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A 38-year-old member asked:

how long do the 12 steps typically take in aa?

4 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeff Blixt
Addiction Medicine 24 years experience
What you put into it: Some people may get very involved and complete them in a few months, some may take over a year, many never finish them at all. It not how fast you complete them, it is that your are willining to do them, and are working with someone else whom in your veiw has good sobriety and has something that you want for you and your recovery, one day at a time one step at a time.
Dr. Jeffrey Roth
Addiction Medicine 43 years experience
As long as it takes: Working the 12 steps is easier with a sponsor. Find someone who has what you want and ask how they got it. If the sponsor you choose is not helping you work the steps, ask someone else.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
One thing about : Working the steps is that you may complete a step but rework it again later in more depth. One step may take seemingly forever to work through, where as other steps may be easier for you. It is not a race. You need to take however long you need to take to work the step adequately for you. There is no average time to complete the steps.
Dr. Adam Front
Clinical Psychology 27 years experience
Varies: Dr. Bob (one of the two co-founders of aa) apparently used to take newbies through the steps in a matter of a couple of months. There are "back to basics" groups in some areas who use this format. Others take years to complete all 12 steps. Generally it is somewhere in between. An average (just a guess) might be about a year.

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Last updated Mar 24, 2014

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