The 12-step program was designed in Akron, Ohio, on August 11, 1938 (although there were data that it was June 10, 1935, when Dr. Bob had drunk his last drink) by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. Bill Wilson, known as Bill W. thanks to his engagement in the Program, was named by Time Magazine as “one of the most important people of the 20th century”. Wilson described his experience of despair, hopelessness, and depression after many years of distress with alcohol, when he was lying in bed with God, and then, in complete desperation, he experienced enlightenment and new hope for help. Then he realized that there must be some spiritual, spiritual principles that help fight alcoholism. He introduced these principles to the Program, together with Dr. Bob Smith, a surgeon. He did not drink until the end of his life in 1971, full 37 years.
Through the Program, a person becomes acquainted with the addiction, he/she admits the problem. Because giving up on addiction leaves an existential emptiness in the person’s life, spiritual elements are introduced which are not strictly religious so that a person can explore and choose the spiritual principles that best suit him/her, and which are achieved through group work. Then a person in a secure environment becomes acquainted with himself, with his faults and virtues for which he assumes responsibility, as he takes responsibility for his relationship with other people, especially to those who he hurt through the phase of addiction. In this way, they gain empathy, altruism, responsibility, and real insight into themselves.