YES Recovery, Alternative 12 Steps
"Having faith in the right and ability of addicts to manage their own recoveries and groups, we have no office, employees, property, surplus funds, bureaucracy, text book, scriptures, rules, permanent bank accounts, sponsorships, grants, copyrights, trademarks, hierarchy, nor publications except meetings lists and this YES Recovery Document of which we encourage free copying."
From Tradition 7
Yes! Try it. It works!
Recovery Without Mythology
You can start your own recovery group!
No fees, no rules, no head office, no books,
no permission needed, your beliefs respected.
Simply copy this YES Recovery Document,
commit to personal recovery, start a group,
connect with other groups, and pass it on.
This modest proposal for a unique kind of recovery fellowship was devised in the hope that others will find liberation from drug and alcohol addiction.
Many programs and fellowships require a belief in God or else have authority figures whose rules or therapies must be obeyed. This program has no such requirements, and it promotes the strength and authority of the individual.
YES Recovery draws on much that has been learned from the Steps and Traditions of 12-Step programs. We consider ourselves fellow-travelers with any person or group who is dedicated to recovery. However, belief in any deity or deities is not necessary in this program (although is not an impediment to recovery, nor is it disapproved of). Unlike many groups, no fees or leaders are involved. If you read the Document below, you will see the different approach. Its author, for decades a hopeless junkie, has years of sober happiness that testify that YES Recovery works. Now you can share in the precepts at no charge.
Organizationally, the most important contribution of the 12 Traditions below are in Tradition 7. A veritable publishing industry has emerged in the 12-Step movement, with issues of power and money. YES Recovery is very democratic, and less inclined to set up 'authorities' and create endless literature. All that's required is the YES Recovery Document ('the Basic Page'), below.
The YES Recovery Document may be reproduced freely and used as a basis for discussion in groups, provided it is published in full and without amendments nor additions. Start a local chapter today for free.
It's easy to start your own recovery group
of yourself plus one or more people.
No permission is required. No fees.
No rules, just flexible suggestions.
Read on below this invitation:
You are invited to join us in the
YES Recovery Forum
How it works:
Yours to use and duplicate for free:
(This is the original and genuine document)
-------------------------- YES Recovery Document begins --------------------------
The YES Recovery Document
An alternative to God-based recovery, with thanks to the 12-Step movement.
If you have a problem with drugs, we can help
- free of charge
- free of religion
- no professionals
Just recovering addicts helping each other stay drug free.
As our 12 Traditions affirm, anyone may copy and use this Yes Recovery Document but only in full and without additions, and begin their own group any time.
Any group abiding by the 12 Traditions is a YES Recovery group and no further organization is required. Groups may organize and correspond with each other in any way they choose, according to the 12 Traditions.
Preamble to the 48 Precepts
a) We were miserable and feared losing our minds or our lives. We came looking for ways to grow beyond our self-defeating appetites for drugs.
b) We follow the intuitions of the higher self that we believe is in each of us. We welcome spiritual comfort and power, and any loving energies that help restore our feelings and our integrity.
c) Nurturing our hopes and our consciences, we take our steps gently and easily, one day at a time, liberating ourselves from slavery, hopelessness and self-delusion.
d) We acknowledge our debt to previous recovery fellowships and are grateful to any others who help suffering addicts.
The 48 Precepts
1) We admit to ourselves and another person that by our our beliefs, and our ways of behaving and thinking, we have damaged our own bodies, minds, emotions and spirits. We thus begin to cultivate an increasing attitude of hope.
2) Striving to balance self-reliance with mutual support, we make a decision to take full responsibility for our recovery.
3) Discovering that thinking can follow behaviour, we write how we intend to change our daily actions to more healthy directions.
4) We make a decision to avoid whichever substances and situations have held us back in our personal growth and health.
5) We first write, and then share with another person, a searching, thorough and honest inventory of our character, describing our assets, but also facing our defects and shortcomings.
6) Though we might stumble, each day we renew our dedication to correct thinking and the best principles revealed by our higher thinking.
7) We make a list of all persons we have harmed, promptly and humbly making amends.
8) We make a daily commitment to abstain from harmful substances, and try to base our thinking on the principle of 'yes' rather than 'no'.
9) So we do not self-deceive, we commit ourselves to admit when we are wrong, to correct our errors and move on without wallowing in guilt, self-hatred or self-pity.
10) We try to take what we are learning to suffering addicts, inside and outside our meetings, wherever they might be.
11) In an attitude of gratitude we honour those who cared for us and those who will come after us, by maintaining recovery and doing group service.
12) Accepting that healing and growth proceed in Nature's time, we regularly affirm that the past is gone and the future is grown from the seeds we sow today.
1) The newcomer who desires to stop using fulfils the only requirement for membership and is our most important member. Any adult is welcome. Belief in any deity or deities is not necessary in this program, but is not an impediment nor disapproved of. We are people of many faiths.
