Step 9 of the 12 steps is designed to mend social harms wherever possible. This includes a sincere apology, a request for forgiveness, and a true attempt to fix the harm that an addiction may have caused. There are instances where amends are not possible. Sometimes a recovering person could cause more damage by contacting the person.
The individual in recovery will need to assess each relationship on a mental, physical, social, or even legal factors. There are times, if appropriate, indirect amends can be made. The most common form of indirect amends is writing a letter asking for forgiveness. If amends cannot be made one must be willing to accept that to help ensure their recovery. Acceptance practiced in earlier steps of the 12 steps will help the recovering person let go of what they cannot control.