7 Alternatives to 12 Step Treatment

12 Step programs are often seen as cult like or more spiritual than many other types of drug and alcohol treatment. Although a 12 step program is good for some, some others might disagree with their belief in a higher power or other philosophies. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there are many treatment options available for those who want them. You can find many 12 step alternatives if you find that the 12 Step philosophies are not for you.

1. Inpatient Addiction Recovery

Inpatient treatment is a residential treatment where you remain at the treatment center during your treatment. Next to 12 step programs, this is the most common type of treatment. Most people identify with inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment often includes a 12 step program if you choose to join in the meetings.

2. Outpatient Addiction Recovery

Outpatient treatment is a daily or weekly treatment program. You visit a treatment center regularly for counseling and medication. One of the benefits of outpatient treatment is that you can go to work or school while you are in treatment. Again, this type of treatment includes a 12 step program if you choose to join it. This treatment would not interfere with a 12 step program.

3. Combination Treatment

Alternatives to 12 Step

Holistic treatment uses various methods in order to treat the entire person, not just their addiction. Acupuncture is one form of therapy you might find at a holistic facility.

Combination treatment combines multiple types of treatment. You can find combination treatment in most treatment centers. Most forms of combination treatment begin with an inpatient program and then gradually transitions to an outpatient program. This is another treatment type that is available to those who want to use it in conjunction with a 12 step program.

4. Holistic Treatment

Holistic treatment is treatment for the mind and body. Holistic addiction treatment focuses on treating the whole person and the person’s life circumstances instead of just the addiction. Holistic treatment does not preclude the use of 12 step programs.


HAMS is a relatively new addiction treatment program and is a true alternative to 12 step programs. HAMS focuses on harm reduction, using safely and moderation to achieve responsible behavior. HAMS stands for Harm Reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support. This is a support program similar to a 12 step program but instead advocates change rather than total abstinence.

6. Smart Recovery

Smart Recovery is another true alternative to 12 Step addiction support. In smart recovery, people help themselves. It believes in self empowering in order to help beat addiction. The Smart program provides you with the tools to cope with urges, build motivation, and manage your life without the addiction.

7. Rational Recovery

Rational recovery is another alternative to 12 step programs. This particular type of recovery focuses more on addiction recovery through raising self-esteem. It works similar to other addiction program in that you follow the steps in the program and gradually correct the things that are causing your addiction.

Are There Any 12 Step Alternatives?

How to Find the Treatment that is Right for You

In order to find the addiction treatment that is right for you all you have to do is call us at 1-800-895-1695. We can help you sift through all of the 12 step alternatives to find the treatment program that will benefit you the most.

Get Help TodayPhone icon800-672-9614 Info iconWho Answers?

Where do calls go?

Calls to numbers on a specific treatment center listing will be routed to that treatment center. Calls to any general helpline will be answered or returned by one of the treatment providers listed, each of which is a paid advertiser: ARK Behavioral Health, Recovery Helpline, Alli Addiction Services.

By calling the helpline you agree to the terms of use. We do not receive any commission or fee that is dependent upon which treatment provider a caller chooses. There is no obligation to enter treatment.

Pin It on Pinterest