Addiction Treatment

Why Starting at Step Zero is the Best Place to Begin

Written By:

Becky Babb

Why Starting at Step Zero is the Best Place to Begin

The path of recovery is different for everyone. Some people love to look at different recovery programs and find the right one, while others step into 12 steps and realize this is the way they will navigate recovery best. Until you want recovery from addiction, you are not likely to succeed at it. You have to be able to let go of denial in order to focus on what you desire. This includes looking at the 12 steps as a journey, starting with step zero.

Step Zero Defined

Step zero is not talked about much in terms of the 12 steps because everyone assumes you start at Step 1 when you go up the ladder. The truth is, step zero is probably the most important step you can take when you are in recovery. Step zero is the first place you land when you decide to recover from addiction and seek help. When looking through the steps in the book, you will find that step zero is not outlined as a number, but a concept: let go of denial and admit the need for help.


When you look at those words in a new way, you begin to realize you have been reading the same passage for a while but never thought about it as one of the actual steps in the journey. When you admit you are an alcoholic, or someone who uses drugs, you begin to get a grip on the reality of what you face. Facing the reality of your own truth can be hard but necessary if you are to face recovery with the right mindset.

The denial of addiction or alcoholism is common for those who suffer from substance abuse. Often, men and women need help seeing the real issues that these substances have had in their lives and relationships. Just because you are initially in denial when entering a 12 step program or rehab facility doesn’t mean you can’t recover. It just means that others will aid you in the process of seeing the problems in your life for what they truly are.

Moving Forward

You will never get where you are going in recovery if you stay in any one place for any length of time. This means not sitting at step zero and getting frustrated with yourself. If you admit the need for help, you have already mastered this step and can move into step one of the 12 steps. You can begin the journey of moving forward with recovery. In truth, there is no real mastery in recovery, simply by doing the steps. Just doing them does not get you anywhere, it is understanding them and embodying them in your life.Recovery is a journey that starts with admitting the need for help. Whether you call it step zero or the starting point of something new, you are on the right track to find help and healing in recovery. Hope springs from the chance to say I’m done doing what I’ve been doing and I’m ready to change for the better. Once you do that, you can start moving forward and begin to make a difference in your recovery.

The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Contact us now.

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