Non 12 Step Ways to Get Sober

non 12 step ways to get sober

The majority of residential addiction treatment centers use a 12 step program such as Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. AA and NA are very popular in the world of recovery, but they’re not the only way to quit using. There are many other options, and different things work for different people. If you’ve tried a 12 step program without success, or if you simply prefer not to join a 12 step program, you can explore non 12 step ways to get sober.

Non 12 Step Fellowships

The group mentality of AA is what makes it so strong. Communities of support exist within other fellowships, too, however, that aren’t 12 step based. You can look into groups such as LifeRing, SMART, SOS, and more. Most non 12 step ways to get sober are secular and don’t focus on spirituality. They all have different models for maintaining a healthy, sober lifestyle.

Non 12 Step Treatment Centers

Even though most treatment centers use a 12 step program, there are many that don’t. In fact, non 12 step treatment centers are becoming increasingly popular. There are many nice facilities that offer different approaches and non 12 step ways to get sober. Many non 12 step treatment centers put more emphasis on individual counseling and other types of emotional therapy.

Woman Shares her Story on Addiction and Recovery outside of the 12 Steps

Recovery Coaches

A recovery coach is someone who you get to be your mentor as you quit using. They’ll guide you and help you along the way in sobriety, oftentimes through personal experience or expert knowledge. Qualified recovery coaches can help individuals who aren’t interested in the 12 steps. While many coaches do encourage use of the 12 steps, there are those who don’t.

Individual Therapy

Individual therapy is very often helpful for all recovering addicts, whether they use the 12 steps or not. For people who don’t use a 12 step program, individual therapy can be even more useful. With a therapist, you can do things like explore your motivations for using, address your self-esteem, work through post-traumatic stress, learn ways to modify your behavior and thinking patterns, and more.

Alternative Medicine

Alternative medicines and treatments can also be explored if you’re looking for non 12 step ways to get sober. Alternative treatments include things like acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic care, homeopathy, meditation, and hypnotherapy. Some people have found success with alternative treatments, either in addition to a 12 step program or independent of it.


There are many different types of medications that can be used to help a person stop using drugs or alcohol. There isn’t medication for every drug, but there are aids for drugs like opiates and alcohol. The medication can help a person quit by suppressing withdrawal symptoms or rendering the drugs ineffective. People use these medications on a short-term or long-term basis, and they’re most helpful when supplemented with other treatment, 12 step or not.

No matter what you do to get sober, the important thing is that you change your lifestyle in a way that will support your desire to stay sober. Whether you choose a 12 step program or a non 12 step method, accepting help is essential. While it’s not impossible, few people are about to stay sober on willpower alone.


mashunk34 - July 10, 2013.

Easier, softer way? Before I got into treatment and recovery, I always wanted to find an easy way out. Medical treatment, pills, something. I look back now and see how ridiculous that seemed. I knew I hated what I was doing to myself, but didn't know how to face it. AA showed me the way out, but I had to do the work. I basically feel like, yes, medical science can get you clean and detox your body. But if your disease has gotten so advanced that you need that kind of help, you probably need help learning how to deal with life and re-learning how to live it. Being dry/detoxed and living sober are two entirely different things.

steadysteps - July 30, 2013.

I also struggle with the whole "spiritual/God" issue within 12-Step programs. I combine local AA meetings (for face to face support) with the secular Women For Sobriety program. Women For Sobriety works on raising self esteem- a huge problem with most female addicts. They have several face to face meetings (none in my area, unfortunately) and a great online presence. For more information about the Women For Sobriety program, check out

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