AA Alternative Alcohol Treatment Programs
Medically Reviewed By Kayla Loibl | Last Edited : December 24 ,
2020 | 4 Sources
How to Stop Drinking
Despite what you may think, AA is just one of many options for alcoholism recovery and treatment.
Alcoholics Anonymous, a global mutual support group of men and women who’ve had drinking issues, is the granddaddy of alcohol treatment programs.
The first of its kind and in existence since the 1930s, you could be
forgiven for thinking it is the only alcoholism treatment/recovery group
in the world.
But nothing could be further from the truth. There are countless other recovery/treatment/moderation, call-them-what-you-will, groups out there.
Yet you don't often hear of them, not because they don't work but because of the long and dark shadow Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12 step program cast over other alcohol treatment programs and recovery.
That's not to say the 12 step program is bad, far from it, but statistically it is on shaky ground.
But I'm not here to knock AA, you can read that somewhere else if you are interested.
What I want to do is tell you about the other options.
Despite its widespread acceptance, ONLY 5% of alcoholics remain sober after 3 years of attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.
Many people try AA and find it is not for them, for whatever reason. And then what do they do? Some go back to
drinking, others grit their teeth and deal with a life of no alcohol and
yet others do what they have to in their own way.
But it needn't
be like this. AA is a one size fits all outfit. Being human we are all
unique and so require different approaches. AA suits some and not others. Don't give up just because you can't connect with Alcoholics Anonymous and their way.
So what I have gathered here is different approaches to quitting drinking, hopefully you will find one that suits you.
Most importantly no one alcohol treatment programs needs to be taken in isolation, you can combine them, whatever keeps you off drink. So go to a moderation management group and, at the same time, you can be taking the Chinese herb Kudzu to relieve your cravings. Perhaps you could attend women for sobriety meetings AND AA meetings.
Remember these are self-help groups. You are helping yourself, you don't owe anyone else, use the options here to get better, and if that means using all the resources available to you, then do it.
Maybe you will find these alternatives are not for you, fine but at least you tried.
If you are looking for information about treatment centers (outpatient or residential) then read our pages on alcohol addiction recovery.
As it says in the name, Women for Sobriety
is a self-help program for women recovering from alcoholism. It is a group whose purpose is to guide and help all women reach their paths to recovery throughout discovery of self, achieved by sharing hopes, encouragement, and experiences, with other women in related circumstances.
Women have particular issues and problems surrounding their alcohol dependence, so it makes sense for a dedicated group
to address them.
For more read Women for Sobriety
Debbie the Coach offers a non-12 step, unique treatment program for people with an alcohol addiction
. She combines research-proven anti-craving medications with individual on-line coaching.
It doesn’t matter what part of the world you are in, you can be connected via skype video (or phone). Debbie the Coach uses the latest research driven techniques for recovery and designs a comprehensive plan unique to each client.
Alcoholism medication is frowned upon by those in Alcoholics Anonymous. However, it is an invaluable tool. Anti-craving medication, as it is known, can really help those in the first few weeks of sobriety.
For more on these anti-craving medications, read Reducing Alcohol Craving With Medication
Alcohol Treatment Programs
Moderation Management and Drinking Responsibly
Although many alcoholics will have to completely abstain from alcohol in order to recover, there are those who may be able to return to drinking responsibly.
There is a self-help group that provides the tools and help to do this. It is called Moderation Management
Giving up drinking without attending a residential alcohol treatment center is a viable option.
Although not suitable for everybody, home alcohol treatment can be just as effective as traditional 12 step methods. For more, read home alcohol treatment
takes a more 'medical' approach to alcoholism treatment.
Using various vitamins and supplements
the physical damage that alcohol has caused the individual is, at least in part, reversed.
On top of this logotherapy, peer groups and counseling
are employed to help the alcoholic stop drinking and get better.
For more read Orthomolecular Alcoholism Treatment
The Health Recovery Center
is THE treatment center if you wish to have orthomolecular alcoholism treatment.
It was founded by Dr. Joan Matthews Larson
after her son died from addiction. He had tried, in vain, one of the conventional 12 step programs.
It has had relative success in treating addiction using the unique approach that is orthomolecular medicine.
