Please remember that our website is a secular, non-12-step affiliated space, and we respect the autonomy of individuals to choose their own paths in recovery. With that being said, it's important to set clear boundaries when discussing recovery topics with members of 12-step groups.
For example, we can state that we do not endorse or support specific treatment modalities or ideologies, and we value a diversity of perspectives and experiences in recovery. We can also encourage respectful dialogue and an openness to different paths towards recovery. It's important to remember that everyone's recovery journey is unique and personal, and we should aim to create an inclusive and supportive community.
The healthier you get, the more clear the dysfunction in 12-step programs becomes. And once you see it, you can't unsee it - the veil is lifted. It is important for you to know that "they are not your only option."
Here is a list of some alternatives to "12 step" programs that we are aware of. We may link to certain groups who are not hostile towards current (or former) "12 steppers" who still have "one foot in the door" at AA or who are at least considering leaving AA. We get rid of links if it comes to our attention that they're abusive towards visitors.
Online Support Communities
- Leaving AA: https://www.leavingaa.com - They're Not Your Only Option
- The Orange Papers: https://www.orange-papers.info (An analysis of 12-Step based Substance Abuse programs)
r/stopdrinking - This subreddit is a place to motivate each other to control or stop drinking. They would like you to visit them on Reddit before joining their chatroom, and they require you to be at least 24 hours clean/sober to participate.
https://sherecovers.org/ - She Recovers is an international movement of self-identified women in or seeking recovery from a wide variety of issues, including substance use and eating disorders, other behavioral health issues, trauma, abuse, codependency, cancer, grief, low self-esteem, perfectionism and other life challenges.
https://www.meetup.com/ - When you start getting a little further along in recovery -- or you're just ready for your life to open to some new things, try to find some constructive and healthy hobbies. Consider connecting with people who share a common interest or find something new you'd like to try.
https://www.neveraloneclub.org - The Never Alone Club is a social website for those who have overcome alcohol and other drug dependencies (or would like to!) , and who have found AA, NA, and other "12 step" based groups to be unhelpful at BEST, to abusive , controlling or life endangering at worst.
https://recoverychats.com/?chat - This group started life as an ACA group but its a bunch of mixed nuts and it isn't focused on any particular "12 step" program at this point. If you are "NA Chatroom" alumni who doesn't like our new look or our new purpose in life and that is all super important to you, please try Recovery Chats out.
https://tripsit.me/chat-overview/ - Tripsit's main mission is to encourage open discussion of harm reduction techniques, as well as to offer positive support. It is not a "recovery" website, but rather a forum that focuses specifically on harm reduction and helping those who are struggling while under the influence of drugs, among other things. Tripsit actively promotes the use of harm reduction tools such as test kits, and provides guidance and support regarding harm reduction practices when using drugs. It provides a better environment for individuals who wish to discuss drug use, drug safety, tapering, harm reduction, and similar topics without being judged, and without feeling pressured to join recovery or treatment programs.
It is important to note that we are not affiliated with nor do we support the public outreach efforts of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
Regardless of your patronage, support, or personal feelings about the old or new website:
What occurred has accomplished little more than disrupting thousands of people looking for help online. Monica Richardson of the "Leaving AA Blog" attempts to raise awareness about violence, rape, murder, and other threats to the public that are presented by "12 step" groups. It's just - rare - that these groups are so upfront and openly encouraging or applauding each other for their bigoted and violent behavior.
Watch "The 13th Step" on YouTube for more info.
Information about Leaving AA and other 12-step Groups
Substance Abuse Treatment and/or Housing Referrals
- SAMHSA: US Substance and Mental Health Services Administration
SAMHSA's National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), (also known as the Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. Callers can also order free publications and other information. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/national-helpline
- SAMHSA Online Treatment Locator: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/
- https://findahelpline.com - Talk with a crisis counselor today. Verified global support for anxiety, depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence, sexual abuse and more. This page can help you find services Worldwide (unlike SAMHSA, which is helpful but very “US-Centric”)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress - call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) - with the caveat we recommend calling from a safe anonymous location , a borrowed, or burner telephone.
