The issue of trust is critical for addicts, as many feel that they cannot trust other people. This can be a major obstacle to the use of a support group.

It is important to remember that trust is not an all-or-nothing situation. It is seldom either 0 percent or 100 percent. Your level of confidence in any person or thing will depend on your experience, the present situation, and the risk involved.

When you know you cannot handle your addiction by yourself, you can develop trust that there is something more powerful than your disease. The phrase “came to believe” in the Second Step indicates the need for faith. Seeing recovery in others and identifying with them is often the beginning of that trusting process.

The Twelve-Step program is pretty trustworthy. Few if any are damaged by the Twelve Steps themselves. In fact, many clergy and many in the helping professions have called the Twelve Steps a wonderful plan for living.

It is possible for human beings to screw up a particular group or a particular implementation of the Twelve Steps. But a group of people who seem to have something in the way of recovery are more dependable than any single person.

Trusting People

It is hardest to trust individual people, particularly if you have been burned before. As you develop in your recovery, you will gain an inner strength that will give you more resources, so you will be less fearful in dealing with others. You will fear people less because you will not be so vulnerable. You will feel a sense of tolerance for their shortcomings as you become more comfortable with yourself. And you will feel love and gratitude for what you have compared with what you had.


You don’t have to trust 100 percent to take a risk. All you have to do is become aware that the risk of being hurt is less than the risk of missing the opportunity for joy. That will work when you apply it to God, to the Program, or to the people in your life.

Trust, see also: Abuse, Acceptance, Amends, Attitudes, Control, Fear, Freedoms, Grace, Gratitude, Higher Power, Openmindedness, Prayer & meditation, Program, Relationships, Self-image, Step Two, Step Three, Step Seven, Surrender, Survival roles, Willingness.

Updated 11 Sep 2015

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Addictionary 2 by Jan & Judy Wilson

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