I'd like to offer a non-higher power version of the 12 steps. The version I have written is godless and instead focuses on personal accountability over 'the devil made me do it' excuses. It worked for me, and I am alone in my efforts in a den of drug users.


Your input would be welcomed, pro of con; so long as you come with an open mind and intelligent response. 



Tags: 12, addiction, drugs, health, step

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Impressive, JD. I'm not an addict, but here in Hollywood most of the people I know are in AA/NA and you managed to address every problem I've had with the 12-step program.
I was encourage to attend a group meeting for depression. The only thing available in my 'hood is a 12-step program.
Step 1. We admitted we were powerless over our emotions - who am I, Bruce Banner? Hulk sad. Hulk hide in bed under covers. C'mon, I may feel like crap, but that doesn't mean I can't control my reactions to my emotions.
Step 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. - I'm not insane, I'm just depressed. If anything, as an atheist, believing in a higher power might make me insane.
Your version, however, would work for me. Thanks so much for taking the time to share it.

Thank YOU for enjoying it. I'm trying to come up as a writer so if you see something you like on my profile: share share share! XD

Also, I'm easily found on facebook if you want to talk or chop it up. I've been an atheist for a long time. I've only recently become an 'enthusiastic' atheist. 



I am also a decent councilor. :P

You know, I've never actually read through the twelve steps until now.  I didn't realize that higher power/ God came up that much.

I remember, probably over a decade ago, watching an interview with a former heroin abuser who had been clean for a number of years.  He kept commenting how he didn't do it, God did it: Jesus saved him.  I'll confess to being a little disheartened.  I've heard a few first-hand accounts from people who had only used heroin between one and three times, and they said even at just that, they felt a strong compulsion to keep using.  It was a high like nothing else.


So, here was a man who had been a complete addict, managed the remarkable feat of controlling his substance abuse, and all the credit went to Jesus?  By the end of the program, all I could say was that I couldn't relate.  I've never had anything comparable to such a addiction.  I don't know what it feels like.  If submitting himself to Jesus was a pivotal part of his recovery, who am I to begrudge him that?


But I can see how it wouldn't work for everyone.  I would have problems with a number of steps, and really, the only way I could lower myself before God is if I was high out of my mind at the time.  I know someone, an incredibly vocal and at times downright aggressive atheist, who went through Narcotics Anonymous.  He acts as a sponsor through NA, and I imagine his perspective helps those who are not particularly devout or are irreligious.  I'm gonna thief his words here (don't think he'd mind):

I have a little over 18 years clean and sober in a 12 step fellowship (Narcotics Anonymous)... To be brief, a 'higher power' is defined as "a power greater than yourself", and this means many things to many people within the fellowship, as it is not a requirement for those in recovery to have the same higher power. 


Mine, is the group of NA, and/or anyone who has my personal well being in mind... even people on this site, whom I've never met... If they have my personal well being at heart, then they are a facet of my 'higher power', as colectively, they are a "power greater than myself", and I would be well off to listen to their insight and advice to me, as they can see the things in me I cannot... They can see my 'character defects', where I can see usually only see the end result... The turmoil I've created. I don't always listen, but I have gotten much better at it in the last 18 years


If I'm not mistaken, NA was started back in the 50s or the 60s (Jimmy K?), because existing programs weren't cutting it.  Maybe, after a half century or so, it makes sense to introduce a different take.

I mention in the article that I don't condemn the 'holy' salvation, but I will call it for what it is: self-delusional. I don't condemn faith until it turns destructive. Otherwise, I think people should believe whatever they want to get through it. For the rest of us, though... the people who can't grasp wildly at the intangible: I offer an alternative answer.

I do believe that if you take a good idea, no matter where you got it, and make it as universal as possible... that idea becomes impervious to corruption. I hope my effort gets that ball rolling for addicts. I feel getting clean is more relevant that getting faith or God.
Thanks for the input.

I'm all for this. I would love to help.
Kris. Here's a good video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fv24kUI7Ozg

Penn and Teller did a great episode a few years ago about this. I'll try to crop it and post it for everyone.
I appreciate any assistance in getting this rolling... even suggesting improvement if needed... I am leaving one bit of criteria in this task though: it must exclude as few people and beliefs as possible- Christians, Atheists, Materialists, Buddhists, Satanists... everyone.

...except Nihilists. Their very name is a contradiction. You have to believe in something (love, pleasure, kicking puppies, whatever) to continue to live. And attempting to make all into nothing is not "believing in nothing", its believing everything should be nothing. The moment you acknowledge reality, mission failed. Make a like-minded nihilist friend? Mission failed, you believe in companionship... even if to string it along to mutually assured destruction.

(wow... what a rant) Sorry about that. Anyways... any help in helping others would be most appreciated.

Beautifully written. I have read the twelve step program only once before when a friend of mine brought all the booklets and junk home. I wasn't happy about how they made it seem like the person addicted was a powerless slave to the drugs and how giving themselves to a higher power would save them. Credit goes to god and the abuser is still powerless because they never gained faith they needed in themselves, just faith in god. So when god isn't there and something happens, they just go right back to the drug.

I counseled my friend along the lines that I of what you shared and with good friends and a stronger backbone she got better without the program. At the time I with she had read your 12 steps because I know it would have been way better then my "preaching". 

Your an awesome person for writing this.

Thank you kindly. I plan on writing more on addiction as time progresses. Need to knock out a few assignments first.
Another resource to check out is Secular Organization for Sobriety



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