Get help today 888-287-0471 or sign up for 24/7 text support.
American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

What Is Step 1 Of The 12-step Program?

Step 1 AA12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most renowned and respected addiction treatment programs for people recovering from alcoholism, founded in 1935. The program’s purpose is to help those struggling with alcohol use stay sober and help others to recover from alcoholism. AA meetings are held all over the world, and members use the basic principles known as the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to achieve and maintain sobriety.1,2

The Alcoholics Anonymous 12 Steps are a series of guiding principles that members of the program used to achieve and maintain sobriety. The steps are based on the idea that alcoholism is a disease and that recovery is possible through a series of actions that people can take to improve their lives.3

The 1st Step of Alcoholics Anonymous’ journey to recovery is admitting that you have a problem with alcohol and coming to terms with the fact that you need help. This can be a difficult step for many people, but it is important.3

The Importance of Step 1 in Alcoholics Anonymous cannot be overstated, as according to the National Prevalence Survey, 45 percent of participants successfully recovered from substance abuse by participating in support programs like AA.4

What is AA Step 1?

Step 1 Of The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous implies that in order to overcome your addiction to alcohol, you need to admit that you have a problem first and that you are not in control of your drinking. Only by recognizing and admitting your vulnerability to substance abuse can you then work to address it, according to Step 1 Of AA.3

This may be difficult, as evidenced by the fact that only one in four participants in a 2016 study visiting a primary care provider in the year prior were likely to report being screened for alcohol abuse. Consequently, it is highly likely that many men and women abusing alcohol will not be identified and are not even aware they have an issue.4

The 1st Step In AA also asserts that by admitting you are powerless over alcohol, you acknowledge that your life has become unmanageable. This is an important distinction to make, as it emphasizes that addiction not only affects the person struggling with alcohol use, but those around them as well. Alcohol abuse can cause strain and damage relationships, employment opportunities, and financial stability.5

What is the Step 1 Prayer in AA?

The Alcoholics Anonymous Step 1 is admitting that you have a problem with alcohol. More specifically, the 1st Step Of AA claims:3 

“We admitted we were powerless over alcohol — that our lives had become unmanageable.”

If you are struggling with alcohol, the 1st Step In AA can be a helpful tool. It can help you start your journey to recovery and begin taking back control of your life. If you are ready to start your journey, the first step is admitting that you have a problem. The prayer practiced in Step 1 Of Alcoholics Anonymous can help you do that.

What Is the 1st Step Of AA Important?

The 1st Step Of AA is important because it is the beginning of the 12-step program. The steps are designed to help people recover from their addiction and stay sober. The first step is a confession of powerlessness over alcohol and a willingness to overcome it. It begins the process of change and opens the door to recovery.3

The 1st Step In AA is also important because it helps people to realize that they are not alone in their addiction. Others have gone through the same thing and have come out the other side. This can be a very powerful realization for someone who is struggling with addiction. It can help to give them hope that recovery is possible.3

Finally, the 1st Step of Alcoholics Anonymous sets the tone for the rest of the program. It is important to remember that the steps are not meant to be easy. They are designed to challenge people and help them grow. If someone is not willing to put in the effort in the first step, they may not be as successful in the other steps. In fact, people often repeat the first step multiple times before proceeding to the next stage of the program.3

How Is Powerlessness In AA Defined?

Alcoholics Anonymous consider powerlessness to be one of the key aspects of the disease of alcoholism. According to the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, people struggling with alcohol may not be able to control their drinking behavior because they are powerless over their addiction. This is because alcoholism is a complex issue, and the person may be unable to stop drinking even if they want to.3

Powerlessness is also said to be a symptom of alcoholism, as the person dealing with it may often feel hopeless and helpless when it comes to their addiction. They may feel like they are trapped in a cycle of drinking and cannot escape it. This may lead to feelings of depression and despair, which may further fuel the addiction.3

However, powerlessness is seen as a necessary part of recovery. Accepting that you are powerless over your addiction is said to be the first step on the road to recovery and the 1st Step Of the AA program. Once you have accepted this, you can then start to work on overcoming your addiction and regaining control over your life.

There are several main stages of understanding powerlessness in Alcoholics Anonymous:3

  • Denial: The person denies that they have a problem with alcohol and refuses to acknowledge that they need help. 
  • Admission: The person accepts that they are powerless over their addiction and that they need help to recover. 
  • Second thoughts: The person begins to question their decision to quit drinking and starts to doubt their ability to stay sober. 
  • Acceptance: The final stage, where the person finally accepts that they are powerless over their addiction and agrees to seek help and treatment.

How To Complete Step 1 AA?

