Alternative Programs to AA

Alternative Programs to AA

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most famous recovery programs with millions of members all over the world. It is a helpful and supportive group for many who adhere to the 12-step process. Some believe it is hard to be sober without the program. While AA can be a great place to connect, learn, grow and face sober living with others, some people find it is not the right place at all. Finding the right support group is crucial to a long and healthy recovery. Find out what alternatives to AA exist and how to get connected.

SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery is a large community of people recovering from addictions. The 4-Point Program forms the basis of the group which is:

  • Building and maintaining motivation
  • Coping with urges
  • Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  • Living a balanced life

SMART Recovery encourages people to support one another while learning to be self-reliant and make positive changes in life. Also, the importance of mental health and therapy are expressed. Meetings take place all over the world and online.


LifeRing is a group of people recovering from drinking and using drugs who support one another in face-to-face meetings while discussing struggles and successes in addiction battles. LifeRing recognizes the dichotomy in each person with addiction where each individual longs to be sober and empowered. Meetings take place all over the country.

Secular Organizations

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a great alternative for people who are not into the spiritual aspects of AA. Spirituality and religion are deemphasized and the focus is more on a scientific approach. One of the main beliefs is in “Sobriety Priority,” meaning above all else, being sober is the number one most important thing in a person’s life. Meetings occur all over the world.

Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety (WFS) is a group for women only struggling with alcoholism and addiction. The group uses the “New Life” program to help members in recovery, based on Thirteen Affirmations. The program and affirmations recognize the power of positive thinking and strive to change detrimental ways of thinking in order to change behavior. Online and in-person meetings are available.

Whatever group a person decides to pursue sobriety, it is helpful to find the best group which feels comfortable, safe and a good place to be vulnerable. It will be important to let down one’s guard and get to know others so the right group will provide space to do so in a nonjudgmental place. It may take time to find one, but the right one will come along and it will immensely help the recovery journey now and in the future.

If you are struggling with addiction, support groups are one way to get help. Before support groups, it is a good idea to seek treatment options. If you are looking for options to overcome addiction, call The Villa. We will help guide you to the ones best suited for your individual situation.