Could the Sinclair Method be the 'magic pill'
for alcoholism? The Sinclair Method for AUD is an evidence-based course of treatment for alcoholism developed by Dr. John D. Sinclair.
Used extensively in Finland it has a 90% success rate
. AA has a three year success rate of just 5%.
Why, then, is it not particularly well-known in the U.S./U.K.?
Read the Sinclair Method
Spirituality is often an important element in treatment of, and recovery from, alcoholism.
However, it is generally a rather vague spirituality,
and it is left up to the individual to define their own notion of the spirit.
Christian alcohol rehab, on the other hand, is treatment and recovery based on the teachings and life of Jesus Christ.
And it works, statistically you are more likely to quit drinking and suffer less relapses if you enter Christian Alcohol Rehab
Baclofen is a drug traditionally used to treat painful muscle spasms. By boosting the body’s dopamine levels, this drug helps individuals feel better when managing cravings. It has also been used to treat alcohol withdrawals.
But now, a French doctor has used it to 'cure', his alcoholism. So much so that he is able to drink, if he wants, without any ill effects or loss of control.
Read New Alcoholism Treatment
for more on this potentially life-changing discovery.
Women are increasingly turning to alcohol.
The reasons and causes for this are many.
But one thing is for certain, the issues and problems they face are, in the main, very different from those faced by men.
That is why there is such demand for alcohol rehab for women
Many an alcoholic has rejected the help of AA because of the group's focus on a higher power.
There are, however, other groups in which spirituality plays no part.
One of these is Lifering Secular Recovery
Although not in itself a treatment for alcoholism, medication for alcoholism- naltrexone, disulfiram(antabuse)
, can help alcoholics stop drinking and stay stopped.
For more on these FDA approved medicines read medication for alcoholism
As the name suggests, the Secular Organization For Sobriety (S.O.S) is a support group that does not believe that spirituality is necessary for individuals to get sober and stay sober.
Religious beliefs are private and not a prerequisite for the group. Meetings are flexible, not substance specific and there are no prayers (obviously) or mentoring. For more, read Secular Organization For Sobriety
There is a Chinese herb that goes by the name of Kudzu.
Although it has been used in Chinese medicine for more than 500 years,
it is only recently that its value for treating alcoholism has come to the notice of addiction specialists
For more read Kudzu alcoholism treatment
SMART Recovery is a non-profit organization that helps people to break addictive behaviors.
While the group's philosophies and teachings aid those who wish to stop other so-called vices, they're mainly known as an alternative to AA
for alcoholics that wish to stop drinking.
For more on this recovery program read SMART recovery
Is Alcohol Abstinence an Achievable Goal? Not According to the HAMS Network
The HAMS Network's unique approach to alcoholism utilizes harm reduction theory
This approach believes that it is unreasonable to think that you can force people to be abstinent from alcohol, just look at the failure of the alcoholism treatment industry
which promotes alcohol abstinence as the only way.
A new approach is needed, one that reduces the harm that alcohol abuse causes people, and treats them in a compassionate and non-judgmental way.
Read Alcohol Abstinence vs Harm Reduction
to learn more about this original approach.
Rational Recovery was set up by an alcoholic social worker by the name of Jack Timpey.
At the heart of his program is the AVRT - Addictive Voice Recognition Therapy
For more read Rational Recovery
Although not an alternative program to Alcoholics Anonymous, alcoholism forums are an extra tool that can be utilized in the fight against alcohol.
Read alcoholism forums
for more info on how to evaluate alcoholism forums and a selection of some of the best forums
dealing with alcoholism on the web.
|Are you concerned about the drinking of a family member? Would you like to have a free consultation with a counselor to discuss your fears? Would you like to learn how to help your loved one stop drinking? If so, then schedule a free consultation with our counselor, Deborah Morrow.
Lead Writer/Reviewer : Kayla Loibl
Licensed Medical Health Professional
I am a Mental Health Counselor who is licensed in both New York (LMHC) and North Carolina (LCMHC). I have been working in the Mental Health field since 2015. I have worked in a residential setting, an outpatient program and an inpatient addictions program. I began working in Long Island, NY and then in Guelph, Ontario after moving to Canada. Read More
Return from Alcohol Treatment Programs to Alcoholism Help Homepage