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Alternatives to 12-Step Programs for Recovery

Posted by Emma Rodriquez on
Alternatives to 12-Step Programs for Recovery
Recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction can be incredibly difficult, but it is not at all impossible. Many people who are addicts turn to traditional 12-step programs to get better for themselves and their loved ones. Unfortunately, 12-step programs aren’t for everyone as they focus on a variety of lifetime changes that need to be made that aren’t necessarily right for everyone. Plus, a good majority of 12-step programs put religion at the forefront of recovery, and this isn’t always the correct option for those who are not religious.
Here are a few alternatives to 12-step programs:

Self-Management and Recovery Training

Self-manage and recovery training, also known as SMART, is one of the best alternatives to 12-step programs. Instead of taking a long and difficult approach to recovery, SMART simply focuses on managing urges and balancing problems in life that may cause you to turn to drugs or alcohol. With SMART, you’re also surrounded by people who are trained in addiction recovery as well as other people who are trying to get sober and clean.

Online Forums and Support

If you’d rather take a more private approach to your recovery, you might want to consider the benefits of joining an online support forum. These forums are ideal for people who want to recover but do not want to join a local group or 12-step program. The forum allows you to connect with others who are either addicts or recovered already, and you can share stores, share advice and help each other on the journey through life. Be sure that when you’re looking for an addiction recovery forum that you’re joining something that is focused primarily on recovery rather than simply focusing on people who are addicted who always talk about their problems, as this may not be of much help to you.

Self-Help Books

There are literally thousands of self-help books out there specific to drug and alcohol recovery. These can be picked up at your local bookstore or downloaded to an e-reader device. These books are almost always written by either doctors or former addicts, and they can be incredibly beneficial in your fight to recover from the hell that is addiction. The great thing about getting and utilizing a self-help book is that you can do so in the privacy of your own home and at your own pace.

Just because you don’t feel the traditional 12-step program is for you does not mean that you’re doomed to a life of addiction. There are a variety of methods you can utilize to overcome your addiction and get the help that you need. You should also discuss your options with your doctor or healthcare provider to ensure that you’re doing the right thing. Your doctor may also tell you of other ways you can recover and in certain instances, medication may be able to help your situation. Getting clean and sober is more possible than you might think and doesn’t always require the traditional 12-step route.

If you are suffering from an addiction — whether it’s a cocaine addiction, heroin addiction, or marijuana addiction — it’s essential that you get treatment for your substance use disorder. If you are addicted to certain substances, you may be concerned about withdrawal. (For example, is cocaine withdrawal the same as benzodiazepine withdrawal?) It’s important that you educate yourself as much as possible.