4 Alternatives to 12 Step Programs | Addiction Recovery, Sobriety, and Recovery from Addiction

4 Alternatives to 12 Step Programs | Addiction Recovery, Sobriety, and Recovery from Addiction

So we’ve talked about the 12 steps and
about 12 step programs but there are other options when it comes to recovery
from addictio. So in this video let’s talk about 4 alternatives to 12-step
programs and how they have helped people recover from addiction. So the for alternatives to 12-step
programs are: Self-Management and Recovery Training also known as SMART
Recovery; Women for Sobriety; Secular Organizations for Sobriety( or S.O.S.); and
LifeRing Secular Recovery also known as LSR. First up is SMART Recovery. It’s a nonprofit organization that cultivates
self empowerment over addiction and other addictive behaviors. They offer
face-to-face meetings as well as meetings online. They usually last for
about an hour and a half and it’s usually run by a trained facilitator. SMART Recovery is a research-based program that’s all about changing
negative and defeating thoughts in order to enhance recovery from addiction. SMART
Recovery follows a four-point program and the four points are: Obtaining and
maintaining motivation; Learning to manage urges; Handling emotions thoughts
and behaviors; Finding and striking balance in life. Anyone with any kind of
addiction is free to attend a SMART Recovery meeting. The meetings start with
a check-in period. There’s usually a prepared topic and then the group works
through one of those four points. Groups are self-sustaining so they rely on
donations to keep the doors open. Homework can also be assigned in between
meetings and the meetings are kept confidential so anybody can drop in and
out of those meetings at any time. Second is Women for Sobriety. This was the
first self-help program specifically for women recovering from alcohol addiction.
It’s a nonprofit organization that was started in 1976 and it’s based on 13
acceptance statements and these focus on positivity, responsibility for oneself,
and emotional growth. It helps women change negative thought and behavior
patterns in order to establish a happier and healthier life. Women are encouraged
to follow this program by subscribing to these 13 positive statements every day.
Members are asked to go over every morning and evening these 13 positive
statements and seeing how they can apply those to their lives.
It also offers meditation, healthy eating strategies, and other holistic healing
forms to help women in recovery. Meetings are run
by a woman that usually has a substantial amount of recovery time and
groups are usually between 6 and 10 women. Meetings are usually 90 minutes and
are once a week and new members are given some form of literature during
their first meeting. At each meeting women are asked to introduce themselves
and give themselves a “stroke” which is to say something positive about themselves.
Membership is kept confidential so women can share in private and with security.
Third is Secular Organizations for Sobriety or SOS. This is also a nonprofit
without any ties to any outside organization — it’s open to anybody that’s
wishing to be free of drug and alcohol addiction. The only requirement for
members is abstinence. Membership is confidential and free although donations
are requested. SOS is its own program and not affiliated with any certain secular
organization or religion. It continues to evolve with research and doesn’t
subscribe to any one theory of addiction recovery. Their meetings start with any
announcements and also a celebration for people’s sober milestones. Responsibility
and Confidentiality are the overarching themes in SOS. Members work together to
hold each other accountable and improve their quality of life. Fourth is a LifeRing Secular Recovery or LSR. LSR was formed over ten years ago when some SOS
groups decided to make their own organization. LSR has three key
principles: Sobriety; Secularity; and Self-Help. Sobriety means, for them, the
abstinence from drugs and alcohol. They practice the sobriety priority: “We do not
drink or use no matter what.” Although people of religion and other faiths are
welcome to these groups, LSR is about methods relying on human
efforts instead of divine intervention. Self-help for them means that the key to
an individual’s recovery is based on their own internal motivation. Thanks for
watching today’s video on 4 Alternatives to 12-Step Programs. Have
you done any of these four before? If you have please let me know about it in the
comments below. Please subscribe for your daily dose of soberness and I will see
all of you tomorrow in the next video!


  1. Secular Organizations for Sobriety is no longer functioning. The main website is derelict and does not list meetings. They certainly like to get unaccounted-for donations, that's true! Not recommended.

  2. Decided to kick my addiction for good and on my 37th day and I feel much better for being sober and together. Not getting any strong urges to pick up, just a few little urges now and then. I'm attending a small A.A group and I'm really enjoying the fellowship of this small group. Believing in God has given me the power over my addiction and I feel like anything is possible. Thanks for the posts and good luck to all.

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