man with paint on his face doing an alternative to AA

Alcoholics Anonymous meetings have helped millions of people across the world. However, not everyone benefits from AA programs. Some don’t find the 12-steps useful, and others may need something a little more structured to begin with.

In fact, there are positive and negative aspects of AA programs. The positive aspects include support from others who are going through the same thing, a sense of community, and a focus on abstinence. The negative aspects can include the fact that some people find the program too religious or preachy, and that it can be difficult to find an AA program that fits with your specific needs. Overall, AA programs can be an excellent option for many people struggling with alcoholism, but it's important to weigh the pros and cons before deciding if it's the right choice for you.

If you’re interested in Alcoholics Anonymous or want something different to help you with your recovery, you should know that there are alternatives to AA.

Different 12-Step Programs

In this day and age, there are many things to which people can develop an addiction. Going to a program called Alcoholics Anonymous may make it hard to connect with peers in the meetings if you’re addiction isn’t to alcohol. The 12 steps are still the same, but it’s easier to feel comfortable and supported when people in the group share the same addiction.

Although all addictions are the same biologically, it’s important to be with people who understand specifically what you’ve been through. About 20 years after Alcoholics Anonymous started, the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous began. It’s now the second-largest 12-step program. This program has helped many people who have a drug problem. Those with addictions to narcotic drugs can relate more easily to peers in an NA meeting than in an AA meeting. There are also several more 12-step, anonymous alternatives, including the following:

  • CMA – Crystal Meth Anonymous
  • HA – Heroin Anonymous
  • CA – Cocaine Anonymous

S.M.A.R.T. Recovery as an Alternative to AA

It’s always good to at least give 12-step programs a try. However, if they aren’t working out, S.M.A.R.T. Recovery is another fellowship that’s been gaining popularity in recent years.

S.M.A.R.T. Recovery is an abstinence-based, not-for-profit organization that provides tools and resources for people who are struggling with addiction. The name S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym that stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. The organization's approach is based on the latest scientific research and is designed to help people make positive changes in their lives.

This program is not a 12-step program. In fact, spirituality isn’t a core component of this program, either.

S.M.A.R.T. Recovery is a different methodology, based around cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This program is more than just a support group. In fact, it is more aligned a type of aftercare for people once they’ve completed treatment.

Therapy as an Alternative To AA

This is one of the major alternatives to AA is therapy. Addiction therapy is a follow-up to detox, which heals the body. Psychotherapy focuses on healing the mind, tackling the roots of addictive behaviors. Therapy also handles co-occurring mental disorders through dual diagnosis treatment. Moreover, the two types of therapy can be split into the holistic approach and evidence-based modalities.

At San Antonio Recovery Center, therapies used to treat alcohol addiction include:

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Behavioral Therapy
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    • Dialectical Behavior Therapy
  • EMDR Therapy
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Family Therapy
  • Holistic Therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Meditation Therapy
  • Mindfulness Training
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Nutritional Therapy
  • Outdoor Therapy
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Trauma Therapy
  • Yoga Therapy

Other Alternatives to AA

As a result of modern medicine, experts have made many advances in the field of addiction. New practices like mindfulness are proving very successful for people in recovery from addiction. Although mindfulness practice comes from Buddhist origins, it’s a completely secular practice that doesn’t involve spirituality or religion. Many different types of therapy include mindfulness. It’s proving to be highly beneficial for people in recovery, because it helps strengthen the prefrontal cortex. In fact, mindfulness is about improving moment-to-moment awareness and gaining control of impulsivity.

One of the most important first steps you can take to overcome addiction is seeking a rehab facility. At San Antonio Recovery Center, we know there’s more to recovery than just AA meetings. Therefore, we want to help introduce you to different addiction rehab programs so you can find the one that best works for you. You can find out more by calling us today at 866.957.7885.

Now is the time to focus on your recovery.


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