This website is essentially all about alternative alcohol treatment. First, let us define the traditional treatment.
Traditional alcohol treatment almost always consists of the 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Sometimes you will also have a trip to an alcohol treatment center to start things out, so that a person can get properly detoxed from the alcohol in a safe manner. There they are almost always introduced to the 12 step meetings, and it is suggested that they follow up with doing 90 meetings in 90 days, and so on. This is the traditional form of alcohol treatment that is suggested by at least 95 percent of treatment centers around the world.
So if that is the traditional, what is wrong with it? It must work, if everyone is using it, right? Well, just about anyone can tell you that the success rates with traditional treatment are not so great. In fact, just about any statistics you can find regarding success rates are going to be pretty dismal.
To be fair, this may have less to do with AA and more to do with the nature of the problem and the difficult population we are dealing with. In other words, there may be no treatment strategy in the world that could produce significantly better success rates than what we are seeing right now. However, do recognize that current success rates with AA are very, very low.
Is the alternative any better? No one knows. The problem is, the alternatives have never been developed and studied on a large scale.
And what are the alternatives, really? Well, there are a few other programs out there, but in my opinion these are not very meaningful or different enough from AA to be worth mentioning. Things such as Rational Recovery and other group therapy programs have popped up, but none of them have proven to be wildly effective or gained any serious momentum.
In my opinion, the real alternative to traditional recovery is self-propelled holistic growth. That is what I have been experiencing for the last 9 years and that is what I also see working in other recovering alcoholics. Holistic means that we are trying to grow in different ways, including emotionally, spiritually, physically, and so on. So we consider overall health, fitness, relationships, and so on. This approach goes beyond the spiritual growth that we get in 12 step recovery and can lead to a greater boost in self esteem, which I think is critical for avoiding relapse.