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Sober Nation

Putting Recovery On The Map

04-20-15 | By

5 Types of Alternative (Non 12 Step) Addiction Treatment Programs

5 alternative types of addiction treatment programs

12-Step based addiction treatment programs have been the bread and butter for millions of recovering people. The reasons are simple: they provide the structure and effective therapy and counseling that help the addict break the cycle of addiction and embrace sobriety. These programs rock, but they aren’t the only game in town when it comes to getting clean.

Did you know that almost one-quarter of all drug rehabs use non-12 step programs? If you think about it, recovery isn’t a one size fits all proposition. You have unique and specific needs when it comes to getting clean, and while 12-step based treatment is very effective it may not be your best fit. If you are searching for an alternative treatment program, here are five programs that may fit the bill.

SMART Recovery

smart-recovery

Founded in 1994, SMART Recovery is a non-profit, nationwide organization which offers free support groups to individuals who desire to gain independence from any type of addictive behavior. Participants in SMART learn the tools for addiction recovery that are based on scientific research and are based on four principles:

  1. Building and Maintaining Motivation
  2. Coping with Urges
  3. Manage Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
  4. Living a Balanced Life

These techniques teaches people how to change themselves from within and encourages them to be proactive which leads to self-empowerment.  This overall concept stands in contrast to the more traditional 12 step approach in which there needs to be understanding that one is powerless in the face of addiction and the acceptance of that fact.

During meetings, individuals are encouraged to talk with one another, as opposed to talking to one another. Additionally, the techniques taught in SMART Recovery evolve as scientific knowledge regarding addiction recovery changes.  SMART recovery meetings can be held in traditional meeting rooms or people can participate in online meeting forums.

Harm Reduction

hard reduction therapy
Image source http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/

The harm reduction philosophy is a set of practical strategies which are intended to reduce the negative consequences of high risk behaviors associated with drug and alcohol abuse. It is a nonjudgmental approach that attempts to meet people “where they are at” with their drinking or drug use. Through the use of principles based on open dialogue and debate, participants discuss the specific risks associated with alcohol and drug use, what causes those risks and what they can do to reduce or eliminate those risks

While abstinence is desirable, harm reduction is supportive of anyone who wishes to minimize the harm associated with a high risk behavior such as drinking or drug use. The harm reduction concept is highly controversial to those in the recovery community, especially the fact this approach supports the potential moderation of drinking.

Holistic Addiction Treatment

holistic treatment options

An increasing number of treatment facilities are adopting holistic treatment concepts as a favored treatment model. Holistic drug treatment employs methods of care that address the mind, body and spirit of the addict. In holistic drug treatment, it is believed that the symptoms of addiction cannot be alleviated unless an addict works on improving many areas of his or her life and self.

It’s not enough to just stop using; the addict needs  to heal and take care of themselves in all phases. Holistic treatment fuses traditional counseling and therapy concepts along with meditation, acupuncture, nutrition therapy, exercise programs, art and animal therapy and music therapy.

The Life Process Program


Developed by Dr. Stanton Peele, the Life Process Program was developed as an alternative to Twelve-Step programs like AA and NA. This program, which is internet-based, operates on the belief that people are not powerless in regards to their addiction and don’t need the help of support groups to overcome substance abuse.

There are four basic tenets on which the program operates and are the following:

  • Values and purpose
  • Motivation
  • Life skills and real-world rewards
  • The building and mending of community and relationships

This program was initially used in luxury rehab facilities, then made available as a comprehensive online course in which people receive both online and telephone coaching. Relapse prevention techniques are at the core of this program and participants learn how to build positive self-worth, values and and purpose in life.

Women for Sobriety

women for sobriety

Founded in 1976, Women for Sobriety is the first national self-help program for women struggling with addiction and has over 300 chapters throughout the United States. Its “New Life”  program operates on a set of principles called the Thirteen Acceptance Statements which are similar to the Twelve Steps in terms of addressing powerlessness in addiction and the development of emotional and spiritual growth. Groups are small by design with 6 to 10 women in each group and online meetings and forums are also available.

The Importance of Knowledge: Choosing a Program That is Right for You

In addition to the above-mentioned programs, there are countless other treatment programs that are available to addicts. As seen in this article, some programs stir some controversy in regards to how addiction is viewed and can be treated. We at Sober Nation are not taking any positions for or against any kind of addiction treatment.

It is our goal to simply present to all of our readers information from as many viewpoints as possible in order to promote thought and meaningful discussion. It is crucial that before you make any decisions regarding treatment for yourself or a loved one that you arm yourself with knowledge and ask as many questions as possible.

The experienced staff at Sober Nation is able to provide you with the information, guidance and support that you need. Give us a call today toll-free at 1-866-317-7050.

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