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Alternatives to 12 Step Programs

Alternatives to 12 Step Programs.

There is a wide array of community support and self-help groups available for addiction recovery where people recovering from addictions get support from others in recovery. They can provide a sense of community as well as accountability in refraining from substance use.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) was the first 12-step program, but there are alternatives for those who don’t relate to their focus on a higher power, the belief that you are powerless, and their focus on defects.

Refuge Recovery

Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-oriented, non-theistic recovery program that does not ask anyone to believe anything, only to trust the process and do the hard work of recovery.

Refuge Recovery and the Buddhist path to recovery is all about the path to awakening - awakening being the end of suffering. Craving causes suffering. Addiction causes suffering. With Refuge Recovery there are the 3 jewels of buddhism: the buddha (potential), the dharma (how we get there), and the sanga (who we travel with). Members talk a lot about the feeling of addiction. We are constantly chasing the feeling we get from drinking, whether it’s numbing pain, excitement or whatever that is. The first necessary step is to stop that attachment.

Want to hear more from someone who has found recovery with Refuge Recovery? Listen in to this episode of the Sober.Coffee podcast.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is based on science and evidence. It is similar to AA, however SMART Recovery does not incorporate a higher power, and there is more self-empowered cognitive therapy involved.

SMART Recovery has a large online community all over the world - you are always able to access a meeting of peers 24 hours a day. SMART is a secular program - they believe a person’s faith often drives recovery but it’s personal and individual. SMART works on a 4 point program:

  1. Maintaining motivation

  2. Resisting urges

  3. Managing our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors acceptably

  4. Living a balanced life

Want to hear more from someone who has found recovery with SMART Recovery? Listen in to this episode of the Sober.Coffee podcast.

Women For Sobriety

Women for Sobriety is the first peer-support program tailored specifically for women overcoming substance use disorders and provides supportive, empowering, secular, and life-affirming principles that address the unique needs and challenges of women in recovery.

Based on 13 acceptance statements designed to help women increase self-esteem, self worth and self efficacy. Their belief that they can manage their own lives effectively.

Want to hear more from someone who has found recovery with Women For Sobriety? Listen in to this episode of the Sober.Coffee podcast.

SOS: Secular Organizations for Sobriety

SOS is based in three parts: secular, organizations, and sobriety.

  • Secular: Recovery is non religious, not anchored by spirituality or religion - but SOS is not against religion and welcomes any type of path to recovery.

  • Organizations: With SOS, there is no program. Organizations means any and all resources a person needs to gain and retain sobriety.

  • Sobriety: Success is measured by one thing - abstinence from mind altering substances.

Want to hear more from someone who has found recovery with SOS? Listen in to this episode of the Sober.Coffee podcast.

LifeRing Secular Recovery

LifeRing Secular Recovery is an abstinence-based, anonymous organization dedicated to providing a safe meeting space where you can experience a non-judgmental recovery conversation with your peers. This is accomplished through the lens of LifeRing's 3-S philosophy of Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help.

  • Sobriety: Staying clean and sober from all drugs including alcohol. However, medications are permissible if medically indicated and prescribed. LifeRing talks about the sober-self and addict-self. Most are familiar with their addict-self, but have a sober-self that desires and wants sobriety. The sober-self can strengthened by making positive choices.

  • Secularity: LifeRing respects all faiths, however there is no religion in meetings. A large percentage of members are religious, but it’s not brought into the meeting.

  • Self-Help: Self empowerment is a large part of LifeRing and advocates that success is based on your own motivation and your own effort. You are not powerless, but you have to fight for your recovery and everyone has a personal recovery plan that is unique for them.

Want to hear more from someone who has found recovery with LifeRing? Listen in to this episode of the Sober.Coffee podcast.

Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery is a biblically balanced approach to help bring sustainable recovery and healing to our hurts. It guides us toward new healthy truths and life-giving habits as we repair our broken relationships.

Celebrate Recovery is very Christian / religious based support group - even more so than AA. It is a Christ-centered, 12 step recovery program for anyone struggling with hurt, pain or addiction of any kind.

Getting Help For Addiction

If you or somebody in your life seems to have an issue with alcohol, or is suffering from relapse after treatment, professional help may be the best option to help continue on the road to recovery.

At Care Addiction Center, we offer treatment plans that address every facet of your addiction, serving individuals in Geneva, Batavia, Sycamore, St. Charles, and Kane County, with online addiction treatment available anywhere in Illinois. 

In our mission, we introduce individuals to support groups so post-discharge they have a network of community support to utilize, whether it’s AA, SMART Recovery, or another.

To get started on the road to recovery, or if you have questions about helping yourself or a loved one, call us today or schedule a confidential assessment online and begin treatment.


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