When seeking help to deal with an alcohol addiction, an Alcoholics Anonymous alternative may be a better option for recovery than the well-known twelve-step program.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a group that, with the support of recovering alcoholics, helps alcoholics control their addictions and stay sober.
Members share their experiences and struggles with each other, and work the Twelve Steps to recovery with the support of their sponsors, who are also recovering alcoholics.
While this program works well for some people, everyone is different, so it’s not the best option for all alcoholics who want help staying sober. Fortunately, there are alternatives.
SMART Recovery is a not-for-profit organization that uses “common sense self-help procedures” to give participants the power to abstain from alcohol and develop a more positive lifestyle.
“SMART” stands for Self Management and Recovery Training. This Alcoholics Anonymous alternative focuses on changing human behavior using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
The four point’s in SMART’s program are:
- enhancing motivation
- refusing to act on urges to use
- managing life’s problems in a sensible and effective
- way without substances
- developing a positive, balanced, and healthy lifestyle.
SMART Recovery opposes mandatory twelve-step programs, and offer help to those who oppose legally mandated attendance in such programs.
Participation in this program doesn’t require a desire to stop drinking, but it does encourage abstinence as the easier solution in adopting a healthier, more positive lifestyle.
Another Alcoholics Anonymous alternative option for drinkers is Moderation Management, which is a recovery program and support group network.
It focuses on reducing drinking and positive lifestyle changes, but unlike other programs, doesn’t require abstinence.
This Alcoholics Anonymous alternative is for problem drinkers who have experienced mild to moderate levels of problems related to alcohol.
It’s not, however, recommended for alcoholics, chronic drinkers, or those who would experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking.
Moderation Management offers guidelines to help drinkers find healthier levels of alcohol consumption, although the web site states that the guidelines “allow for a degree of individual interpretation, because moderation is a flexible principle and is not the same for everyone.”
Another abstinence-based program is Rational Recovery. This program claims to be the “antithesis and irreconcilable arch-rival of Alcoholics Anonymous.”
Instead of the Twelve Step Program, Rational Recovery uses the Addictive Voice Recognition Technique (AVRT), which is a simple exercise in will power.
Using flash cards to teach AVRT, this Alcoholics Anonymous alternative helps alcoholics deal with their drinking. They claim that even the crash course in AVRT may be enough to help people with their drinking problems.
Holistic Alcoholism Recovery Program
I created the Holistic Alcoholism Recovery Program (HARP) in response to requests I received from a number of my now successfully recovering clients.
As they had recovered from their alcoholism they wanted others to know about this program. These are people I have worked with using Neuro-linguistic Programming, hypnosis and timeline therapy as their Alcoholism Recovery Coach.
HARP starts from the point of overcoming denial where required, creating a belief that a brighter future is possible then the desire to obtain that brighter future, guiding the client, in conjunction with their doctor through whichever method is most suitable for detoxification.
After the client becomes sober then the real exciting stuff can start with healing their past, rebuilding their confidence, installing motivation and exploring a whole range of short, medium and long-term goals.
At this time I work with two distinct groups of people on a one-to-one basis:
- Those who wish to solve their own drinking problem using the HARP system as outlined above.
- Those who are suffering from someone else’s drinking, helping them to create coping and stress management strategies. We also work together to create their ‘roadmap to recovery’ plan to get the drinker into recovery – where appropriate.
I will soon have ‘courses’ available for purchase via this website as my mission is to reach and help as many people as possible. Obviously working with people on a one-to-one basis severely restricts the number of clients I can help at any one time.
You can register your interest in either the ‘Living With An Alcoholic’ course or the ‘HARP getting sober’ course by dropping me a line letting me know which one you are interested in when you click here. I will then notify you when the courses are going to be released.
Though Alcoholics Anonymous may be the most well known program to help people deal with their drinking, it’s by no means the only program and it hasn’t altered since the 1930’s.
The world is starting to develop a better understanding of addiction and this has led to the creation of several new approaches to recovery that more closely reflect our modern lives. An Alcoholics Anonymous alternative should embrace not just sobriety but growth of the individual too.
Alternatives such as SMART Recovery, Moderation Management, Rational Recovery , and my own HARP system offer different programs for people who may not do well with the Twelve Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Each person is different, and each alcoholic has different needs in the recovery process. If Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t the best option, a little research can reveal alternatives like those above that may be better or more effective in getting back to a healthy, happy lifestyle.