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  • If you’re struggling with alcohol abuse and need to find a recovery group, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) may immediately come to mind. However, people who want to stop drinking can also consider other support groups and programs that may better fit their needs.

    While AA meetings have a reputation of being beneficial, other organizations offer group meetings that can be helpful as well. 

    Here are seven alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous.

    1. LifeRing Secular Recovery

    LifeRing Secular Recovery is an excellent alternative to AA. This recovery support group practices complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol. 

    This abstinence-based program is here to help you become your true, sober self. LifeRing focuses on a 3-S philosophy that includes Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help.

    2. Women For Sobriety (WFS)

    If you’re a woman and you’d like to be surrounded by other women during recovery, consider the non-profit organization Women For Sobriety (WFS). WFS supports women who are struggling with substance use disorders. 

    One of the self-help programs offered by WFS is the New Life Program. With New Life, participants follow the thirteen acceptance statements of the program. You can even participate in New Life as a stand-alone program if you wish.

    3. Other 12-Step Programs

    Although Alcoholics Anonymous follows the 12-steps, you can find other support groups that use the 12-step recovery plan to address addictive behaviors.

    12-step groups are beneficial because you follow clear steps that allow you to observe your progress. However, many 12-step groups have their own rules for you to follow or guidelines that may be slightly different from other recovery programs. 

    4. SMART Recovery

    Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) is a community of mutual support groups. Not only will you get to meet with your peers and discuss similar issues both you and others experience, you’ll also be able to take part in their 4-Point Program. 

    SMART Recovery’s 4-Point Program helps you gain the motivation to stop alcohol abuse, cope with the urge to abuse, manage thoughts, and gain self-empowerment. 

    5. Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS)

    For those without religious beliefs who want to attend help groups, consider Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS). This non-profit network focuses on support groups that help those seeking to live a balanced life.

    Instead of using terms such as “higher power” or “god” (as seen in AA meetings and their 12-step program), SOS keeps religion as a private matter for each individual. 

    6. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    Your mental health is extremely important when it comes to addiction treatment. Because substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders may cause changes in brain chemistry, discussing your mental health with a therapist can be helpful.

    Those experiencing depression and anxiety can develop self-management techniques learned in therapy. Speaking with a psychologist can help you better understand your alcohol addiction. 

    7. Chat Rooms & Online Meetings

    Meeting in person can sometimes be difficult depending on work schedules and other factors. For those of you who might feel a bit nervous before attending an in-person meeting, consider managing your addiction recovery with chat rooms and online meetings

    Although separated by a computer screen, you can still discuss your history of substance abuse with peer support and professionals who can lead a meeting and give you advice on how to begin or continue your sober life.

    If you or a loved one struggles with alcohol or drug abuse, professional treatment programs are also available. To learn about our alcohol/drug addiction treatment options, contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Alcoholics Anonymous - About Us
    LifeRing - About
    Secular Organizations for Sobriety - Home
    SMART Recovery - About Us
    Women For Sobriety - About Us

    Medically Reviewed by
    Kimberly Langdon M.D.
    on May 25, 2022
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