2) Self-reliance is the foundation of our personal and group goals, so we decline external support. We have no fees to pay beyond gratitude donations, nor rules to obey, beyond a commitment to principled behaviour.
3) We have no leaders but each group may elect trusted servants.
4) Mentors commit themselves to assisting the recovering addict. Members may change mentors freely.
5) In order to avoid the pitfalls of commercialism, ego and cultism, our public relations policy is to avoid publicity. Groups may place plain and truthful advertisements to spread our message.
6) Each group is autonomous, making democratic decisions according to the consciences of the members. Failure or bad behaviour by any group does not reflect on any other group, and we do not litigate against each other.
7) Our aim is to help suffering addicts, not to create dogmas, politics, corporations or publishing houses. Having faith in the right and ability of addicts to manage their own recoveries and groups, we have no office, employees, property, surplus funds, bureaucracy, text book, scriptures, rules, permanent bank accounts, sponsorships, grants, copyrights, trademarks, hierarchy, nor publications except meetings lists and this YES Recovery Document of which we encourage free copying. Temporary bank accounts may be operated in order to organise conventions.
8) Any gathering of two or more people that follows and displays this YES Recovery Document alone, unaltered and in full is deemed to constitute a YES Recovery group.
9) YES Recovery groups have no opinion publicly on any matter except that we believe that addicts need not be powerless over addiction nor their lives.
10) We encourage solidarity and try to tame our egos in case our primary purposes are hampered.
11) We may belong to any other group and practise any way of life we choose.
12) We respect anonymity and confidentiality.
1) We keep away from our addictive substances, and don't pick up -one day at a time. When we feel down or tempted, we contact another member.
2) We attend, wherever possible, 90 meetings in the first 90 days.
3) As soon as possible, we ask another member to be our mentor, who helps us in recovery.
4) We join a Home Group and stick close by other members in solidarity and service, as isolation can invite obsessive thinking and relapse.
6) The first year, we think of ourselves as 'impatient patients'. We can't expect to feel wonderful in the first year because recovery builds slowly on itself. By habit we are impatient people, but Nature is slow, as a growing tree will show us. Consequently, we will aid our recovery by not placing on ourselves great expectations of comfort or serenity in at least our first drug-free year. We suggest that in the first year, the recovering addict refrain from: big decisions, especially in relationships; stressful work and studies; and ambitions far beyond progressive recovery of health.
7) We strongly suggest abstinence from all alcohol and mood-altering drugs. We warn that alcohol and some drugs cover up inhibitions and often lead to relapse into addiction to other substances.
8) Relapse is entirely undesirable but if it occurs we can learn from it. Less damage is done when we prevent a lapse from becoming a relapse. When relapse occurs, we find it best to put embarrassment aside and promptly recommit to recovery.
9) We value above all else, our growing responsibility and self-reliance. Therefore it is up to our own consciences whether we identify as "drug free today", according to our own definition of "drug free".
10) We avoid the HALTTS: becoming too hungry, angry, lonely, tired, thirsty or serious ; we try to keep a sense of humour, and we remember that it is all right to stumble -- as long as we are stumbling forwards.
11) While recognising that we must make our own recovery a priority, we try to develop personal philosophies that are not grossly self-centred, because other people matter as much as we.
12) It is suggested that groups create formats that allow for new and old members to share, for discussion of our precepts, and a regular Group Conscience for decision making.
1) YES over NO ... that is, solution-oriented thinking: affirmation rather than confusion; light rather than darkness; love rather than hatred; can rather than cannot; faith and hope rather than doubt; solutions rather than problems; courage rather than fear.
2) Honesty ... without which communities disintegrate and individuals self-delude and lose sanity.
3) Living in the day ... which rewards us with awareness of simple pleasures and enables us to realize attainable goals.
4) Respect ... because we are worthy of giving and receiving it.
5) Self-reliance ... because we realise that we alone are responsible for our own recovery and correct behaviour out in the world.
6) Healthy living ... which in time will restore our bodies, minds, emotions and spirits to excellent balanced condition.
7) Humility ... because it is clear to us that we are essentially no better or worse than others.
8) Compassion ... since we have learned a little humility and know that others have feelings and needs as well.
9) Patience ... which is necessary to recover from illness and which tempers desperation and compulsion.
10) Forgiveness ... because it frees us from poisoning ourselves and others with resentment, and because we must forgive ourselves.
11) Contemplation of the world's wisdom, individually and in our meetings ... because humanity's many paths give new ideas for self-improvement, serenity and happiness.
12) Activity ... because there is much to be done in this world for ourselves and others. Activity includes service ... as we foster our gratitude for our liberation, we have a responsibility to help others get well.
If you have a problem with drugs, we would like to help.
You can start your own recovery group!
No fees, no rules, no head office, no books, no permission needed, your beliefs respected.
Simply copy this YES Recovery Document in full and without amendments or additions, commit to personal recovery, start a group, connect with other groups, and pass it on.
Created in 2000
Revised November 1, 2003