Non 12 Step Rehab Program

12 step

Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous and the 12 step program have been one of the most successful treatment programs ever. It has been the go-to program for anyone wanting to achieve and maintain sobriety over 60 years. Pew Research Center’s new Religious Landscape Study done in 2014 shows that there is a decline in those that practice religion in the United States. There are two important things to note from this study. The first is that the number of non-spiritual people, atheists or agnostics, is growing. The second is those that do consider themselves spiritual are increasingly not identifying with a certain religion. This trend away from religious dependency in the United States is one of the main reasons people are looking outside of the 12 step program when looking into rehabilitation programs. Two of the foundations of the 12 step program are submitting to a higher power and turning over their lives to this higher power. There are now several rehabilitation programs that don’t focus on religion and the 12 steps that were created decades ago. Here are four of the most successful non 12 step rehab programs available today.


SMART Recovery

Self-Management and Recovery Training, or SMART Recovery, is very different that AA because it does not require you to submit to a higher power but rather teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance. Rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) is one of the cornerstones to SMART recovery. This type of therapy focuses on a person’s responses to a situation. It teaches that we cannot control what happens around us or to us and can only control how we respond to these things. Taking responsibility for oneself and depending 100% on oneself for recovery is the basis for SMART recovery.


Women for Sobriety

Although many non 12 step recovery programs are very helpful for women, Women for Sobriety focuses on issues that are unique to women in the recovery process. Positivity and personal responsibility are the themes in the 13 Statement Programs that is the foundation of this recovery process. Although men also have self image and self worth issues, these are issues that almost always show up with women who are addicted. The 13 steps focus on being positive, only allowing real love into their lives and taking responsibility for the way we treat people and allow them to treat us. Women often suffer greatly from guilt, shame and humiliation when they admit they have a problem, and this program aims to help shed those feelings.


Secular Organizations for Sobriety

Secular Organizations for Sobriety, or SOS, is similar to SMART recovery in that it focuses on scientific approaches to recovery as opposed to submitting to a higher power in order to achieve sobriety. There is also no sponsor/sponsee relationship as with AA because it requires that everyone take responsibility for their own recovery. The three main points of SOS that should be practiced each day are acknowledging your addiction, accepting your addiction and prioritizing maintaining sobriety.



LifeRing is a unique approach to recovery and maintaining sobriety in that it doesn’t put any focus on the past. It does not encourage its participants to share what made them an addict or the negative things that their addiction has caused them to do. Rather it puts focus on what you are doing right now or what you did this last week to maintain sobriety and what they can do in the next week to maintain the path of sobriety. There is no focusing on the pass, taking inventory of transgressions or making amends. It is a very much in the present moment type of programs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *