Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous AA: Including both Quitting and Moderating Drinking


Drug and alcohol abuse is often caused by problems in personal relationships. Codependency and controlling and passive-aggressive behavior are at the root of many addictions. An important part of recovery is addressing these issues and setting boundaries. You may find that you enjoy certain aspects of AA, but also require additional recovery support from non-AA recovery treatments.

Oar Health Member Stories: Cutting Back on Alcohol

getting sober without aa

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. CBT is one of the best ways to treat drug or alcohol abuse. This scientifically proven treatment teaches you how to regulate your emotions and end self-destructive cycles. There are many paths to changing your relationship with alcohol, and it may take some experimentation to figure out what treatment—or combination of treatments—is most effective for your unique needs.

Sobriety in A.A.: Since getting sober, I have hope

Understanding the risks of drugs/alcohol can be a powerful motivator to stay sober. Triggers for using drugs and alcohol typically are people, places, and things that remind you of your addictive behavior or encourage the use of substances you’re avoiding. That said, there are many options to consider if you want to quit drinking without Alcoholic Anonymous. You can as well get professional help from a rehabilitation center. Revisiting those words now and again will mould you into a better person who can stay sober without AA. Its like words light up your way so that you can follow on a clear path to recovery.

One Breath At A Time

Through writing, you are able to relieve your stress and emotions into words. Having a chaotic or disorganized lifestyle can also hinder your recovery. It’s important to develop a structured daily and weekly schedule and stick to it. John C. Umhau, MD, MPH, CPE is board-certified in addiction medicine and preventative medicine.

The more strategies you learn to identify triggers, cope with stress, and manage your new sober life, the easier it is to prevent relapse. One study found that mutual support groups can be as effective as 12-step programs and may help improve the odds of success for people who are committed to maintaining a lifetime of total abstinence. While Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is arguably the most well-known treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), it is not for everyone.

  • Detox can occur in a hospital setting or as the first part of inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation.
  • Similarly, if you’d like to be sober but aren’t sure if you can do it 100%, you are already on the right path.
  • But it would still be a struggle for me to get past that one.
  • You are encouraged to report negative side effects of drugs to the FDA.

Although these new activities are healthy and productive, they can be a stumbling block to lasting recovery if they become a transfer addiction to fill the void left by the original addiction. Financial troubles getting sober without aa and problems finding and keeping employment are major triggers for relapse, but it is possible to take baby steps and get your finances in order. Just keep in mind that your improvements won’t happen overnight.

getting sober without aa

SMART Recovery

But there have always been plenty of folks for whom AA doesn’t work. Some aren’t comfortable with surrendering control to a higher power, or declaring themselves “powerless” over alcohol. Others feel recovery is a private experience, and don’t want to share their struggles with people they don’t know.

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Seeking Professional Help and Support

  • If you are tapering off alcohol or pursuing moderation, it helps to give yourself objective data.
  • Depending on where you live or where the meetings are, AA groups might lean heavily toward one age, cultural background or gender.
  • Financial troubles and problems finding and keeping employment are major triggers for relapse, but it is possible to take baby steps and get your finances in order.
  • One common mistake for those who are new to alcohol and drug recovery is substituting a new compulsive behavior for their old one.
  • Once you are happy and satisfied, it becomes easier to eliminate alcohol cravings.

What most people don’t know is that there are a lot of alternatives to AA. If you have a drug or alcohol problem but don’t want to go to AA, keep reading. There are still plenty of ways to get the treatment you need and start the healthy lifestyle you deserve. Their program teaches skills that can help you stay motivated in your sobriety and cope with cravings. Its foundation is based in science, rather than spirituality. Many people have found success with SMART’s alternatives to AA meetings.

getting sober without aa

Secular Organizations for Sobriety is not one specific program but rather a collection of programs that are autonomous from each other. SOS provides individuals with alternatives to spirituality-based recovery programs. SOS hosts both online and physical face-to-face meetings to help people overcoming any form of addiction, from behavioral addictions to drug and alcohol addictions. Medications can reduce these cravings by rebalancing your brain chemistry, and even blocking some of the effects of alcohol. This can help you move forward more quickly, and makes it easier to focus on behavior change or establishing new habits.

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