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Alcoholics anonymous (AA) Alternatives

Clinically Reviewed by: Charee Marquez, LMFT

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a well-known and widely-used program for those seeking recovery from alcohol addiction. However, not everyone is comfortable with the principles and practices of AA. If you’re looking for alternatives to AA, there are a variety of options to choose from.

There are several alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), each offering a unique approach to support individuals in their recovery from alcohol or drug addiction. Here are some notable alternatives:

  1. Smart Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training):

    • Smart Recovery is a science-based program that employs cognitive-behavioral techniques and motivational enhancement principles. It focuses on empowering individuals to manage their own recovery by teaching practical skills.
  2. Moderation Management (MM):

    • Moderation Management is designed for individuals who want to moderate their drinking rather than abstain completely. It offers a structured program to help individuals set and achieve personal drinking goals.
  3. Women for Sobriety (WFS):

    • WFS is a support network specifically for women with alcohol and substance use issues. It emphasizes positive thinking, emotional growth, and spiritual development as part of the recovery process.
  4. LifeRing Secular Recovery:

    • LifeRing provides support for individuals seeking a secular and non-religious approach to recovery. It focuses on building a sober, secular, and self-directed life.
  5. Rational Recovery:

    • Rational Recovery is a self-help program that encourages individuals to recognize and overcome addictive impulses using rational thinking. It emphasizes personal responsibility and self-reliance.
  6. Celebrate Recovery:

    • Celebrate Recovery is a Christian-based recovery program that integrates faith-based principles with a 12-step approach. It is designed to help individuals overcome various addictions and life challenges.
  7. Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS):

    • SOS is a non-religious alternative to traditional 12-step programs. It promotes self-empowerment and responsibility in recovery, with an emphasis on individual choice.
  8. Refuge Recovery:

    • Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist-inspired program that incorporates mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhist principles into addiction recovery. It focuses on developing a path to freedom from addiction.
  9. The Sinclair Method (TSM):

    • TSM is a medication-assisted treatment approach that uses the prescription drug naltrexone to reduce alcohol cravings. It is based on the principle of pharmacological extinction.
  10. Harm Reduction Strategies:

    • Harm reduction approaches, such as individual therapy, support groups, and educational programs, aim to minimize the negative consequences of substance use without necessarily requiring abstinence.
  11. Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA):

    • DRA is a 12-step program specifically designed for individuals with dual diagnoses of substance use and mental health disorders. It addresses both aspects of recovery.
  12. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon:

    • Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are support groups for family and friends of individuals struggling with alcohol or drug addiction, respectively. They provide a space for loved ones to share experiences and support each other.

Choosing the right alternative to AA depends on individual preferences, beliefs, and goals in recovery. Some individuals may find success in a combination of approaches or may explore several options before finding the one that resonates with them. It’s essential to consider personal needs and values when seeking support for alcohol addiction.

Explore the variety of support group resources available.

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