There are around 20 million American adults struggling with drug or alcohol abuse according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Although not everyone who abuses drugs and alcohol will go on to develop an addiction, the risks are considerably higher for some people for a wide variety of reasons.
Addiction is a chronic illness that’s characterized by its high relapse-rate, which currently stands at between 40% and 60% of people who have attended some form of treatment. Although many of us immediately think of the 12 Steps when considering addiction treatment, there are now several alternative approaches to take into account.
The non 12 Step alcohol rehab approach to recovery shares some common areas with the traditional model:
- A reliance on peer support in group therapy
- Education on coping mechanisms to prevent relapse
Non 12-Step rehab centers and programs include the following options:
Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery
SMART Recovery offers individuals support to help themselves achieve sobriety by focusing on the following four points:
- Becoming motivated to achieve and maintain sobriety
- Discovering how to manage cravings for substance use
- Managing negative thoughts, emotions, and behaviors
- Striking a healthy balance in life
Face-to-face meetings with peer groups, together with online meetings, an open-all-hours chat room, and an online message board are offered as tools for rehabilitation from addiction in SMART Recovery. This is a program that ultimately provides individuals with a self-help platform, where they remain in the driving seat as to how much support they require.
Motivation is maintained by setting homework assignments, which helps individuals work through the four points of SMART Recovery and spurs them on to success. Meetings generally last around 1.5 hours, are open to anyone with any kind of addiction and supervised by a trained SMART Recovery facilitator.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)
SOS provides an all-encompassing approach to rehab and recovery from addiction that’s open to any person seeking to be free of substance abuse. As with traditional 12 Step, the only requirement to attend SOS meetings is continued abstinence and they are also free. That said, SOS is a not-for-profit non 12 step recovery program that relies on donations to keep its groups running.
This non 12 step recovery program is unique in that it is not affiliated to any particularly addiction treatment approach or religious belief system. SOS members are encouraged to find their own treatment path by using rational thought to become accountable for their actions. The primary focus of SOS is on providing full support to members in helping them achieve and maintain sobriety for the long term.
The advantages of SOS are that members are enabled to be accountable for their actions to others within their peer support group. The idea is that group members strive towards sobriety as a unit, helping each other along the way and not judging individuals if they suffer from relapse. As with traditional 12 Step, there are SOS meetings all around the world, which are easily accessible for people struggling with all types of substance use disorder.
LifeRing Secular Recovery
LifeRing is a non 12 step alcohol rehab that is based on the premise that addicted individuals are made up of two personalities, an “addict self” and “sober self.” The program works by weakening the addict self so that the more healthy behaviors and actions of the sober self can regain control of the individual.
Unlike 12 Step, LifeRing has no association with any kind of higher power and members are empowered to take control of their own recovery through its unique concept. Rather than being required to follow a hard and fast strategy like 12 Steps, members are encouraged to find their own strength to overcome their addiction through self-control. As with the majority of other non 12 Step alcohol rehab and recovery programs, group therapy plays an integral part in helping LifeRing members achieve long-term sobriety.
Moderation Management (MM)
Moderation Management in non 12 step rehabilitation that offers a supportive self-help environment to encourage people with alcohol issues to reduce or stop drinking completely. MM is a 9-step program that focuses on the following key areas:
- Education on alcohol and alcohol use disorder (AUD)
- Moderate drinking guidelines for those wishing to cut down
- Exercises to monitor alcohol consumption
- Goal setting techniques
- Self-management strategies
MM recovery programs also use its own nine steps to help members “find balance and moderation in many other areas of their lives,” encouraging progress at the pace most comfortable for the individual. Moderation Management meetings are free of charge although the organization relies on donations. As with 12 Step, members go on to become involved within the organization, offering help to others with problems with alcohol.
Moderation Management is particularly effective for individuals who are concerned about their drinking but who have not yet developed the signs of alcoholism or AUD. The program seeks to change members’ attitudes towards alcohol and its context within social drinking so that they aren’t compelled to drink to excess at every available opportunity. MM effectively allows people to rein in their alcohol consumption before it gets out of hand.