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Non-12-Step Rehab Programs

Group of People in Non-12-Step RehabMany people are not comfortable with the spiritual aspect of traditional 12-step programs or are looking for an alternative. Non-12-step support groups use a more scientific, secular, evidence-based approach to treatment that emphasizes self-empowerment and education. Recently, many inpatient and outpatient rehab centers have adopted the non-12-step philosophy.

There are solutions for everyone, and if you are ready to enter a non-12-step drug or alcohol rehab, give us a call today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? . We are available 24/7 to help find the best facility near you.

Non-12-Step Organizations

Some of these groups also offer free online meetings and chat rooms if you don’t feel comfortable attending the group in-person.

Many free, non-12-step support groups are available. Every person is different, so you might want to try out a few of these groups before choosing which one works best for you. Each one will have its own unique “feel,” so it’s important that you find the one that feels the most comfortable.

You can choose from a wide range of options, including:

  • SMART Recovery: helps participants learn how to cope with urges, manage addictive behaviors, and live balanced lives. SMART Recovery includes self-empowering support groups that are science-based. Programs treat a variety of addictions.
  • Women for Sobriety: helps women overcome alcoholism and drug addictions. The group encourages emotional and spiritual growth to help women embrace a positive lifestyle.
  • Secular Organizations for Sobriety: helps members achieve and maintain sobriety from alcohol, drug, and food addictions.
  • LifeRing Secular Recovery: offers peer-to-peer support that helps people find personal growth and develop their own strategies of staying sober.
  • Rational Recovery: offers a program that helps users recognize and manage thoughts that lead them to use drugs or alcohol and maintain abstinence.

In addition, some of these groups also offer free online meetings and chat rooms if you don’t feel comfortable attending the group in-person. It is important to keep in mind that what worked for your friend or family member may not work for you. Each person finds sobriety in a different way. It is a long process that is often described as a journey that continues past treatment.

General Principles

Non-12-step substance abuse treatment is usually designed using evidence-based therapies and practices that have proved effective in treating addiction. They are mostly secular and avoid religious principles or language. Programs such as SMART Recovery update their program’s principles as scientific knowledge about recovery evolves.

A popular therapy in non-12-step programs is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that helps the user identify and replace addictive thoughts and behaviors. Users become aware of the positive and negative consequences of continued drug or alcohol use. 1

Some programs also use eye movement desensitization and reprocessing(EMDR), a type of therapy used to treat trauma, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

These programs also emphasize self-empowerment. They believe that the user has the power to make changes themselves. When the user feels stable about who they are and where their boundaries are, they will be prepared to handle situations where they might be triggered to use drugs or alcohol.

Are you interested in a recovery center for yourself or someone you care about? Learn more by calling 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? today.

Treatment at Non-12-Step Centers

As mentioned above, many recovery centers have incorporated the non-12-step approach into their programs. The goal of a non-12-step rehab center is to teach you how to best deal with cravings and urges to use after leaving treatment. These programs are open to people of all faiths and religions or non-religious people.

They offer a comprehensive program of addiction treatment that begins with detoxification and continues with uncovering the issues that caused you or your loved one to abuse drugs. Most programs develop an individualized treatment plan with you when you are first admitted.

The non-12-step approach is combined with other services such as:
Doctor holding clipboard

  • Medically supervised detox.
  • Individual and/or group therapy.
  • Family and/or couples therapy.
  • Treatment for co-occurring medical or mental health disorders.
  • Physical activity.
  • Medication, if necessary.
  • Holistic practices such as acupuncture, meditation, and art therapy.
  • Aftercare planning and setting up services post-treatment.

Depending on the facility, there might be other amenities offered at the rehab facility including swimming, tennis, horseback riding, chef-prepared meals, and private rooms. These programs tend to be more expensive, so it depends on what you want out of treatment and what your budget is.

After you have completed your treatment, you can choose to attend a 12-step or non-12-step support group as you continue your journey through recovery.

If you are interested in learning more about drug rehabs, give us a call today at 1-888-968-9816 Who Answers? . Our treatment advisors are available around the clock to give you more information about your options.


  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2012). Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, Nicotine).