Non-AA Recovery Groups: 5 Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous

Comparing yourself to others is more likely to set you behind than push you forward. Through strategies like motivational interviewing and cognitive behavior therapy, individuals can learn to recognize their destructive tendencies and gain a sense of control over their thoughts and behaviors. Moderation Management is a program that focuses on helping individuals reduce their alcohol consumption to a moderate level or quit altogether.

can you stay sober without aa

How To Quit Drinking Without AA

The best way forward for your recovery from alcohol or substance use is to incorporate a wide variety of strategies that will help foster success. Remember to care for yourself, seek supportive relationships, and consider seeking help from a therapist. If you’re involved in a 12-step program, you likely already know the importance getting sober without aa of milestones. In these programs, it’s customary to receive plastic chips as you progress to the one-year mark, at which time you receive a bronze coin. Many people who misuse alcohol or drugs have trouble dealing with anger. If left unchecked, anger can have a negative impact on your health and your lasting sobriety.

What Is Sobriety?

It doesn’t mean they’ll never maintain long term sobriety, that they’ll never successfully stop drinking. They’re told they’ll stay stuck in the drinking cycle if they don’t go to AA meetings. The twelve steps is the only way to get sober and stay sober. They’ll continue drinking if they don’t do sobriety “right”. Of course, quitting or cutting back to your ideal amount is only the first step. Many people struggle with alcohol cravings for months or even years after quitting, and there are many pitfalls to overcome, including post-acute withdrawal syndrome.

Want to learn more?

Sober celebrities: 35 stars who are teetotal and don’t drink – Cosmopolitan UK

Sober celebrities: 35 stars who are teetotal and don’t drink.

Posted: Tue, 26 Mar 2024 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Drinking alcohol can create problems in every area of life, including your physical health, mental health, social life, work-life, and overall wellbeing. Make a list of the ways drinking has negatively impacted your life. You may want to reflect on this list when you feel cravings to drink.

can you stay sober without aa

Before going further, we should recognize that Alcoholics Anonymous does work for some people—and there’s nothing wrong with choosing that path if it’s a good fit. While the program’s anonymous nature makes success rates hard to track, an independent 2020 study confirmed that AA is genuinely effective in plenty of cases.1 It has a loyal following, and for good reason. There are advantages to the 12 step method, and many people experience success with it. However, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) doesn’t mesh with everyone’s perspective. Some elements of the program, including the belief in a higher power, aren’t the right fit for everyone.

Find a recovery community

can you stay sober without aa

From her excessive drinking and smoking to disordered eating and falling for the wrong men, Caroline Knapp is seemingly attracted to anything and everything that isn’t good for her. She drinks to cope with life’s difficulties, like the death of her parents, but it’s only after twenty years of dependency that she sees how the “cure” to her stress and anxiety is the real problem. An alcoholic who is in “recovery” is essentially in remission from alcoholism. Their alcoholism is not cured but is at bay in a way that allows them to be free of the cravings and mental obsession. You can learn more about treatment through some of our sobriety stories.

  • It can be as simple as your existing friend group who checks in on each other through text, or commiserating with online strangers on a sobriety memes account on social media.
  • If you plan to quit cold turkey (all at once), make sure you are well-stocked with everything you’ll need for the week—withdrawal can make you feel very ill.
  • How many people don’t connect with AA, find themselves miserably trying to force it to work for them, and give up and go back to drinking because they feel like they don’t have any other options?
  • You may also experience what is commonly called sobriety fatigue, which refers to the overall exhaustion that may occur as a result of the emotional and physical stress of staying sober.
  • Other definitions, however, often focus on the process of recovery and developing coping mechanisms and habits that support health and wellness over the long term.

What are some self-help techniques for staying sober without AA?

These may include online support groups, recovery apps, and peer support programs such as SMART Recovery and Refuge Recovery. A primary reason 12-step works for so many people (in my opinion) is it sets you up with a new social scene, full of folks just like yourself. If you choose to quit drinking without AA, it’s important to consider your current social scene and whether or not you’d like to change that. If you need sober friends and don’t do support groups, Meetup has great local activities that will allow you to get out of the bars and meet people in positive environments. Exercise can support your recovery by boosting your brain, battling the brain disorder of alcohol use disorder.

Emotional Distress

Sarah Allen Benton, M.S., LMHC., LPC, is a licensed mental health counselor and author of Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic. Alcoholism resources and more information on the topic of high-functioning alcoholics are available here. These studies compare people with a gene variant that makes it unpleasant to drink to people without the gene variant. People with the variant tend to drink very little or not at all. One of these studies found people with the gene variant have a lower risk of heart disease — another blow to the idea that alcohol protects people from heart problems.

Practice Healthy Living

Your journey towards self-improvement begins with a single step, and we’re here to walk alongside you every step of the way. Overall, the most important thing is to stay committed to your Recovery and never give up hope. With the right tools and mindset, you can achieve long-term Sobriety without AA.

  • Once you are past the initial detox phase, rehabilitation programs (or rehab) are one way to go.
  • Now that you are sober, you may have discovered that some of your past relationships were not only unhealthy but downright toxic.
  • “When I consume cannabis, I’m more present and mindful and empathetic,” she says, compared with the anxiety and angst she experienced with alcohol.

Are There Options Instead of AA?

I went there for 3 years, and during this time, they reversed many overdoses and never lost a life. Along this path, I stumbled into a CASAC 350-hour training program, a twist I didn’t anticipate but welcomed like an old friend, opening the doors to becoming a substance abuse counselor in New York. When I started getting sober, I didnt spend time listening to the Big Bookers beat the 12 steps into my head.