Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has around 2 million members worldwide and has helped people through recovery and in finding their faith in God. While many have found solace in faith during their road to recovery, others would like a less faith-based approach. There are several alternative options to AA that aren’t faith-based and still provide support and guidance to individuals in their path to recovery. The following provides a brief description of the several types:

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery

  • Involves rational emotive behavioral therapy which helps people to manage their beliefs and emotions that originally led them to addiction
  • Focuses on enhancing motivation, refusing to act on urges to use, managing life’s problems in a sensible way, and developing a balanced and healthy lifestyle

Women for Sobriety

  • Found in 1975, this program helps to encourage emotional and spiritual growth in women
  • Based on 13 acceptance statements
  • Certified moderators lead face-to-face groups

LifeRing Secular Recovery

  • Abstinence based program that utilizes peer to peer support to encourage growth and personal development
  • Does not incorporate 12 steps
  • Helps individuals “Weaken the “Addict Self” and strengthen the “Sober Self”.

There are several other non-12 step programs, as these are just a few. However, these programs can be very beneficial for individuals wanting to leave an abstinence-based life while not incorporating a faith or religious belief. Each program has their own perspective on recovery, and what’s most important is that you find one that aligns most with your views.

A 2017 study conducted by researchers from California compared 12 step members to those who attend alternative recovery programs including all the ones described above. Of 651 individuals, they found that 12-step alternative members were equally active in their involvement compared to 12-step members, and experienced higher levels of satisfaction and cohesion than 12-step members.

Thus far, it seems that alternative 12-step program do provide satisfaction and benefit to members seeking some guidance in their recovery without incorporating religious beliefs. If you are considering a 12-step alternative program, consider finding a reputable treatment center that offers this. It’s never too late to seek help.

New Vista Behavioral Health is home to several world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment programs. If you are ready to seek help, call us today at 888-316-3665 for a consultation. We offer both AA and Non-12 step programs to help you overcome your obstacles.



Addiction and behavioral healthcare are within reach when you join us at New Vista Behavioral Health:
A far-reaching horizon and new perspective toward addiction recovery, wellness and restoration. We are a national and renowned family of treatment centers focused on distinctive patient care, evidence-based treatment modalities and unwavering compassion.

If you are ready to pursue a life committed to your health, relationships and emotional well-being, you have a team that is willing to walk alongside you and restore hope for your future. Let us help you in taking the first step in your journey to recovery.

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