Are There Non 12 Step Rehab Programs?

Non 12 Step Rehab is Available. Find out more here.

When the majority of people think about recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, they usually picture traditional 12-step group meetings as they’re portrayed in movies or on TV shows. However, the stereotypical image is far from the truth. Group support meetings provide recovering people with an opportunity to connect with likeminded people who are also working to overcome their struggles with addiction. Regular participation in group meetings can also help reduce feelings of isolation that can be common throughout the recovery process. Find out what types of non 12 step rehab is out there below. 

The traditional 12-step meetings of today are based on the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) model that was founded in 1935 and focus strongly on faith-based steps to recovery. However, not everyone is comfortable with the concept of giving themselves over to a higher power. As a result, many people in recovery stop going to meetings after attending only one or two.

What you may not realize is that there are a number of alternatives to 12-step groups available. Non 12 step rehab groups are designed to provide the same sense of community and peer acceptance, but often include alternative resources and tools designed to provide motivation to stay sober.

Some common alternatives to 12-step groups include:

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is recognized as a valuable resource for addiction recovery by several professional organizations, including the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The 4-point addiction recovery group works from a standpoint of empowerment, encouraging members to take responsibility for their role in the recovery process.

Aside from offering face-to-face meetings, SMART Recovery also provides online chat groups and support forums that are always available even when physical meetings aren’t.

Women for Sobriety

‘Women for Sobriety’ is a non 12 step rehab group founded in the mid-1970s by a woman who holds a doctorate in sociology. The founder had a serious drinking problem that she overcame by learning to moderate and modify her thought patterns.

Rather than using alcohol to boost feelings of low self-worth, isolation, loneliness or stress, the addiction recovery group focuses strongly on positive ways to improve members’ sense of self-value and encouraging self-empowerment.   Meetings encourage members to learn healthy ways to replace self-destructive or negative thoughts with healthier, more positive ones that ultimately provide motivation to remain sober.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety

The founder of Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) learned that he was uncomfortable with the principles behind traditional 12-step programs, leading him to create his own non-religious group meetings to help those who felt the same way as he did.

SOS groups focus on teaching recovering people self-reliance and personal responsibility in dealing with their problems with addiction, but keeping their levels of accountability as a completely separate issue from any religious beliefs.  There is no formal structure to the program, but there is a focus on maintaining sobriety as the primary objective.

AA Agnostica 

AA Agnostica was formed to provide a range of non-religious group meetings for those people who feel uncomfortable with the thought of praying for recovery or focusing on the humility steps of traditional 12-step meetings. There are also those who don’t agree with the step asking them to agree they are powerless in their addiction, choosing to find groups that advocate self-empowerment and accountability instead.

It’s estimated that the number of AA Agnostica meetings have more than doubled since 2010 as more people search for viable alternatives to 12-step groups that still provide the support and motivation they seek during recovery.

Finding Non 12 Step Rehab Groups

There are plenty of different non 12 step rehab groups available all around the world. There are also very specific 12-step alternatives available for Hindus, Buddhists, and non 12 step recovery groups for atheists. Some focus on personal empowerment and positive action, while others focus more on accountability and spirituality.

When it comes right down to it, any addiction recovery group that provides support and motivation to change self-destructive patterns of behavior can only be a positive thing.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.