Self-help groups are a wonderful way to get additional free support in reaching your goals and build community. Many organizations also have excellent on-line options. We recommend trying several as you never know what will resonate with you.
Self-Management And Recovery Training (SMART) is a global community of mutual-support groups. At meetings, participants help one another resolve problems with any addiction (to drugs or alcohol or to activities such as gambling or over-eating). Participants find and develop the power within themselves to change and lead fulfilling and balanced lives guided by our science-based and sensible 4-Point Program®.
Notes: Click the link above. First you will need to register by clicking “Register for SROL”. Once you will register you will be able to join any of the meetings on the calendar.
Recovery Dharma is a peer-led, grass-roots, democratically-structured organization. Our mission is to support individuals on their path of recovery from addiction using Buddhist practices and principles. Many of our clients have found Dharma Recovery to be incredibly helpful.
Refuge Recovery is a practice, a process, a set of tools and a path to healing addiction and the suffering caused by addiction. Refuge Recovery recognizes a non-theistic approach to spiritual practice. It is a systematic approach to recovering from all forms of addiction using the traditional buddhist practices of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path.
MARA International (Medication Assisted Recovery Anonymous)
Do you use prescribed medication to treat various drug and alcohol use disorders? Many people who utilize evidence-based science to aid in their recovery sometimes feel uncomfortable in their day to day lives. Additionally, a multitude of people on this healing path have even felt unwelcome at traditional recovery meetings. At Medication-Assisted Recovery Anonymous (MARA), you’re always welcome!
In the Rooms
Offers online meetings with specialized topics and multiple modalities, including 12 step, non-12 step, over all wellness, and overall mental health
These websites lead you to 12-step based support meetings that are a nationwide network of almost 60,000 groups. The websites include information about the 12-step philosophy and program, as well as the locations of meetings in your area. They also provide on-line access to meetings and descriptions of what to expect if you decide to try a meeting.
- Alcoholics Anonymous: https://aa-intergroup.org/
- Narcotics Anonymous: https://virtual-na.org/meetings/
- Marijuana Anonymous: https://marijuana-anonymous.org/
- Cocaine Anonymous: https://ca.org/meetings/
LifeRing Secular Recovery
Life Ring is an organization of people who share practical experiences and sobriety support. There are as many ways to live free of illicit or non-medically indicated drugs and alcohol as there are stories of successful sober people. Many find that LifeRing’s emphasis on the positive, practical present-day can turn anger and despair into hope and resolve. LifeRing respectfully embraces what works for each individual.
Women for Sobriety
Many women find the language (specifically the focus on powerlessness and acceptance of higher power) of the 12-step programs to be difficult. Many women also prefer to find the support within women’s only meetings. WSF is a self-help organization that focuses on self-empowerment as well as personal growth. The 13 steps of their “New Life Acceptance Program” are a nice structure and many people find they are helpful in shifting the focus from past regrets and shame to hope about the future. Interestingly, they reflect a fair amount of CBT strategies (e.g., managing focus and attending to positive thoughts instead of negative). They recommend that you read the steps daily to orient your focus for the day. We know the groups are only for women, but wonder if many men might also benefit from reading the 13-steps daily.
MM is a self-help organization designed to specifically address the needs of people in the beginning stages of problematic drinking (i.e., people who are not dependent on alcohol but who are at risk or who abuse it). It is behavioral in nature and has a 9-step program (that is supported by research findings) with effective strategies for increasing awareness of healthy moderation limits, goal setting, and self-management strategies. The goal is to help people quit drinking or reduce their drinking before more serious problems develop. They also have a nice treatment locator function that can help you find moderation friendly providers across the country.
Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support.
HAMS is a peer-led and free-of-charge support and informational group for anyone who wants to change their drinking habits for the better. They offer information and support via a chat room, an email group, and live meetings–as well as in the HAMS Book and the articles on this web site.
SMART Recovery Family and Friends
Provides effective, easy-to-learn tools to help both you and your loved one. Methods are based on the tools of SMART Recovery and CRAFT Therapy (Community Reinforcement & Family Training). Meetings — available both in-person and online — provide concerned significant others the tools they need to effectively support their loved one, without supporting the addictive behavior. These tools also help Family & Friends better cope with their loved one’s situation and regain their peace of mind.
Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) was created to offer understanding, compassion, and support for those who have lost someone they love through addiction and overdose.
Broken No More
Broken No More is a forum dedicated to helping family and friends of people with substance use disorder/chemical dependency, who have lived the trauma of addiction with their loved ones, and have seen firsthand the devastating results of the disease of addiction and overdose deaths. Broken No More is formed with the hope that more enlightened drug policies may help stem the tide of addiction and overdose.
Parents of Addicted Loved-Ones (PAL)
Christian run non-profit supporting parents with a child addicted to drugs and/or alcohol. Meetings are open to anyone of any faith or background and the primary goal is to provide hope through education and support for parents dealing with addicted loved ones.
Fellowship for the families and friends who are concerned about the destructive behavior of someone very near to them, whether caused by drugs, alcohol, or related behavioral problems.
- Families Anonymous: https://www.familiesanonymous.org/about-fa/
- Al-Anon: https://al-anon.org/newcomers/faq/