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The Tools of OSPA

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We use the Tools of the Program to support our abstinence while we work the Twelve Steps and apply the Twelve Traditions of OSPA.


In time and with practice, we learn which tools are most effective in each situation. We may use one tool at a time or a combination of multiple tools. Gradually the tools become integrated into a working part of our daily lives.

1. The Behavior Lists

We work with a sponsor to identify our behaviors into three lists—Qualifying Behaviors, Dangerous Behaviors and Recovery Behaviors. When we define our abstinence, we gain awareness of what we are doing and where we are in our recovery.  

2. Sponsorship

A sponsor is someone who has worked the Twelve Steps and guides us in our physical, emotional and spiritual recovery. We ask someone to be our sponsor and in time offer the same to others as a way of putting our program into action.

3. Self-Care Plan

With the help of a sponsor and medical professionals, we let go of the need to manage or control our physical care. When we establish a plan of self-care, we get out of the obsession and on with our life.  

4. Literature

We read 12-step conference-approved literature on a regular basis. Reading literature increases our awareness of compulsive disease and carries the message of hope with a common spiritual solution. 

5. Writing

We practice writing our thoughts, feelings, and reflections down on paper. This brings us closer to ourselves in a way that is different from thinking or talking things through. Writing helps us become present and connect with our literature.

6. Bookending

We connect with another OSPA member before and after difficult tasks, situations, commitments, and events. We become aware of how we are feeling and remember we are supported and accountable.

7. Telephone & Outreach

We ask for and receive help from other OSPA members. When we communicate with others we break free from the disease of isolation, we help one another, and we strengthen our unity and support.

8. Meetings

We attend OSPA meetings regularly to identify with others and share our gifts of recovery. In meetings we discover we are not alone and build on the foundation of fellowship.

9. Anonymity

We practice anonymity by not revealing who we see or what we hear in our meetings and in our fellowship. We refrain from using our full names and faces as OSPA members at the level of press, radio, and other public media.

10. Service

We carry the message with every form of service, and we all have the opportunity to serve in different ways. When we give service, we add to our recovery and the strength of OSPA as a whole.

11. Prayer & Meditation

We practice speaking with and listening to the God of our understanding. With this willingness, we form a personal relationship and bring the spiritual principles into our daily lives.

12. Travel Plan

We prepare for changes in our routine with a travel plan. When we write down and commit to a travel plan, we plan ahead with our recovery in mind. Our plan may include actions before, during, and after our change or travel.

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