Neuroscience of The Twelve Steps

A Gentle Path

In recent years we have made unbelievable breakthroughs in neuroscience, radiology, genetics, and psychobiology which are giving us a clearer picture of how addiction hijacks the brain and how recovery helps to rewire and change the brain. Bill W., Dr. Bob and other founders of A.A. developed a recovery program intuitively without proving how the program works through science.

Beyond The Book

For years mainstream science believed that brain anatomy was fixed, after childhood the brain only changed as far as declining through age. In addition, if the brain failed to develop properly, or was injured due to disease, illness, or injury the brain cells simply died and could not be replaced.

How Addiction Hijacks The Brain

This framework based on focus helps to undo the damage caused to our brains by addiction. Addiction over time damages our brains so that it consistently makes harmful choices, even when we don’t want it to. The word addiction itself comes from a Latin term for “enslaved by” or “bound to” (Harvard Mental Health Letter, July 2011).

More About The Brain

Check out video clips discussing how the brain functions.

Recommended Reading

Review our list of recommended books and publications.