Step 1 of AA

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has a 12 step program to support individuals in recovery. Based in community groups, people can attend meetings and learn from others who range from new to seasoned individuals in recovery while gaining insight about one’s own life and how to live a healthy, happy life in sobriety. Step 1 is the first place to start when beginning AA which focuses on letting go of control and admitting powerlessness.

Step 1

A person who begins AA will start with Step 1, which states ‘a person admits powerlessness over alcohol and that life became unmanageable.’ The goal of Step 1 is letting go. To begin recovery, an individual must admit a problem exists and seek help. Though far from easy, admitting powerlessness allows a person to break the cycle of addiction. AA believes the admission a person lacks control is a necessary step on the road to recovery.

Getting Started

A person has a few steps to get started with in Step 1 which can include some of the following:

  • Accept something is wrong and one is no longer in control
  • Embrace truth and desire honest change
  • Understand recovery is not done alone and acknowledge need for support


Getting started may feel like the most difficult thing to do but it is a process which begins with one step and progresses as a journey. Some tips to get moving through Step 1 towards completion include:

  • Abstinence from alcohol or drugs
  • Abandonment of pride. A person must admit problems and mistakes to move towards humility. Powerlessness comes from letting go of ego and pride.


Some myths about the step focus on the notion of powerlessness. Though letting go of control can feel challenging, it is easier to do once the ball is rolling. Here are a few myths which may hold a person back from fully engaging in Step 1:

  • Powerlessness equals weakness. Having honesty and courage to accept the control drugs or alcohol has over one’s life helps a person move through recovery with a positive mindset.
  • A person must hit rock bottom before seeking help. A major life event does not need to occur to help a person move forward in seeking help. Sometimes it only takes the realization alcohol or drugs is causing pain in one’s life to desire escape from the grip of addiction.

Moving beyond Step 1 takes courage and faith in the process AA provides. Step by step, one foot in front of the other, is the best way to move forward from addiction to recovery and long term sobriety. AA provides community, support and help for individuals who are ready to take ownership of one’s life and seek help to get better.

Once Step 1 is completed the individual can move on to Step 2; focusing on seeking a higher power in releasing control and finding hope for a future without the use of drugs and alcohol.

The 12 step process is a great way to build a solid foundation for recovery. The Villa offers treatment in a nonjudgmental and comfortable environment. Call us to find out how we can help you or your loved one kick addiction.