Self Help Support Groups
There are over 200 self-help organizations covering many substances – with worldwide membership in the millions – who now employ a version of the original AA twelve-step principles of recovery. The fundamentals of each program include; acceptance of the disease model of addiction, developing belief in a higher power to give strength, examining past errors, making amends, sponsorship (mentoring others) and service. Meetings are generally available in person, telephone and online. Follow the links to find meetings near you.
Through “12 step programs” many organizations provide peer-based, non-clinical, non-professional support meetings to people in recovery from substance use disorder (SUD). As such, these steps focus on socially supportive communication and the exchange of skills through shared experience with a common theme or “journey.”
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)
AA is primarily focused on supporting people who identify as having a significant issue resolving problematic alcohol use. more information: www.aa.org
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
NA is focused on supporting people who identify as having a significant issue resolving problematic drug use – including alcohol. More information: www.na.org
Cocaine Anonymous (CA)
CA emerged to provide affiliational support for former cocaine users. While the name implies drug-specific focus, today’s CA is for anyone wishing to resolve cocaine and all other problematic drug and alcohol use but may more culturally identify among former cocaine users. More information: www.ca.org
Drug Addicts Anonymous
DAA is a fellowship of individuals who have resolved problematic drug use using the twelve steps as outlined in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It provides support for individuals experiencing problematic drug use who may have greater affiliation with AA than with Narcotics Anonymous (NA). More information: www.daausa.org
Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience, strength and hope with each other to recovery from problematic marijuana use. It is based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. More information: www.marijuana-anonymous.org
These mutual support circles follow Red Road, Medicine Wheel Journey to Wellbriety – to become sober and well in a Native American cultural way. The indigenous experience adds a dimension of acknowledging sociopolitical causes of addiction without removing an individual’s need to do the hard work it takes to heal. More information: wellbrietymovement.com
AA and NA have been around since the 1930s. These programs have helped many people, but there have always been those for whom it doesn’t work. In the last few decades, we’ve seen more recovery options with effective alternatives to AA/NA that provide different roads to recovery. Here’s a list of a few alternative programs to help you find the approach that’s right for you.