If you’re new to sobriety, you may be under the impression that the only way to manage your sobriety long-term is to join your local 12-step AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) program and attending meetings regularly for the rest of your life. The AA & NA programs have a track-record for success, but let’s be honest, not one size fits all. Whether you simply don’t agree with their rigid 12-step philosophy, you don’t believe in a Christian-based higher power, or you simply prefer a more scientific approach to recovery, there are a number of alternative groups you can join for support.

SMART Recovery

SMART (Self-Management and Recovery Training) is a mental health and educational program that is focused on changing human behavior. It uses Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and Motivational Interviewing techniques to help members recognize environmental and emotional factors for their substance abuse and gives them the tools to respond to such triggers in new, more productive ways.

Unlike some support groups whose principles remain static, SMART Recovery maintains a philosophy of evolving as scientific knowledge evolves throughout the years. Although it is an abstinence-based program, SMART Recovery welcomes those who are ambivalent about quitting substance use. SMART is good for people who value personal responsibility in their lives.

Refuge Recovery

Using the Buddhist Path, Refuge Recovery is a mindfulness-based addiction recovery community that practices and utilizes the Buddhist philosophy as the foundation of the recovery process. Drawing inspiration from the core teachings of the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, this group emphasizes knowledge and empathy as the path to recovery. The group is open to those on the Buddhist path as well as anyone who has an interest in a non-theistic approach to recovery.

Women for Sobriety

The first self-help program created strictly for women suffering from alcohol addiction, Women for Sobriety (WFS) is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1976. The group uses affirmations and positive statements toward personal responsibility, thereby reinforcing the idea that every woman is highly capable of managing their own addiction.

WFS teaches women to take control of their own thoughts and actions while. Women are encouraged to love themselves, exercise self-control, and potentially experience spiritual growth as well. The group is particularly helpful for victims of past trauma and abuse at the hands of men who would otherwise feel uncomfortable in a mixed-gender recovery group.

Secular Organization for Sobriety

SOS was created for addicts who were uneasy with the spiritual dependence of AA. SOS continues to evolve with new research and does not subscribe to any one theory surrounding addiction and the path to recovery. Individuals are encouraged to use rational thought, create their own personal tools, and take responsibility for themselves and their actions. The group recognizes that addiction thrives on isolation, so group support is there to assist people in their recovery and hold each other accountable.

In Conclusion

We’ve established that Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t for everyone, but that’s no reason to navigate recovery on your own. There are plenty of other groups, ensuring you can find one that works for you and your path to recovery. That main goal is to help you move forward as a happier and healthier person, regardless of your preferred method.

At Foothills Centre for Change, we take the recovery process very seriously, creating a personalized approach to achieving sobriety. Have some questions or would like to talk about your options? Please contact us online or give us a call at 844-366-6549.