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Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous and other abstinence-based 12-step programs are the main form of treatment for alcoholism in the U.S. But many people are unable to stick with them and return to dependence on alcohol.

Today there are alternatives to 12-step programs. Some treatment programs teach problem drinkers to reduce their drinking. This approach appeals to people who otherwise might not seek treatment. These programs are based on the belief that people can change their drinking behaviors.

To be successful at moderation or abstinence requires effort and a commitment to change. You should take into account the severity of your drinking problem. You also need to think about any health, psychological, or other conditions that would be made worse by drinking. This includes moderate drinking. If you're not sure of the best program for you, ask your healthcare provider or a substance abuse counselor for advice.

Alternative addiction websites

Information about alternative approaches to alcoholism is available on the following sites:

  • Alcohol Management Program

    www.hr.umich.edu

    This is a confidential education program that helps people with mild to moderate alcohol problems reduce or stop drinking. It is not for those who have a severe alcohol addiction and need treatment approaches rather than educational ones.

  • Harm Reduction Therapy Center

    www.harmreductiontherapy.org

    The Harm Reduction approach helps users set and meet their own goals for gaining control over drinking and drugs. This organization helps people determine which aspects of their drinking habits may be harmful. It also helps people figure out what they would like to change and how to put their plans into action.

  • Moderation Management

    www.moderation.org

    This is a recovery program and national support group network. It's for people who have made the decision to reduce their drinking and make other positive lifestyle changes.

  • Rational Recovery

    www.rational.org

    This program uses a method called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique. This is a behavioral program that you do on your own through self-help books and seminars.

  • Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery

    www.smartrecovery.org

    The goal of SMART Recovery is to build skills in people so they can maintain abstinence. It's for those who like a do-it-yourself approach with very little structure.

  • Addiction Alternatives

    www.habitdoc.com

    This program practices the philosophy that people can learn how to overcome addiction without stopping drinking forever.

Online Medical Reviewer: Eric Perez MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Wanda Taylor RN PhD
Date Last Reviewed: 8/1/2018
© 2000-2019 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.