Can You Beat Addiction Without a 12-Step Program

Peer support is a big part of LifeRing recovery programs, as individuals share advice with other members, and offer support and encouragement in recovery. LifeRing focuses mainly on the present – on living a full and positive sober life without dwelling too much on past indiscretions and hurts that may have been the result of problematic drinking. While its effectiveness and success is well documented, it is also clear that it does not work for everyone.

For over 20 years Dr. Umhau was a senior clinical investigator at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). There are a number of benefits to consider when choosing an intensive outpatient program, the most important of which is the fact that results tend to be better. The program is designed to be more intensive and last for a longer period of time, compared to traditional AA programs. There is a big difference between Alcoholics Anonymous and rehab programs, and it’s important to find a program that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Here are a few other things you can look into, if you are finding that AA is not fulfilling your needs.

Can You Beat Drug or Alcohol Addiction Without Using a 12-Step Program?

Dodes tells NPR’s Arun Rath that 12-step recovery simply doesn’t work, despite anecdotes about success. Alcoholics Anonymous is often paired with other kinds of treatment that encourage engagement with it. To it, their outcomes are superior than those who just get treatment without A.A.,” said Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University professor and co-author of the new Cochrane review. Could the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of coverage prompt us to rethink how we treat alcohol-use disorder? The Department of Health and Human Services, the primary administrator of the act, is currently evaluating treatments.

The program only works for some people, and refusing to change dismisses the larger group of people it doesn’t work for in its current form. If the core of AA is meant to help people get and stay sober, it would adapt to a modern world and/or just stop denying that it is a program of God written by two sexist men that died ages ago. So, for this milestone, I’d like to share some insight about the program of Alcoholics Anonymous based entirely on my own experience. In communicating with people considering sobriety, preconceived notions about AA are the most common point of disinterest in making the change for themselves, and I understand why. As Workit Health’s Senior VP of Growth & Brand, Kali Lux leans in to the culture gap between addiction, recovery, and medicine.

FAQ: Alternatives to AA and 12-step programs

The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data. Surely, Jean thought, modern medicine stay sober without aa had to offer a more current form of help. Mann helped ensure that these ideas made their way to Hollywood. In 1945’s The Lost Weekend, a struggling novelist tries to loosen his writer’s block with booze, to devastating effect.

  • In other words, try moderation for a short time and see how it goes.
  • You nor your loved one are under any obligation to commit to an Ark Behavioral Health treatment program when calling our helpline.
  • Mark’s natural leadership skills as well as his creative thought process to generate new revenue strategies make him one of the most sought-after professionals in healthcare.
  • She’s interested in finding solutions that work for substance users better than drinking or drugging does, and believes Workit is one of them.
  • J. Rorabaugh has estimated that between the 1770s and 1830s, the average American over age 15 consumed at least five gallons of pure alcohol a year—the rough equivalent of three shots of hard liquor a day.
  • If you have struggled with alcoholism and are hoping to achieve sobriety for good, there are many ways to do it without attending AA.

For-profit rehab facilities sprouted across the country, the beginnings of what would become a multibillion-dollar industry. (Hughes became a treatment entrepreneur himself, after retiring from the Senate.) If Betty Ford and Elizabeth Taylor could declare that they were alcoholics and seek help, so too could ordinary people who struggled with drinking. The Finns are famously private, so I had to go early in the morning, before any patients arrived, to meet Jukka Keski-Pukkila, the CEO. He poured coffee and showed me around the clinic, in downtown Helsinki. The most common course of treatment involves six months of cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented form of therapy, with a clinical psychologist.

Is AA the only solution?

Stability is something that both support groups and formal drug treatment strongly encourage their members to establish by creating a routine. The addicted brain has been significantly overworked and overstimulated. There’s reassurance and comfort to be found in repetition and a sense of stability that their life has likely been missing for some time. This practical booklet demonstrates, through simple examples, how A.A. Members throughout the world live and stay sober one day at a time. The Sobells returned to the United States in the mid-1990s to teach and conduct research at Nova Southeastern University, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Your family members and loved ones should understand what you are going through. They likely will not pressure you to join along with them if you feel uncomfortable. To stay sober during events like these, you must first be honest with yourself. According to a 2014 survey by Alcoholics Anonymous, 27% of members stay sober after one year, 24% for one to five years, and 13% between five and ten years. You will find that long-term sobriety is possible when you focus on the daily process instead of the long-term end goal. With the many types of groups available besides alcoholics and narcotics anonymous, you can look into what kind of program will help you or a loved one.

Stay Cool and Calm

Some AA meetings focus on the Twelve Steps and encourage members to discuss how they have applied each step to their lives. It’s important to remember that there are innumerable approaches to recovery, and whatever you choose to help you, you’re not alone. I know of hundreds of people who have successfully left AA and continued in their recovery. Ultimately, my realizations led me to leave 12-step fellowships. That was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in my recovery.

  • Efforts are made to accept thoughts and actions as self-destructive, learn how to cope with the emotions and behaviors that are created through alcohol addiction, and then overcome them.
  • The research is based on an analysis of 27 studies involving 10,565 participants.
  • Many more modern “sobriety programs” exist that are suitable solutions for people seeking sobriety with others without the issues mentioned above, such as SMART Recovery.
  • If you are looking for a rehab program that will offer the most intensive and long-term treatment possible, inpatient treatment is the best option for you.
  • (Hughes became a treatment entrepreneur himself, after retiring from the Senate.) If Betty Ford and Elizabeth Taylor could declare that they were alcoholics and seek help, so too could ordinary people who struggled with drinking.
  • If you’re in recovery from a substance use disorder, you already know how much work it took to achieve sobriety, and you’ll want to do everything possible to avoid having a relapse.
  • Members throughout the world live and stay sober one day at a time.

Sobriety is just one part of living a happy life in recovery. While peer support is vital to addiction recovery, you might find other ways to stay sober. You can explore your options for a support group while in addiction treatment. Many treatment providers offer suggestions to help you find the best fit for your recovery. Sober living homes help you remain accountable to your sobriety.

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