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“My name is Derek, and I am an alcoholic.” There has rarely been a day that has gone by since November 17, 2012 where I haven’t repeated that, either to myself or in a meeting. But I didn’t always believe it when I said it, especially at first. Relating to other alcoholics and working steps, in addition to regularly attending a lot of meetings helped me come to terms with that truth. And coming back has helped me in more ways than I even know.

Few things generate more controversy than the topic of 12-step programs and whether they effectively help people who suffer from addiction to drugs and alcohol quit their dependence on these substances. People love to hate on Alcoholics Anonymous, the oldest 12-step program and to date the most effective solution to recovery. 12-step programs are under-researched and widely misunderstood, by the public, by haters who have tried it with little or no results and even by it’s own members.