- United Way - 211 - Get Connected, Get Help.
Crisis | Emergencies and Disasters | Food | Energy Assistance
211 is a vital service that connects millions of people to help every year. To get expert, caring help, simply call 211 today or search for your local 211 below:
US: https://www.211.org (note: There was-- and there may be for all we know -- a Canadian equivalent of "211" but the website was no longer online as of March 2023.)
- The Hotline: National Domestic Violence Hotline.
National Domestic Violence Hotline can help victims, survivors of domestic violence. Call 1-800-799-7233. Chat w/ an advocate on our website - with the caveat we recommend calling from a safe anonymous location , a borrowed or burner telephone. It is not unheard of for perpetrators of domestic abuse to monitor what websites you visit or who you are calling.
- YWCA: Alternatives to Domestic Violence.
Several programs at YWCA assist families in domestic violence situations. Your local YWCA (if you have one) may be able to refer you to legal resources or shelters in your community or within a few cities distance. This is a rare case where we will just link to a Google search for branches.
- Haven for Hope: Serving San Antonio (Bexar County), TX.
Our mission is to offer a place of hope and new beginnings. We do this by providing, coordinating, and delivring an efficient system of care for people experiencing homelessness in Bexar County.
- Haymarket Center: Serving Chicago (Cook County), IL.
The mission of Haymarket Center is to aid people with substance use disorders in their recovery by providing comprehensive behavioral health solutions. Maternal care, medical detox, short and long term residential programs.
- Share! The Self Help and Recovery Exchange: Serving the greater Los Angeles Area.
SHARE! Culver City and SHARE! Downtown Los Angeles are friendly, accessible and supportive centers where a large community of self-help groups meet each week, addressing all kinds of issues such as anger management, health, depression, self-esteem, relationships, childhood abuse, substance abuse, reaching goals, and many more.
Share also provides low-ish (and in some cases "same-day") housing options for those defined as Mental Health Consumers at risk of homelessness. Rents range from $450-$650 per month.
- DanceSafe: Promoting Health and Safety within the Electronic Music Community.
Drug Testing Kits: The fentanyl crisis is getting out of hand in the US, we're finding it not only in heroin but in counterfeit pills, ecstasy, cocaine, and crystal meth. For those who are still using please consider acquiring Fentanyl test strips. https://dancesafe.org/shop/
- Save a life with Narcan: Reduce addiction's cost to society, our hospitals, and our overworked First Responders!
Available without a written prescription in most states, naloxone, also known as NARCAN, is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses. CVS Pharmacy locations in most communities have naloxone on hand and can dispense it the same day or ordered for the next business day.
Non 12-Step Based Recovery and Support Groups
- SMART: Self Management And Recovery Training.
Rational, sane, common-sense recovery techniques. Based on Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, the brainchild of Dr. Albert Ellis.
WFS, Women For Sobriety (guys ignore this one)
WFS also has online chat groups:
For local group meetings in your area you can also call 1-800-333-1606.
- http://www.sossobriety.org/ == SOS,
Secular Organizations for Sobriety, a.k.a. "Save Our Selves".
SOS is an alternative recovery method for those alcoholics or drug addicts who are uncomfortable with the spiritual or superstitious content of widely available 12-Step programs.
- Another web site: http://www.sos-rochester.org/ — Rochester, NY, SOS on the web.
- Another web site: http://www.sos-rochester.org/ — Rochester, NY, SOS on the web.
- http://www.lifering.org/ == LifeRing Secular Recovery (LSR)
- Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support (HAMS)
HAMS is peer-led and free of charge. HAMS offers information and support via a chat room, an email group, and live meetings — as well is the articles on this web site.
- Moderation Management
Moderation Management is oriented towards cutting down to moderate, responsible, controlled drinking, rather than total abstinence.