5 Alternatives To The AA Approach

The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports that one out of every 12 American adults struggle with alcohol abuse or dependence. Alcoholism is a pervasive and chronic disease that is treatable with specialized programs.

One of the most popular forms of alcohol addiction management and recovery support is Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a spiritual 12-Step program. Today, th

ere are 115,326 Alcoholics Anonymous groups in 175 different countries, according to the group's latest estimates, with more than two million members. There are 60,143 groups in the United States alone. It is a peer recovery and self-help program.

AA is spiritual in nature and calls on its members to turn their lives over to a higher power. This concept of spirituality in healing may not work for everyone. AA also expects its members to remain abstinent from alcohol and drugs completely, and this is also a concept that is not ideal for every person.

There are several alternatives to the 12-Step AA approach that may work better for some individuals. Five alternatives to AA include:

  1. SMART Recovery: Smart Management and Recovery Training focuses on empowering the individual to sustain recovery. The content on is brought to you by American Addiction Centers, a nationwide provider of addiction treatment that embraces and utilizes a range of approaches including SMART Recovery. You can call our 24/7 hotline at 1-855-908-0271 to learn more.
  2. LifeRing: This secular group provides a healthy network of peers focused on remaining abstinent from drugs and alcohol.
  3. Women for Sobriety (WFS): This nonprofit, abstinence-based program is made up of women supporting each other in recovery.
  4. SOS. (Secular Organizations for Sobriety): This nonprofit network is made up of secular recovery-based groups.
  5. Moderation Management (MM): This program is not based on abstinence but instead on learning how to moderate and control problem drinking behaviors.

Alcoholics Anonymous may be one of the most common support programs out there, but it is by no means the only one available. While AA has been shown to be effective in maintaining sobriety for individuals who actively participate, the Journal of Addictive Disorders publishes, not everyone will feel comfortable with this 12-Step program. Addiction is a personal disease, and recovery can be supported in a variety of ways. It is important to find a program that appeals to the individual in order to support long-term recovery.