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What is the Difference between AA and Other Groups?

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Home QA What is the Difference between AA and Other Groups?

Alcoholics Anonymous is the most widely used 12 step program across the globe. Founded in the 1930’s, the program has helped millions of alcoholics recover from alcoholism. There are some for whom the AA program doesn’t work. Over the years many additional programs have become available for those dealing with any type of addiction.

There are a wide range of alternative 12 step groups. The largest next to AA is Narcotics Anonymous. There are also 12 step programs for family members of alcoholics, compulsive overeaters, debtors, sex addicts, and smokers. There are 12 step programs for adult children of alcoholics, codependents, and a wide range of other issues. A google search will bring up many options.

For those that desire something outside of the 12 steps there are other alternatives. One group, called Women for Sobriety dates back to the 1970’s. The founder, Jean Kirkpatrick, felt women needed a different path to healing than me. The program is designed to bolster women’s sense of self-value and substituting negative, self-destructive thoughts with positive ones. The program has 13 affirmation statements that are the foundation of the program. Like AA, it is an abstinence based program.

Another alternative abstinence based program is SMART recovery. This program has a cognitive-behavior approach and is recognized by American Society of Addiction Medicine and National Institute on Drug Abuse. Its 4-point program guides participants in the following areas: (1) building and maintaining motivation; (2) coping with urges; (3) managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors; and (4) living a balanced life.

A Christian alternative to AA is Celebrate Recovery. It was founded by Saddleback Church. It has eight principles of recovery that are based on biblical text. Most of the groups are offered at Evangelical churches. It is a Christ-centered program of recovery. It does integrate aspects of the 12 steps and the program is accessible for all types of addictive behaviors.

For those looking for a program that is not spiritual in nature, Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) and LifeRing Secular Recovery are two options. They both encourage sobriety as priority. The tenants are taking responsibility for problem drinking rather than it being a religious or spiritual program. LifeRing Recovery evolved from SOS and welcomes people from all faiths or no faiths. Its three main principles are sobriety, secularity, and self-help.

If you are looking for help for any type of addiction, there are a wide variety of options available to you. Reach out today.

There is freedom in recovery. Design For Change is changing lives one step at a time through a multifaceted treatment program and recovery services. Our 12 step based treatment programs offer a refuge from recovery bringing together families in the hope of sobriety. Call us today for information: (877) 267-3646

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