August 13, 2004
A.A. Alternatives: An Empowered Round-up
So, it’s as good a time as any to do a quick review of some of the solidly abstinence-based support out there which follows something other than the 12 steps. Along with that, a request to my readers: I’m looking for individuals who are talking about their experiences in these different groups at their personal websites. If you know of any, please drop links into a comment or an email message.
So, here’s a list of empowered alternatives:
- LifeRing Secular Recovery: “Freedom from alcohol, peer support with feedback in a secular setting, and Open architecture: structure your own program.
- Secular Organizations for Sobriety, or Save Our Selves, also located here: “SOS credits the individual for achieving and maintaining his or her own sobriety… SOS supports healthy skepticism and encourages the use of the scientific method to understand alcoholism.”
- SMART Recovery®: Approach “teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance… teaches tools and techniques for self-directed change… evolves as scientific knowledge evolves.”
- Women For Sobriety: “We are capable and competent, caring and compassionate, always willing to help another; bonded together in overcoming our addictions.”
There are also faith-based groups which adapt the 12 steps to their needs. There are professionals who support a wide range of alternatives. Look closely, and you’ll even find folks on the God squad talk about spiritual empowerment and having an adult relationship with God. Find ‘em in the side bar here, or let me know who’s not there yet and needs to be added.
The Recovery Resource Center in Cincinnati Ohio has a great page which takes a high-level look at the distinctions between these groups: The Recovery Spectrum.