12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: Step 9

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 NINE—Make direct amends to such people except when to do so would injure them or others.

Step Nine of The 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous comes after we have made a complete and honest list of the people we have harmed through our addictions.  This Step is very important if we are to move on to Step Ten of The 12 Steps. It involves accountability, responsibility and humility which are extremely important if we wish to stay sober from alcohol (and/or other addictive substances or processes).  “Good judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage and prudence—these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine.” This is the first sentence of the chapter on Step Nine in “Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions”, a book that was written in 1952 after the genesis of the 12 Steps Program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Also very important in the process is that we try our best to avoid harming another person while making our amends. Usually through honest discussion with our sponsor and others in the 12 Step Program we are able to discern who we might harm in the process. When we complete all of our amends a great freedom can happen for us. We are then ready to move on to Step Ten.


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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