12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: Step 5

This series of articles is a PERSONAL perspective/interpretation of The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The 12 Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous began on June 10, 1935 and has helped scores of people around the world obtain and maintain sobriety from drugs and alcohol.

STEP FIVE—Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

This step comes on the heels of Step Four of the 12 Steps and involves discussing with someone else—usually our sponsor—the damage that we did to ourselves and others as a result of our addiction(s). This Step of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous takes a great deal of courage and the text “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions” tells us “But scarcely any Step is more necessary to longtime sobriety and peace of mind than this one.” It is believed in Alcoholics Anonymous that only through an honest and thorough inventory (Step Four) and sharing this inventory with someone are we able to obtain enough humility to remain sober long term. Step Five—though difficult indeed—can be very liberating.


1. Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition; Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. 2001.

2. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions; Alcoholics Anonymous Services, Inc. 1952

***NOTE: this article is a personal interpretation of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and is neither endorsed nor approved by Alcoholics Anonymous. ***

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