Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has become essential to millions of Americans battling an addiction to alcohol. It provides support and a sense of community to those looking to continue their path of recovery and sobriety. However, not everyone finds themselves comfortable with the more spiritual approach taken by AA. For them, there are some quality AA alternatives which may be preferable and more suited to their belief system.
The Standard Alcoholic Anonymous and 12-Step Approach
AA opens its doors to anyone who desires to stop drinking. One of the central tenets of AA is maintaining the confidentiality of members. AA also relies heavily on using sponsors, or recovering addicts, to aid those new to sobriety. Members also commit to following a 12-step philosophy for guidance. The group takes a faith-based approach in asking that members maintain belief in a higher power. That may be difficult for those who don’t subscribe to such views.
Alternatives to AA
There are support groups available for people battling alcohol addiction but prefer alternatives to AA that don’t rely on spiritually.
LifeRing Secular Recovery
One of the major alternatives to AA is LifeRing Secular Recovery. They take the approach that each person is battling two halves of their personality. The Addict Self is the one driving the self-destructive behavior, while the Sober Self is who they could become if they could break free of alcohol.
There’s no belief in a higher power and no reliance on specific steps. The group encourages each member to look inside for the strength and control needed to remain sober. LifeRing offers members the choice of attending a face-to-face meeting or communicating confidentially via an email service.
SMART Recovery is another of the major alternatives to AA available to recovering alcoholics. The self-help support group assists members working to remain free of alcohol, drugs, and other problematic behavior. SMART members have their choice of face-to-face meetings or online contact via a message board or a 24/7 chat room.
Members follow the 4-Point program to help them achieve recovery. The four points of the program are:
- Finding and staying motivated
- Learning how to manage urges
- Figuring out how to handle thoughts, emotions, and behaviors
- Finding and sticking to a balance in life
Women for Sobriety (WFS)
Women for Sobriety (WFS) was the first AA alternative created exclusively for women dealing with alcohol addiction. The program is based on 13 acceptance statements encouraging members to focus on:
- Responsibility for themselves
- Emotional growth
Members are encouraged to think through each of the 13 acceptance statements and reflect on ways to use them positively in their daily lives. WFS also promotes the use of meditation, healthy eating, and other holistic practices to achieve whole-body recovery.
Moderation Management (MM)
Moderation Management (MM) differs from other AA alternatives in that it does not require members to abstain from alcohol completely. The program focuses on finding those in the early stages of problem drinking and help them find a way of drinking responsibly. MM believes members should be able to choose if they want to quit drinking entirely or find a path of moderation.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S.)
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S.) maintains no ties to other religious or secular programs. The only requirement to join the group is a desire to remain abstinent from drugs and alcohol. It’s free to join and offers confidentiality to members. Everyone works in tandem to provide accountability to each other. Those participating in the group also try to improve the quality of life of themselves and fellow members.
Find Alternatives to AA at Oceanfront Recovery
Oceanfront Recovery helps members find alternatives to AA to help them in their recovery. The facility also provides clients with a variety of treatment programs to help them heal from the effects of abusing alcohol and other substances.
- Residential Treatment Program
- Substance Abuse Treatment
- Intensive Outpatient Program
- Aftercare Program
Learn more about Oceanfront Recovery by calling (877) 279-1777.