Opiates Anonymous – Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions

We recently published a book called Opiates Anonymous Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions. The book does not take the place of Opiates Anonymous’ use of the Big of AA as our text and guide. The Twelve and Twelve is designed to help the addict identify further with some of the distinguishing characteristics of the opiate classification and the experience of the addict. There are stories of how addicts struggled with their addiction and how they have since recovered through the process in the Big Book. The book also contains modern day medical statements by expert Dr. David J. Withers.  There are essays on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions as well as historical information on the twelve step program.

Here is the Preface from the book:


We have created this volume for the addict who may not pick up the book Alcoholics Anonymous. All Twelve Step programs are not the same. There are different interpretations of Step One, and some programs are not fundamentally based on the book Alcoholics Anonymous. We recognize that others may have found that a different approach with the Twelve Steps, other than the original program, may work for them. 

Based on our experience, Step One means that addicts of the hopeless variety will use drugs no matter what. In Opiates Anonymous our Step One is: “We admitted we were powerless over opiates and all mind-altering substances – that our lives had become unmanageable.” We refer to an addict of the hopeless variety as one who is not able to stop using drugs and cannot stay stopped no matter what potential solution they have tried. For this reason, we recognize that addicts need to tap into a Power greater than themselves to prevent them from using drugs as soon as they are willing to take action. For us, keeping the program as simple as possible makes it more practical. This is just our preference. 

Why use the book Alcoholics Anonymous as the guide for Opiates Anonymous?

The book Alcoholics Anonymous (also known as the “Big Book”) is the original text from which all other Twelve Step programs were formed. We prefer its clear-cut and simple approach. The book Alcoholics Anonymous contains a written set of instructions for an alcoholic to recover that has proven itself over time to work for addicts also. It was written in 1939 through the experience of the first alcoholics who had gotten sober in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This program of recovery described in the Big Book has not changed. In 1939, they humbly wrote “We realize we only know a little”1 but their countless experiences with the human condition were right on point.  In 1955 when the Second Edition of Alcoholics Anonymous was published, many alcoholics who contributed to the writing already had twenty years of experience and did not change any of the content from the First Edition. The program was not broken; so they did not need to fix it. In 1955, they had enough humility not to alter the content.  It was working as thousands and thousands of people were getting sober. Books were selling, and AA groups were forming across the U.S. and worldwide.  There were great challenges in handling the fellowship’s tremendous growth. The fellowship endured trial and error until the Twelve Traditions helped create unity and AA’s primary purpose.

In Opiates Anonymous, we heard the stories, and we witnessed the miracles of those members who fully embraced this Twelve Step design for living. We witnessed and experienced the same blessings that those in AA witnessed and experienced. So how could a solution from the 1930s work for the addict today? Key factors involving addiction and human nature have not changed. Furthermore, founders of other Twelve Step programs got clean and sober from the program in the Big Book before starting new fellowships.  We are grateful to them for leading by example and showing the world that addicts can recover through the Twelve Step process outlined in the Big Book. In Opiates Anonymous, we prefer to use the same book as our guide that countless addicts have used as their guide for years.

Excerpt from the Medical Statement on Addiction by Dr. David J. Withers

“The medical community can help bridge the divide between addiction treatment to the life changing program of Opiates Anonymous. Medications have their place if they keep someone alive. Hopefully, they will be able to hear the message of Opiates Anonymous.”