Are There Any 12 Step Alternatives?

The spiritual and group aspects of 12 step programs are not for everyone. Some people are just not suited for the environment that these programs provide. In this case, there are many alternatives to the traditional 12 step programs and beliefs. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, there are many traditional and nontraditional treatment alternatives. If you are looking for an alternative program, there are a few that are worth looking into.

Traditional Rehabs

12 step programs

Traditional addiction rehabs are a great alternative to 12 step programs.

In the traditional rehab setting, you enter as either an inpatient or an outpatient. Inpatient treatment means you stay at the rehab facility 24 hours a day until you are detoxed off your drug of choice. In an outpatient treatment program, you attend sessions daily, weekly, or monthly and receive treatment services such as aid with detox and counseling.

Traditional rehabs have a proven success record for recovery and are an alternative to the 12 step environment. These programs are sometimes costly and require a significant financial commitment.

Moderation Management

A relatively new concept, moderation management is a group that believes that moderating alcohol intake is the key to beating alcoholism. They offer something similar to behavioral counseling and modification as an alternative to abstinence and 12 step programs. Although they are not as structured as the typical 12 step program, their popularity is increasing rapidly.

SMART Recovery

This is another alternative to the traditional 12 step abstinence. They also believe in moderation but focus on balance, behavior, and motivation. In this program, they use modern behavioral techniques to curb negative thinking and motivational issues. There is no spiritual or religious component to this program but they do have a similar sense of community sharing and learning.

Harm Reduction for Alcohol (HAMS)

According to the HAMS literature, it is a peer support group for those who want to moderate or stop their alcohol addiction. They are essentially the opposite of the 12 step programs in that they do not believe abstinence is the key to successful recovery. They believe that moderation is the best way to stop abusing alcohol. They recognize that every addiction is different and their program is customizable for those who have different needs. They offer meetings, programs, and treatment literature for those who need help and want to gain control of their alcoholism.

Some of the allure of the 12 step program is that it is free. Some people find themselves joining because they do not have the finances for other treatments. Fortunately, if the 12 step program is not for you there are treatment alternatives. Many of these alternatives are free while some of them are covered by government grants or insurance.

If you feel that the 12 step philosophy is not for you then it might benefit you to seek out these alternative programs. For more information on these and other alternatives, call us at 1-800-895-1695. We can help you find the right 12 step alternative for your needs.

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