A.A.’s Twelve Steps, which constitute its program of recovery, are in no way a statement of belief; they simply describe what the founding members did to get sober and stay sober.
They contain no new ideas: surrender, self-inventory, confession to someone outside ourselves, and some form of prayer and meditation are concepts found in spiritual movements throughout the world for thousands of years.
What the Steps do is frame these principles for the suffering alcoholic - sick, frightened, defiant, and grimly determined not to be told what to do or think or believe.
The Steps offer a detailed plan of action: admit that alcohol has you beaten, clean up your own life, admit your faults and do whatever it takes to change them, maintain a relationship with whatever or whoever outside of yourself can help keep you sober, and work with other alcoholics.
The same applies in a similar way to all 12-Step groups such as Al-anon, Alateen, ACOA, Gamblers Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous.
AA - A Newsletter for Professionals Fall 2003 at Alcoholics Anonymous