Recovery Alternatives To Alcohol Anonymous (AA)

Recovery Alternatives To Alcohol Anonymous (AA)

Although AA is one of most sworn by recovery path, it’s not for everyone. AA, stands for Alcoholics Anonymous, is said to have too many vested interests and is said to have many variables involved. There is no scientific consensus as such, that claims AA is better than any other forms of treatment. It’s just the most obvious choice, for lack of knowing better.

Although AA does help many people, it is too shroud with the veils of controversy, based on the principles it preaches; some of them being-

– Alcoholism is a disease that can only be conquered by spirituality.

– You have no power over alcohol; your only hope for recovery is by surrendering to a higher power.

– Alcoholics cannot quit drinking on their own – the 12 steps are the only way.

– Abstinence is the only way.

The bone of contention here is the turning to spirituality to overcome alcoholism. People can spontaneously improve, without attending any formal recovery groups. AA is known to diffuse the alcoholic’s personal responsibility for their sobriety, and that abstinence is not necessarily the only way to get better.

In spite of all this, nothing is nearly as effective as AA is in the United States. In fact, the 12 Steps approach has been so influential, that the approach is used in over 90% of treatment programs in the United States. The next preferred paths of recovery are listed below-

Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS):

Although atheists and non-denominational are welcome for AA meeting, there’s no denying that there is a certain requisite spirituality that does preside over the AA meetings. Not everyone wants a God or spirituality-centered approach to recovery. A Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS) group takes a self-empowerment, non-religious approach to recovery which is very different than AA- and just as much, if not more, effective.

SOS’s works on the following principles:

– SOS believes in the self-empowerment approach – the individual is credited with maintaining sobriety.

– SOS respects all paths to recovery and is not opposed to other recovery programs.

– SOS supports healthy skepticism and the scientific method in understanding alcoholism and recovery.

– Although SOS believes that maintaining sobriety is ultimately a personal responsibility, SOSS believes that social support is important to recovery.

– Sobriety should be top priority in a recovering addict/alcoholic’s life.

SOS is a great alternative if you don’t want to involve a higher power in your recovery process.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy:

William Miller, a psychologist, first came up with the motivational enhancement therapy where rather than dictating the approach to recovery to alcoholics, this technique initiates behavioral change by using motivational interviewing strategies to generate internal motivation in the patient to make changes.  The patient is also given new coping skills to help them through recovery.

Motivational enhancement therapy begins with an initial assessment session with the therapist, followed by 2-4 individual treatment sessions.  This approach has been used successfully to improve treatment in alcoholics and other drug users.

The motivational enhancement approach might be a better choice for people who don’t like the “acknowledge that you’re powerless” aspect of AA, or who would prefer individual counseling to recovery groups.

 

Don’t be disheartened if you find AA is not suited for you. There are various other types of treatments you could adopt to recover from alcoholism.

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Sagar is co-founder and CTO at Multia, a leading creative agency in Pune. He started his venture when he was 16, he has won numerous international and national web development competitions and has worked on 100+ web, mobile and online marketing projects. He’s a globe-trotter and has traveled to San Francisco, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Dubai, Jakarta and Bali Islands.
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