Person with arms raised outdoors celebrating doing a moral inventory and recovery from addiction

Moral Inventory and Recovery

If you or a loved one is considering beginning the journey toward freedom from substance abuse, know that this choice is commendable. While the road to recovery is never easy, great resources exist to help. Among the many great offerings available are 12-step programs, which link various self-reflective and transformative processes—such as doing a moral inventory and recovery from addiction.

If you’d like more information about 12-step programs and other addiction recovery tools in Wrightsville, contact Recovery Ranch PA today. We offer a range of services for those working toward freedom from drug or alcohol abuse and look forward to assisting you. Call 717.969.9126 or complete our confidential online contact form to start. 

How Does Engaging in a Moral Inventory Fit Into 12-Step-Based Treatment for Addiction? 

Simply put, the moral inventory developed by the original 12-step organization, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), refers to a thorough and courageous self-examination. During this reflection period, a person in recovery considers their past in detail, with an eye toward how their substance abuse has harmed them and others. They also take stock, honestly and thoroughly, of their particular “moral defects,” otherwise known as self-defeating behaviors or harmful coping mechanisms. Moral defects may include rage, jealousy, excessive behavior beyond the primary addiction, and more. 

Making a moral inventory comprises step four of the 12-Step model and the details of how to complete it vary by individual and group. Nonetheless, the inventory typically entails a component of writing or otherwise physically recording one’s own story related to substance abuse. For many, treating this first as a free writing exercise can be helpful to get the juices flowing. 

In step five, the recovering person shares their inventory with at least one other person aloud. This critical action of bearing witness and consciously admitting what’s gone wrong is considered a powerful expression of accountability and a prerequisite to change. The person who listens to a moral inventory should be trustworthy and a good listener. A sponsor could be an excellent choice, for instance, especially since they may also be able to offer support during step four. They often share their own moral defects and personal inventory to help their sponsee understand the process and let go of any shame or isolation they may feel.

Is a 12-Step Program Right for Your Case?

While AA was originally couched in nondenominational Christian language with a strong focus on reliance on God, the language has been made more inclusive over the decades. Here are a few clues that a 12-step might be a good choice for your recovery journey: 

  • You feel like you don’t need a more intensive intervention—such as medically monitored detox—or you are already receiving this and would like to supplement it with the peer support and accountability a 12-step program can offer. 
  • The concept of a Higher Power is within your worldview. You’re also willing to appeal to this Higher Power in your recovery journey. 
  • You’re interested in having a sponsor, a person who’s gotten sober from the substance you’re working on quitting, and can serve as a mentor and guide in your 12-step journey.
  • Your usage has been increasing, possibly alongside higher urges and cravings. 
  • Quitting or reducing the amount you use is impossible on your own. 
  • You are aware of the negative consequences of your substance use, both on yourself and others. 

During meetings, peers identifying only by first name or first name and last initial gather to discuss their individual recovery journeys and offer one another support. The 12-step model offers one enormous advantage in typically being free for attendees and widely available.

Learn How Doing a Moral Inventory and Recovery from Addiction Are Connected at Recovery Ranch PA 

While 12-step programs aren’t the ideal fit for everyone in recovery, they have an undeniably impressive track record for success. Doing a moral inventory and recovery from addiction are definitely linked. If you’d like to learn more about them and the many other effective interventions available for addiction treatment, contact Recovery Ranch PA today. Our staff can assist you with questions and referrals at 717.969.9126 or via online message. 

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