Print Posted on 08/04/2017 in Addiction

21ST Century Help for those with Substance Use Disorders

21ST Century Help for those with Substance Use Disorders

12-Step Programs Aren’t The Only Way

The most widely-known group when thinking of where to send people with an alcohol or drug problem is AA (or any 12-step program). While this helps some people, such as my dad, who has been sober since his very first meeting, it doesn't help everyone. Many are still out there, desperately needing help, but not knowing where to go or what to do. Therefore, it is imperative that we do something, and one thing we can do is to start making people aware of the other methods that are available. Addiction is not a "one-size-fits-all problem, and it's not a -one-size-fits-all solution. There are many, many treatment methods for those suffering with substance use disorders. The methods range from total abstinence to advocating for harm reduction. They offer individualized treatment, customizing a plan of action for the individual. The National Institute on Drug Abuse seems to agree, stating: “No single treatment program is right for everybody. Matching the treatment program to each individual’s needs is critical to success.”

A few examples of alternatives to AA include the following:

* SMART                                          

* Rational Recovery                       

* Women For Sobriety                   

* The Sinclair Method                    

* Harm Reduction Therapy           

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

* Naltrexone



As you can see, there are numerous alternatives to 12-step programs, so whether you are having problems with the spiritual aspects of the 12- step program, or you have been in and out of AA for years, yet cannot seem to stay sober, or you simply do not want to go to a 12-step program, I encourage you to take a look at what has been researched to find out what resonates with you. Many of the programs are not mutually exclusive of AA, or with each other. You now have more than one choice to form your own recovery plan; one that works for you, whether that ends up being moderation or total abstinence. What’s important is that you will now have the knowledge of your options to make an educated decision. And knowledge is power!

Please...let's start working together if we are to have any chance at making a dent in the alcohol and drug problem, which has become a national epidemic, corroding all aspects of life. There are many paths to recovery. It shouldn't matter which one a person takes, as long as it works for them.

Melanie Solomon 

Author of Breakthrough Guide, "AA Not the Only Way" 2nd edition