The Recovery Program

The Gamblers Anonymous Recovery Program is the foundation upon which those in the Fellowship are able to rebuild their lives. The Recovery Program is outlined in 12 steps and is a plan for a better way of living.

For compulsive gamblers to be fully productive members of society, they must completely abstain from gambling. By practicing the 12 Steps of Recovery, the individual is freed to fulfill his or her potential. This program also enables Gamblers Anonymous members to lead ethical lives and attain self-respect.

Some of the 12 steps deal with the admission of powerlessness and/or wrongdoing. Other steps ask members to take the actions necessary to rebuild their lives. A third group of steps is spiritual in nature and is concerned with a power greater than the individual.

Each step is open to individual interpretation. Because the Recovery Program is designed to be adapted to personal needs, many different interpretations of the step have arisen over the years. The commentary that follows is a basic overview of many different interpretations of the 12 Steps of Recovery and can be considered as a starting point for more detailed discussion.


Here are the steps which are a program of recovery:
(by clicking each step, you will find a brief explanation, which may help you gain some perspective on the step)

  1. We admitted we were powerless over gambling – That our lives had become unmanageable
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to a normal way of thinking and living.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of this Power of our own understanding.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral and financial inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have these defects of character removed.
  7. Humbly asked God (of our understanding) to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contanct with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having made an effort to practice these principles in all our affairs, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive gamblers.

The 12 Step Program is fundamentally based on ancient spiritual principles and rooted in sound medical therapy. The best recommendation for the program is the fact that “it works.”

Gamblers Anonymous would like to indicate that we are not soliciting members. Our intention is to highlight that gambling for certain individuals is an illness called “compulsive gambling.” Gamblers Anonymous provides the message that there is an alternative to the destruction of compulsive gambling and this alternative is the Gamblers Anonymous program.

Our ranks are filled with members who have recovered from the illness by stopping gambling and attaining a normal way of life. These members remain ready to help any individual who passes through the Gamblers Anonymous door.

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