Alcoholics Anonymous Moral Inventory

May 2, 2023

A moral inventory is a personal assessment of a person’s character, weaknesses and strengths. It is a vital step in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) recovery and can help an alcoholic take responsibility for their addiction.

A moral inventory is a thorough and honest review of the person’s past, present and future. It can be a painful and difficult process to undertake but is essential to long-term sobriety in recovery.

What is a Moral Inventory?

A moral inventory is a self-reflection process that helps individuals in recovery from substance use disorders (SUDs) identify patterns of behavior that led them to their addiction. This can help individuals avoid going back to these behaviors once they are sober again.

Performing a moral inventory is an important part of Alcoholics Anonymous' Step 4. It is an objective look at your character defects and how they may have contributed to your addiction.

The inventory also encourages you to acknowledge the damage your addiction has done and take responsibility for it. This can lead to a sense of accomplishment and hope in your recovery.

Many 12-step recovery programs call for a moral inventory, but the specific steps vary depending on the program and individual. The Hazelden guide, for example, suggests a four-part inventory: resentments; guilt, remorse and shame; fear; and pride, warmth, love and kindness.

What is the Purpose of a Moral Inventory?

The purpose of a moral inventory is to reflect on your life and identify character defects that negatively affect your mental health and relationships with others. It is a common tool used in addiction treatment programs to help individuals gain insight into their behaviors and attitudes and identify areas where they need to make changes to achieve sobriety.

A moral inventory can be very therapeutic and a great way to begin healing from the traumas that are a part of addiction recovery. It can also help to relieve the burden of shame that often comes with addiction and teaches an individual how to cope with negative emotions.

Many 12-step groups, including Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous, suggest that people in recovery make a searching, fearless moral inventory of themselves. This step is commonly referred to as Step 4 in the 12-step program and it is a powerful way to acknowledge your past wrongs and work towards changing them in the future.

What is the Process of a Moral Inventory?

The process of creating a moral inventory can be challenging. But it is a critical part of the 12-step program for addiction recovery. It can also help you gain insight into your character and how it has been affected by addiction.

The moral inventory is also a key part of the SMART recovery process. It is used to assess an individual’s honesty, self-awareness, openness to feedback and willingness to take responsibility for their actions.

The moral inventory is a form of self-reflection and meditation that goes back to the ancient Greeks and Roman philosophers. It involves taking a look at your behavior and attitudes to identify areas that may need to be improved to achieve long-term sobriety. It is an important part of recovery because it allows you to refocus on your goals and work towards improving yourself and your life. This type of reflection can also help you make amends for your past mistakes.

What is the Final Product of a Moral Inventory?

The final product of a successful moral inventory should be a pleasant and if not painless experience. The best part is it’s a fun and educational exercise for both you and your loved ones. The process will require a fair amount of patience and tolerance, but the end result is well worth the effort. The most important step is to make sure that your loved ones have a clear understanding of what you plan on doing and what you want them to do for the rest of their lives.


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