character defects to be removed/worked on    14

Talked with other members               14

Other tasks      42.8

Reviewed 5th list with another

Tried to become entirely ready

Changed appearance

B/B Chapter 6

Attended meetings only

Used a dictionary

67% reported spending less then 1 month on the step

33% reported spending more than a month on this step ( 1/3 took more than a month.  Contrary to the Big Book interpretation by some Bill W. did not believe that he did his 5th step until after the book was written.  He reported that while writing the book he became confused and called his spiritual guide Father Ed Dowling who suggested he just tell people what it “might” look like. Hence the paragraph stating “It might look something like this…  One should also consider that the same man wrote most of the 12 and 12 and that he only had a few years when he started the book and that Bill W only had his own experience to work from.)

17% believed that this step could not be completed, stating they were still working on it. (1 in 6 old-times think it can’t be done.)


STEP #7                                 %       

Big Book                                  43

12 and 12                                36

Prayed                                        36

Met with sponsor                 28.6

Step meeting                           21

Same and 6                                21

Other tasks      42.8%

AA Retreats


Attended meetings only

Wrote Answers to question in literature

Talked with other members


83% reported spending between several hours and up to one month on this step.  (BTW Some of the people in this survey got sober before the 12 and 12 was even written.  It was not until the late 80’s that the 12 and 12 even gained broad acceptance within AA.)


STEP # 8 

Met with sponsor                                50%

12 and 12                                                 42.8

Read B/B +                                               36

Made list of amends from 4th        36

Step Meetings                                         29

Prayed for willingness                        14

Talked with other members            14

Other tasks      35.7%

BB Chapter 6

Little Read Book

Reviewed past history

Can’t remember

Attended meetings only


75% of respondents reported spending less than 1 month on this step

58% did not begin the step until that had at least 2 years of recovery. (Not quite 2/3 but this is interesting.  There used to be a program guideline of 3 steps a year!  Whether you like it or not the program had a better success rate then it does now.  With that in mind however there are also a lot of people coming in a lot earlier then in those days.  There were actually more people in 12 step programs in the 80-90’s then there are now.)

25% did not begin this step until they had 3 or more years.  (The soonest anyone in the survey reported was that they had completed it was at 10 months of recovery.)


Discussed with sponsor          50%

Made amends                               50%

Read B/B +                                      43

12 and 12                                         43

Step meeting                                  22

Prayed                                               14

Still doing it                                     14

Talked with other members   14

Other tasks    50%

B/B Chapter 6

Little Red Book

Can’t remember (some of these folks are old not)

Attended meetings only

Wrote out thoughts

Shared about alcoholism to amend-ees

Separated into 4 times, (Direct, Later, Maybe, Never)


50% reported that they are still working on this step.  (this is usually because they can’t find everyone on the list.)

33% reported completing the step in less than 1 month.  (Some sponsors know that people can get hung up on this one and choose to have them move on knowing that these other people will present in HP’s time.)


STEP #10 

Discussed with spon   50%

Read B/B +                       36

12 and 12                          36

Step Meetings                29

Daily Inventory             21

Prayed                                 21

Talked with other members   14

Other tasks      85.7%

B/B Chapter 6

24 hour book

Little Red Book

Daily Reflections

Professional Help

Quiet time

Apologize timely

Keep list on Frig

Talked with sponsor about difference between 4 and 10

Attended meetings only

Wrote answers to questions

58% reported that they are still working on this step and that they always will be (The word “continued” is their guideline.)

25% reported completing the step in under a month. (Honestly this answer just outright baffled me. Thus 1/4 of the people believe that in can be finished despite the wording in the step.)


STEP #11

Read B/B +                      43

12 and 12                         43

Talk with sponsor        36

Step Meetings                29

Spiritual Literature     21

AA meetings                    14

Church/Bible Study    14

24 hour book                   14

11th step prayer             14

Spiritual retreats         14

Meditate                           14

Other tasks      57.1%

B/B Chapter 6

Little Red Book

Daily Reflections

Did not do/Attended meetings only

Wrote answers to questions

Talked with other members

There was a long list of methods of Prayer and meditation


58% reported that they are still working on this step and that they always will be.  (My impression was that some people had settled in to a religion  by this time, usually the one of their birth and thus interpret this task as being moved beyond the spiritual kindergarten to their church or other house of worship where they continue to build this relationship outside of AA/NA)


STEP #12 

Read B/B +                      43 %

12 and 12                         42 %

Institutions                      42

Step Meetings               29

Sponsored others        28

Being available               28

Talked with sponsor    21

Attending meetings    21

Service                                 21

12 step calls                       21

Drove people around  14

Chaired Meetings       14

Public Speaking          14

Be an example               14

Other tasks      28.6%

B/B Chapter 7

Little Red Book

Did not due

Attended meetings only

91% reported that they are still working on this step and that they always will be, only 9% reported believing that they had completed the step. (My hope here that they are still carrying the message whenever someone presents with a problem.)

Please contact me if you have any questions.  I will not debate the results as they speak for themselves but I can help you understand them better if necessary.

Emmanuel S. John, MA, MSW, LCSW

*****A special note.  While this was not outlined in the research the following is an accurate accounting.  If you have relapsed and returned to the program then the amount of time between your introduction to AA/NA etc… or the steps (or any other 12 step program) and the time you completed your most recent 1st step is the actual amount of time it took you to work it.  In essence,  If you drank for your first 3 years in the program then it took you 3 years to work the 1 st step.  If you were clean and sober then relapsed and came back 10 years later that time must be added to how long it “REALLY” took you.

***(Almost everything posted on this blog/page the data is the Intellectual Property of this author (Emmanuel S. John and should be sighted accordingly if reproduced.)