First Step - Next Page >>>
The information about DRA's 12 Steps on the next several pages is
general in nature & is merely suggestive. It is
based on the combined practical experience of various DRA members.
Members also offer some of the techniques they have used
while using the Steps as guidelines to their personal dual recovery.
This section of the web site is dedicated to increasing
understanding of DRA's 12 Steps. It is meant to be a dynamic
document. As our Fellowship grows and shares its experience, we will
add new insights and techniques. Please feel free to send your ideas
to the webmaster.
What are the Twelve Steps for dual recovery?
The Twelve Steps offer a simple plan for dual recovery. The
plan is divided into twelve parts or steps. They are adapted from the
principles of the traditional Twelve Steps, the personal experiences of men
and women in dual recovery, and on the principles of personal freedom and
The Twelve Steps of DRA are specifically designed to help
members stop using alcohol and other intoxicating drugs, maintain their
recovery, and prevent relapse. The Twelve Steps of DRA encourage members to
develop and follow a healthy and constructive plan to manage their emotional
or psychiatric illnesses. By practicing the Twelve Steps for dual recovery,
members find that they are better able to improve the quality of their
DRA members are free to develop their own beliefs and
lifestyles to support their dual recovery. Each Step is open to personal
interpretation. DRA members are encouraged to personalize the Twelve Step
program in a way that will meet their needs for dual recovery. DRA members
are also encouraged to work the Steps at their own pace.
The Twelve Steps of DRA are designed to help members in
Acceptance: Learn to accept the dual disorder of
chemical dependency and emotional or psychiatric illness, and to accept the
need to develop and practice a personal program for dual recovery that
focuses on recovery from both illnesses.
Help: Choose a source of help and decide to use
that source of help for dual recovery. That source of help may be referred
to as a Higher Power or any other name that feels comfortable.
Identity Assets and Liabilities: Identify the
personal assets (attitudes, actions, and experiences) that can strengthen
dual recovery. Identify the personal liabilities (attitudes, actions, and
experiences) that pose a risk for dual recovery.
Change: Work with a personal source of help
(Higher Power) to strengthen the personal assets for dual recovery and
remove the personal liabilities that pose a risk for dual recovery.
Mend Relationships: Identify people who have been
negatively affected by a DRA member’s dual disorder and through dual
recovery, work to mend those relationships.
Maintain Dual Recovery and Prevent Relapse:
Continue to strengthen personal assets for dual recovery and remove personal
liabilities that pose a risk for relapse by continuing to work with a
personal source of help (Higher Power).
Help Others: Share with others who experience dual
disorders how dual recovery is possible.
from the DRA Questions & Answers
The Goals of Dual Recovery
The goals for dual recovery are probably similar for each of us whether
we are seeking help for the first time or coming back to try again. We want
stop the pain and confusion caused by the symptoms of our illnesses,
the consequences and problems our symptoms create, and our ineffective
means of coping
maintain a safe recovery and prevent relapse
improve the quality of our lives
Those goals are the focus of the Twelve Steps, a program for dual
from "The Twelve Steps and Dual Disorders" by Tim Hamilton &
Pat Samples, © Hazelden
The Traditional Twelve Steps
In the mid 1930s, two alcoholics named Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith,
discovered they could recover from their hopeless state of alcoholism by
helping each other get and stay sober one day at a time. This led to the
founding of Alcoholics Anonymous. They also discovered that staying sober
required much more than just not drinking. It required a profound change in
the way an alcoholic approached life. A change they called "a spiritual
awakening." The 12 Steps are the guidelines that they developed that
would produce these changes in even the most advanced cases. Alcoholics
Anonymous and their Twelve Steps soon became the single most effective
program for the treatment of alcoholism the world had ever seen.
The now famous 12 Steps to recovery are rooted in timeless spiritual
concepts and the hard won practical experience of the early members of
Alcoholics Anonymous. Though the original Twelve Steps of Alcoholics
Anonymous may be couched in terms that sound dated to some and overtly
religious to others, the underlying principles of personal growth and
healing have proved to transcend all such boundaries for those who are
willing. In the early days of AA, they discovered that the Steps could work
equally well for the ardent atheist as they did for the deeply religious.
The Steps helped men and women from all races and backgrounds and all walks
The Twelve Steps for Dual Recovery
In the late 1980s, Tim H., a recovering man with a dual diagnosis,
realized that he was a whole person. He could not divide his recovery into
separate parts for each illness. He wanted to find a way to address the
needs of both his psychiatric illness and his chemical dependency in one
program. He began to apply the principles of the Twelve Steps to all aspects
of his dual disorders. Before long he found others with a desire for dual
recovery and they began to meet, exchange ideas and share what they were
learning. Over time this group became Dual Recovery Anonymous.
The Twelve Steps of Dual Recovery Anonymous are based on the proven
principles of the traditional Twelve Steps. The DRA Steps were expanded to
include the whole disease of chemical dependency, and our emotional or
psychiatric illnesses. They retain much of the same language as the
traditional Twelve Steps but with certain modifications to better meet the
needs of people with a dual diagnosis.
Working the Steps
There is a lot of ambiguity built into the Steps and that is part of
their power. While working the Steps, an individual finds their own meaning
as they progress. They come to terms with the principles of dual recovery in
a very personal way. In effect, they grow and heal as human beings in ways
they never before perceived. A new life unfolds before them that is based on
their continued willingness and active involvement in dual recovery. The
Steps are not a simple intellectual exercise. Results are based on honesty,
open-mindedness, and willingness. It is not the intellect, but action, that
leads to change on the deep levels necessary to lift our compulsions and
improve our lives. Yet these Steps are a gentle and non-judgmental tool with
forgiveness and self-nurturing build right in.
If you would like to learn more about the Twelve Steps of Dual Recovery
Anonymous, please follow the links through the next 12 pages. Each Step is
written out, and then briefly described. Members then discuss their thoughts
and feelings about each of the Steps and offer insights that may help you on
your personal journey of dual recovery.
First Step - Next Page >>>
*Adapted from the Twelve Steps of
*The Twelve Steps of AA are
reprinted and adapted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services,
Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that AA has
reviewed or approved the contents of this publication, nor that AA agrees with
the views expressed herein. AA is a program of recovery from alcoholism only -
use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities that are
patterned after AA, but that address other problems, does not imply otherwise.
THE TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS* 1. We admitted we were powerless over
alcohol that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. Came to believe that a Power
greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. Made a decision to turn
our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 4. Made a
searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. Admitted to God, to
ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. Were
entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. Humbly
asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 8. Made a list of all persons we had
harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. Made direct amends to
such people where ever possible, except when to do so would injure them or
others. 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly
admitted it. 11. Sought thorough prayer and meditation to improve our conscious
contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will
for us and the power to carry that out. 12. 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.
Step Discussion Booklet - This is a printable booklet of this Step
Discussion section of the web site in Adobe Reader (PDF) file format.