Alternatives to AA
If you have a problem with alcohol or other substances, you have no doubt heard of Alcoholics Anonymous, and you may have even gone to a meeting or two. Because alcoholism is a physical and psychological disease, and because different people catch it at different stages, no single treatment is the best for all patients suffering from alcoholism. Whether you are looking for a rehab facility in your area or other treatment, you should know about the alternatives available to you to AA.
While Alcoholics Anonymous is based on the idea that recovery is only possible through God or some other higher power, SMART Recovery is a four-point program based on self-empowerment. Its four basic principles include building and maintaining motivation, learning how to cope with urges, learning to manage your feelings, thoughts, and behavior, and coming to live a balanced lifestyle. SMART Recovery is based in abstinence, but also welcomes those who are not sure that they want to quit drinking or using substances entirely.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
Founded by James Christopher, who had tried AA but did not like the notion that his problems could all be solved by a “higher power”, SOS is based on taking personal responsibility and learning to cope with your drinking problem as an issue separate from any religious or spiritual beliefs you may have.
This program begins with 30 days of abstinence, but from there it does not require participants to completely abstain from drinking. According to Moderation Management’s director, Marc Kern, “The current status of the addiction field is based 97% on this black and white idea that you’re either an addict or you’re not, and if you’re an addict the only path is abstinence […] The notion of figuring out if you can moderate, rather than going straight to abstinence as step one of dealing with an alcohol problem, is pretty universal…but before MM there was no book or guidelines or anything, so people would just go out and try moderation naively on their own, and without any support a lot of them would fail.”
HAMS stands for Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support, and it’s a free, peer-led network of meetings and support for people who have chosen to quit drinking altogether or who are attempting to moderate their drinking and avoid becoming full-blown alcoholics.
These AA alternatives are almost all aimed at people who have already sought help and counseling or who have caught their problems early on. For many people suffering from alcoholism, a stay in a professional rehab facility can be the helping hand they need to begin their journey to a better life. For most patients, this is the start of their recovery process, and they will turn to further counseling and/or the other services we’ve mentioned here after a period of sobriety in a quality rehab facility.
For more information on rehab facilities and alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous, reach out to one of The Care Centers in your area today.
Tags: Substance Rehab