A Brief History of the 12 Steps

The 12-step philosophy first emerged in the mid-1930s and became mainstream with the publishing of “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism,” aka “The Big Book,” written by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith.

According to this philosophy, addiction is something that cannot be cured (“once an addict, always an addict”), yet people can manage it and not let it overpower their lives.
Since the 1930s, the 12 steps have been adapted to create thousands of programs that address other forms of addiction besides alcoholism; some programs don’t have anything to do with substance abuse at all, such as Gamblers Anonymous.

What Is the Progression of a 12-Step Program?

What Are the Benefits of the 12 Steps?

Do I Need to Buy into Christianity’s View of God?