Do Alcoholics Have Any Other Options Besides AA.
Going through alcohol addiction can feel like navigating a world of isolating barriers and frustrating cycles.
It’s common to feel disconnected from who you really are and to want to hide from those around you. The barriers that go up become harder to knockdown. It can seem as if you’re stuck in a never-ending cycle, and that thought can be downright disheartening.
But even if you’re in this place, it’s possible to find the treatment that’s right for you. If you’ve gone through AA and it didn’t work for you, you’re not destined to fail. One path doesn’t work for everyone and no two roads to recovery look the same.
The good news is that, as a treatment community, our understanding of alcohol addiction recovery has grown in recent years. This means you have access to plenty of treatment options besides AA.
To really understand what makes other alcohol addiction treatment programs different, let’s first look at what AA is.
- Is a support group of people who meet regularly, share their challenges and help each other stay sober
- Is a fellowship based on the 12 Steps, created by Bill Wilson in the 1930s
- Is sometimes used instead of rehab for those who can’t afford inpatient care, as a complement to 12-Step rehab or as aftercare support following treatment
AA offers a support network of people who are all striving towards sobriety. Meetings follow the 12-Step model: a series of steps that AA members work through and can revisit at any point. Helping others manage their addiction is an important part of the 12 Steps, with many longer-term AA members offering mentorship to newcomers.
Having others around who can empathize with what you’re going through and hold you accountable is essential in recovery, especially when you’re in the early stages of sobriety. AA provides a community of support that’s crucial for countless people.
Still, many find that while AA serves a purpose, it doesn’t get them all the way to where they want to be in their life. Others are frustrated when they experience repeated relapse despite their best efforts to work the program. You may have found that the 12 Steps aren’t the right path for you, and that’s completely okay. Other options are available, and it’s important to explore them to find something that does work.
What are the Different Alcohol Addiction Recovery Options?
Alcohol addiction treatment can take place in a residential setting, where you live onsite at a treatment center while working through your program. Or you can attend outpatient rehab, in which you attend an intensive schedule of addictions counseling while living at home. In either case, alcohol rehab programs usually follow either a 12-Step model (based on the principles of AA) or a non-12-Step approach (which can be anything that’s not 12-Step).
What’s the Difference Between Inpatient and Outpatient Alcohol Rehab?
Inpatient alcohol rehab brings you onsite, where you’ll live at the rehab center alongside others in the program. There, you’ll work through an individualized treatment plan that consists of various therapies in a safe, healthy, recovery-focused environment.
The benefits of inpatient alcohol addiction treatment include:
- Intensive care: You’ll have 24/7 access to professionally trained staff and peer support.
- Immersive environment: You’ll be able to focus completely on getting well in a setting that’s calming, therapeutic, and completely removed from your triggers and environmental influences.
In outpatient alcohol rehab, you continue to live at home and commute to a clinic for treatment. Treatment comes in the form of individual and group therapy and takes place on a regular schedule. Many inpatient rehabs offer outpatient care as a continuation of their alcohol addiction treatment program. And with the rise of teletherapy, more people have access to counseling directly from home.
The benefits of outpatient treatment include:
- The comfort of home: You can receive treatment while continuing to uphold your work and family responsibilities.
- Flexibility: Programming is usually designed for working adults, and sessions can be worked around your existing schedule.
What’s the Difference Between 12-Step and Non-12 Step?
The 12-Step Approach
One of the most common addiction recovery models is the 12 Steps, used by the vast majority of rehabs in the US. The 12 Steps were originally created by the founder of AA when the group was still in its inception. Its core component is admitting one’s powerlessness over addiction. As you work each step, you learn to follow a new code of behavior for managing addiction. Most residential alcohol rehab programs use the 12-Step method.
Non-12-Step simply means a rehab program doesn’t follow the principles of AA. At The Sanctuary, it means we base our treatment approach on a belief of possibility and empowerment, rather than powerlessness, over addiction. Our holistic non-12-Step treatment for alcohol addiction takes place via a complete healing journey designed to dig deep into underlying issues and create a fundamental shift in the way you relate to life.
If you feel like you’ve hit a brick wall with the 12-Step approach, know that one method isn’t necessarily ideal for everybody. Other models are out there – and you might find that a different approach is better suited to your needs.
The Rise of Holistic Alcohol Rehab Centers
A lot of rehab centers in the US follow the disease model of addiction, which sees addiction as a lifelong illness and emphasizes treating its symptoms. But as continual relapse proves to be discouraging, more and more people are looking for alcohol addiction treatment that goes beyond managing symptoms and into real recovery.
“Holistic” refers to the treatment of the whole self: your body, mind, soul, and spirit.
What can you Expect From a Holistic Alcohol Rehab Center?
In holistic alcohol addiction treatment, you can expect to participate in a comprehensive array of therapies designed to address your entire wellbeing. This includes more commonly used interventions like psychiatry and psychology, as well as healing components like energy medicine, nutrition, and bodywork. A truly holistic program pays attention to facets of your wellbeing that conventional treatment may ignore, such as soul-level needs and larger energetic causes of addiction.
Are These Alternatives More Effective Than AA? Is Full Recovery Possible?
AA (and 12-Step rehab) is founded on the principle that addiction is a chronic, lifelong illness. But breakthroughs in modern addiction science are challenging those views.
New discoveries in epigenetics, neurogenesis, and neuroplasticity have been monumental for alcohol addiction recovery treatment. They show us that humans are capable of creating new neural pathways, rewiring our brains, and influencing our genetic expression. Once an addict, always an addict isn’t necessarily true – and an increasing body of evidence proves it.
We believe it’s possible to be recovered.
The Sanctuary: Non-12-Step, Holistic Treatment for Alcohol Addiction
Every member of our wholly dedicated team at The Sanctuary knows that it’s possible to fully recover from alcohol addiction.
We offer a non-12-Step approach to alcohol rehab that’s completely integrative, meaning each lesson builds upon the last as you move through the stages of a carefully designed, personalized recovery journey.
Our program focuses on healing at all levels. If one path doesn’t work for you, we have others available, and you’re encouraged to explore.
It’s possible to create a life beyond addiction – one full of love, connection, creativity, and joy. For more information, about The Empowerment Process of Holistic Addiction Recovery or any of our holistic non 12 step addiction recovery programs you can contact us by phone at
(877) 710-3385, or by email at [email protected]
He is the Founder, Administrator, Counselor at the Sanctuary at Sedona. He has a BA in Political Science and is currently Senior teaching staff at Four Winds Society, an international school of energy medicine. His credentials also include being an Ordained Minister; a Certified Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator; a Founding Member Society for Shamanic Practitioners; a Member of Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology; a Member of the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. [email protected]
He is the Founder, Administrator, Counselor at the Sanctuary at Sedona.
He has a BA in Political Science and is currently Senior teaching staff at Four Winds Society, an international school of energy medicine. His credentials also include being an Ordained Minister; a Certified Shamanic Breathwork® Facilitator; a Founding Member Society for Shamanic Practitioners; a Member of Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology; a Member of the National Institute for Holistic Addiction Studies. [email protected]