The 1st Step In AA may be the most difficult, but its importance cannot be overstated.  For many, admitting that they are powerless over alcohol and that their lives have become unmanageable is incredibly difficult. For some, it may be the first time they’ve ever admitted defeat. Despite the difficulty of this step, you must persevere if you want to find success in the Alcoholics Anonymous programs. Several available resources can help you with that.3

Join Alcoholics Anonymous Near You and Attend Meetings

One of the most important aspects of Step 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous is staying on track. This means making a commitment to attend meetings regularly and following through with the steps outlined in the program. Sticking to a routine is essential for rebuilding your life after addiction, and attending meetings is one of the best ways to stay accountable and connected to the recovery community.5

Work with a Counselor

Working with a counselor or therapist can be incredibly helpful if you’re struggling to stay sober. A professional can help you work through the emotions and thoughts that are keeping you from recovering. They can also provide guidance and support as you navigate the early stages of sobriety and Step 1 of AA.5

Find a Sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous

 A sponsor is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous who has been through the program and can offer guidance and support. Sponsors often offer advice, motivation, and accountability vital to recovery. Working with a sponsor can be incredibly helpful if you’re struggling to stay sober.

Talk to Your Family and Friends 

If you’re struggling to stay sober, talking to your family and friends about your journey can be incredibly helpful. They can offer support and understanding as you navigate this difficult time. Additionally, they can be a great source of motivation when you’re feeling tempted to drink.5

Get Involved in Your Community

Getting involved in your community can help you stay sober by giving you a sense of purpose. It can also help you connect with other people going through the Alcoholics Anonymous steps who are committed to sobriety. There are many ways to get involved in your community, such as volunteering, attending local events, and joining recovery groups.3

What Are the Tips for Completing the 1st Step of AA?

If you or someone you love is struggling with Alcoholics Anonymous Step 1, here are some tips for completing the first step of AA.

Abstain From Alcohol

This is probably the most important tip for completing the 1st Step Of AA. Completing the other steps and staying sober will be very difficult if you are still drinking. Alcohol is a huge trigger for relapse, so it is best to avoid it altogether.6

Abandon Pride

One of the main principles of AA is humility. In order to complete the 1st Step In AA, you need to be willing to admit that you are powerless over your addiction and that you need help. This can be a difficult thing to do, but it is essential for recovery.6

Be Willing to Change

In order to recover from addiction, you need to be willing to change. This means making some lifestyle changes and breaking old habits. It can be difficult, but it is necessary for recovery.6

Seek Help

One of the most important things you can do in recovery is to seek help. This includes going to meetings, talking to a sponsor, and getting therapy. These things will help you stay sober and on track with the 1st Step of Alcoholics Anonymous.6

Take it One Day at a Time

Recovery is a process that takes time. Taking it one day at a time is important, and not getting overwhelmed. If you focus on the future, it can be easy to get discouraged. Just take it one day at a time and eventually reach your goals.6

Step 1 Alcoholics Anonymous Worksheet Questions

Many people find Step 1 of AA very challenging, which is why it is helpful to create a worksheet to guide them through this step of recovery. Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself in a Step 1 AA Worksheet:3,6

  1. What are my reasons for wanting to stop drinking? 
  2. Am I ready to make a commitment to quitting alcohol? 
  3. What benefits do I hope to gain from sobriety? 
  4. What challenges do I anticipate facing in sobriety? 
  5. How will I deal with these challenges? 
  6. What support do I have in my efforts to quit drinking? 
  7. Am I willing to seek additional support if needed? 
  8. What are my goals for sobriety? 
  9. How will I know when I’ve achieved these goals?

How to Interpret Step 1 of AA and What are my Next Steps?

The challenge of step 1 of AA lies in the fact that it can be difficult to admit you are powerless. Another issue those in the program often face is abstaining from alcohol, especially in the early stages of the program. However, it is a vital step because it helps to break the cycle of alcohol abuse and allows participants to focus on their recovery.3

Those who successfully complete Step 1 Of Alcoholics Anonymous may proceed to step two, which entails a belief in a higher power and accepts the support coming from it. It is an important step of the Alcoholics Anonymous, as it opens people up to the idea that a higher power in any form will give them strength to power through their addiction.3

How Can I Get Help With the First Step of Alcoholics Anonymous?

There are many ways to get help with the first step of Alcoholics Anonymous. The AA Alcoholics Anonymous website has numerous resources that can help you find a treatment program near you that suits you best. Additionally, the Alcoholics Anonymous Hotline can connect you to the nearest AA community.

Additionally, alcohol rehab hotlines such as the ones operated by SAMHSA or the American Addiction Centers can offer valuable information on additional treatment options such as inpatient rehab or outpatient treatment programs and give you information on their cost. They can provide information on various payment methods, help you with finding adequate financing for your treatment or verifying whether your insurance will cover the cost of treatment. 

They can help you understand different treatment modalities, such as short-term detox programs and 30-day alcohol rehab programs and what the difference between them is and if they are covered by your addiction treatment insurance plan