An Alternate 12 Steps - From a Neurophysiological Perspective

1. I admit that I am powerless over my drug(s) or behavior(s) of choice - that my life has become unmanageable. I understand that my brain/nervous system has changed from the effects of my drug use or behaviors and I am now subtly controlled by non-conscious, internal, self-regulating mechanisms that are highly effective at maintaining the patterns I have created and that elicit experiences of craving and compulsion when I try to change those patterns. I also understand I may have genetic or family predispositions to addiction that make my responses different from others who do not. Therefore I cannot compare myself to others and I must only address my own behaviors in the context of my life.

2. I believe that I need help to restore myself to a healthy state. Because I am driven by brain mechanisms that I developed while becoming addicted, I am no longer in charge of my decisions and therefore I cannot trust my thinking or the decisions I make. I must rely on others for assistance with decision making until I have recovered to a degree that I am reliably making good choices for myself. Even then, I will always need honest feedback from others so that I may continually check myself for mistakes in thinking and perception.

3. I have made a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of my support system, which may include any resources available to me such as a higher power as I understand that concept, my group, my religious institution, my sponsor, etc.

4. I have made a searching and fearless inventory of myself, my history and behaviors. This is to help me become humble as I recognize how truly mistaken I have been. This is also so I can become intimately aware of harmful choices and decisions I have made and the resulting consequences so that I may be on the lookout for similar mistakes in the future.

5. I have admitted to myself and to at least one other human being the exact nature of my wrongs.

6. I am entirely ready to let go of these mistaken beliefs, behaviors and attitudes, allowing them to leave my life completely by no longer participating in or endorsing them in any way. I know this will take the rest of my life and I am therefore willing to learn patience as I embark upon this daily journey.

7. I have humbly asked for assistance from everyone who cares about me to help me with this process.

8. I have made a list of all persons I have harmed, and am willing to make amends to them all.

9. I will make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. I continue to take personal inventory and when I am wrong, promptly admit it.

11. I seek through contemplation and meditation to improve my conscious contact with greater wisdom, as I understand it, asking only for knowledge of my purpose in life and the power to fulfill that purpose.

12. Having experienced greater self awareness and humility as the result of these Steps, I try to carry this message to others in need, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.