Addiction – Alternatives to AA & Self-Help

Addiction Resources & Alternatives to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

(Just FYI – AA is the Largest 12-Step Program in U.S.


SMART Recovery (formerly Rational Recovery) (Larger in Midwest)

The SMART Recovery 4-Point Program helps people recover from all types of addiction and addictive behaviors, including: drug abuse, drug addiction, substance abuse, alcohol abuse, gambling addiction, cocaine addiction, prescription drug abuse, sexual addiction, and problem addiction to other substances and activities. SMART Recovery sponsors face-to-face meetings around the world, and daily online meetings. In addition, our online message board and 24/7 chat room are excellent forums to learn about SMART Recovery and obtain addiction recovery support.


Moderation Management (MM)

Moderation Management (MM) is a behavioral change program and national support group network for people concerned about their drinking and who desire to make positive lifestyle changes. MM empowers individuals to accept personal responsibility for choosing and maintaining their own path, whether moderation or abstinence. MM promotes early self-recognition of risky drinking behavior, when moderate drinking is a more easily achievable goal. MM is run by lay members who came to the organization to resolve personal issues and stayed to help others.


Women for Sobriety (WFS)

WFS self-help groups are found all across this country and abroad. Based upon a Thirteen Statement Program of positivity that encourages emotional and spiritual growth, the “New Life” Program has been extremely effective in helping women overcome their addictions and embrace a new positive lifestyle.


LifeRing Secular Recovery (Larger in Western U.S./California)

LifeRing Secular Recovery is an abstinence-based, worldwide network of individuals seeking to live in recovery from addiction to alcohol or to other non-medically indicated drugs. In LifeRing, we offer each other peer-to-peer support in ways that encourage personal growth and continued learning through personal empowerment. Our approach is based on developing, refining, and sharing our own personal strategies for continued abstinence and crafting a rewarding life in recovery. In short, we are sober, secular, and self-directed.


Secular Organizations for Sobriety (S.O.S.)

S.O.S. is a highly effective alternative to the 12-step model of recovery, and provides yet another path to recovery from addiction. S.O.S. welcomes the attendance of religious, as well as nonreligious persons, and offers a support group and method in a secular setting. S.O.S. credits the individual for achieving and maintaining his/her own sobriety. S.O.S. respects recovery in any form, regardless of the path by which it is achieved. It is not opposed to, or in competition with any other recovery program.


Live and Let Live (Dual Recovery Anonymous)

This simple slogan helps center us on our own dual recovery (addiction & mental health issue) and on living our own life in the best way we know how. Live and let live is one of the keys to peace in our lives. When we practice tolerance in our lives we are liberated to work on our own issues. When we use this slogan we end many of the conflicts in our lives and gain the ability to stop new ones before they build into big ones.


Agnostic AA

A collection of meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous in New York City for recovering alcoholics who prefer an alternative to the emphasis on religion and Higher Power commonly encountered in most A.A. meetings.


Kansas City, MO

Freethinkers in AA Kansas City
St. Andrews Episcopal Church
6401 Wornall Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64113
Monday 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday 7:00 p.m.


We Agnostics Kansas City
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
4501 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
Thursday 7:00 p.m.
Friday 12:00 p.m.



We Agnostics
First United Methodist Church, Room 303
946 Vermont Street
Lawrence, KS. 66044
Friday 6:00 p.m.
Meeting information:


My Way Out (commercial program – not a support group)

A recovery program that incorporates medication (Topamax, Campral or other meds as they become available); supplements including amino acids, vitamins, and the powerful anti-craving herb kudzu; a highly customized hypnotherapy program; and light exercise. It’s done privately in your home with free support and mentoring on our incredible web based discussion board.




The SMART (Self Management Addiction Recovery Program) Handbook Tools, exercises, techniques and strategies to help those with drinking and substance-abuse addictive behaviors – including smoking – and behavioral issues, such as compulsive gambling or sexual activity, self-harm, and eating disorders. The Handbook will cover the heart of SMART’s 4-Point Program. 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation 2: Coping with Urges 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors 4: Living a Balanced Life SMARTS approach: Teaches self-empowerment and self-reliance. ($13 Amazon)


Recovery by Choice, written by the founder of LifeRing, is the first workbook that applies this basic principle of effective professional treatment to the recovering person’s own self-treatment, or self-help. ($30 Amazon)



The Mindful Path to Addiction Recovery: A Practical Guide to Regaining Control over Your Life by Lawrence Peltz. Mindfulness, the quality of attention that combines full awareness with acceptance of each moment, just as it is, is gaining broad acceptance among mental health professionals as an adjunct to treatment. Because at the heart of addiction is the fear of painful emotional states, addicts compulsively seek drugs and alcohol to avoid or escape emotional pain. Mindfulness, on the other hand, helps us develop greater acceptance and ease with life’s challenges, as well as greater self-compassion.


The Mindfulness Workbook for Addiction (and Loss) – addiction and grief recovery with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).   Focused on treating emotion dysregulation, stress, depression, and grief that lie at the heart of loss and addiction. It helps readers process their grief, determine the function their addiction is serving, and replace the addiction with healthy coping behaviors. ($15 Amazon)


Seeking Safety: A Treatment Manual for PTSD and Substance Abuse (Guilford Substance Abuse) 1st Edition For persons with this prevalent and difficult-to-treat dual diagnosis, the most urgent clinical need is to establish safety–to work toward discontinuing substance use, letting go of dangerous relationships, and gaining control over such extreme symptoms as dissociation and self-harm. The manual is divided into 25 specific units or topics, addressing a range of different cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal domains. Each topic provides highly practical tools and techniques to engage patients in treatment; teach “safe coping skills” that apply to both disorders; and restore ideals that have been lost, including respect, care, protection, and healing. ($45 Amazon)

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