Many people struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, and other mental health issues that 12-step programs have traditionally been used to treat have immense difficult finding a recovery program that will accommodate nontraditional religious beliefs. Whether you’re an atheist, a member of a nonchristian denomination, or just not interested in making religion a part of your recovery process, you still deserve to find an excellent treatment program. Further, struggling with addiction while simultaneously being told to accept a particular religious belief can be extraordinarily stressful and make recovery more difficult. If you’re looking for a non-religious, secular recovery program, here are some excellent options:
The group support provided by traditional 12-step recovery programs is one of the most helpful components of these programs. Fortunately for secular addicts, Life Ring embraces the community component of the 12-step model without forcing its members to embrace religion. There are meetings across the world and their website has helpful resources.
The Rational Recovery model positions itself explicitly against the 12-step model and uses a completely different approach. This model is more individual-centered and typically does not involve group meetings. However, the website has many resources as well as an extensive members-only message board where members can receive online support. The program also offers a two day class educating people about its approach, effectiveness, and how to use a Rational Recovery approach to become sober.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety
This organization has adopted much of the AA and NA 12-step model, but eliminated the religious component. The groups have meetings throughout the United States as well as an extensive online community. Rather than making one’s higher power God, this model advocates making the group in conjunction with your own determination your higher power.
SMART Recovery, rather than focusing on community support, instead focuses on tangible skills to help one overcome their addiction. Their website provides primers on coping with cravings, what to do in the case of a relapse, and receiving support from family and friends.
Getting sober doesn’t have to mean a spiritual crisis or accepting beliefs with which you are not comfortable. Nor is the religious nature of 12-step programs a reason to avoid getting sober and getting help. There is a rich and diverse community of recovering addicts in the world, and one of these programs may be the final push you need to finally embrace a life of sobriety.