Why Skipping Step 5 is Detrimental

Closeup portrait of a young woman spending time in prayer on a wooden chair.

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC, Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

The process of addiction recovery should be one that addresses a person’s unique needs on multiple levels, including physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Because the addiction to drugs or alcohol involves a complex number of factors, a strategic approach to recovery can empower a person to successfully recover and maintain sobriety for the long term.

While a variety of approaches can be utilized for substance abuse addiction recovery, the 12-Step Program is a process that has enabled many addicts to overcome their struggle with drugs or alcohol.

Each Step Is Necessary

The 12-Step Process integrates and outlines powerful traditions that are based on spiritual principles, which can effectively assist a person through the healing process and making peace with God, themselves, their loved ones, and their pastime.

Addictions often incur an overwhelming amount of emotional entanglements and self-pity, which can keep a person stagnant and stuck if not appropriately dealt with. Each step of the 12-Step process is intended to help an addict find and achieve mental and emotional relief as a person is guided through healing and positive changes.

The Exact Nature of Our Wrongs

persons-691544_640One marking point of transition and change through the 12-Step Process is Step 5, or the process of admitting to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

This step marks a significant turning point for recovering addicts, as it allows a person to clear their conscience, find peace from past grievances, and bring forth a past that has been carefully shrouded and hidden beneath an addiction.

A Gateway to Healing

Without this aspect, a person cannot truly heal or move forward with recovery. The steps that follow step 5 in the 12 Step process are essentially hinged on the work that an addict completes during this crucial and necessary turning point.

The completion of Step 5 is the gateway to healing and allows a person to proceed with the recovery process from addiction. While it can be challenging to work through the process of asking for forgiveness and letting go of a painful past, this process cannot be skipped if healing is desired.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Are you a recovering addict who has been through the 12-Step Process for Recovery? If so, what steps did you find most difficult and challenging? What is the importance of working through each step systematically?

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 8th, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com