Alternatives to The Twelve-Step Program

Alternatives to The Twelve-Step Program

For those suffering from addiction, the Twelve-Step Program is the world’s most famous method of recovery. It was introduced back in 1939 in The Alcoholics Anonymous ‘Big Book’ as it’s come to be known.

It’s since helped many more than one hundred men (and women) and has been only slightly adapted over the years. Regardless of small changes, the core principles of admitting alcohol/narcotic dependency, believing that God can restore health, and making amends to others hurt during one’s addiction are retained.

While this program has had many successes in helping thousands across the world to overcome their addictions, there are two main criticisms:

  • It doesn’t work for everyone, and;
  • It is founded on faith in a Higher Power.

Some people try this famous program, lauded as the ultimate key to sobriety, only to be disappointed and feel a sense of hopelessness that something that has worked for so many hasn’t worked for them.

Others are put off that belief in God is required to truly embody the program, which some people simply don’t align with.

It’s important to remember that the Twelve-Step Program is far from the only addiction management and recovery method out there. Every individual is different; therefore, a one-size-fits-all approach to addiction (or indeed anything) is impossible.

Here are some other recovery programs that have facilitated recovery from addiction for many people around the globe.

SMART Recovery

This organization focuses on cognitive behavioral therapies that help addicts to adapt their reactions, thought processes and dependencies into healthier habits. It helps those with alcohol and drug dependency recognize the emotional and environmental factors behind their problems and learn to manage addictive behaviors. SMART is committed to evolving its program as scientific knowledge evolves; remaining active rather than static where addiction treatment is concerned.

If this sounds like something you’d like to try, there are over 635 groups in the US and 613 international groups – it’s more than likely that there is one in your vicinity.

Women for Sobriety

If you are a woman who feels she would be more comfortable supported by a group of women, this is offered by WFS.

The group was founded in the 1970s by Jean Kirkland, who developed her own way of overcoming addiction and dependency. It centers on bolstering women’s self-value and addresses the individual emotional issues that lay behind each person’s addiction. 

S.O.S.

If Twelve-Steps hasn’t worked or isn’t something you want to try, but you’re open to getting support from a secular organization, then S.O.S. could be an option to explore.

They work on an abstinence-based approach and their groups are free to anyone who wishes to be free from addiction. They are a non-profit organization and cover running costs with donations, which are greatly appreciated by anyone who uses the service or other supporters.

Meetings generally begin with celebrations of sobriety and abstinence anniversaries, followed by discussions and group activities. They aim to create a positive, buoyant atmosphere through which to motivate members. Sharing of advice and strength is promoted and members are encouraged to offer their utmost support to others. 

Besides these examples, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of rehabilitation facilities all over the world that have developed their own recovery programs – it’s down to the individual to choose one that they think will benefit them best. This rehab website from NJ gives details about the SOBA College Recovery which integrates addiction rehabilitation with treatment for coexisting mental health disorders and return to education for young adults.

There are a multitude of options out there – some simple research is sure to find a path right for you.

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This article is not certified medical advice. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, please consult your doctor for medical advice about how it is best for you to begin to change your lifestyle.

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