Many struggling addicts and alcoholics want to know how to overcome addiction, especially without resorting to traditional recovery techniques.
Now why would people want to do this?
One reason is because the traditional recovery methods may have failed them. Some people have tried to get clean and sober many times, only to fail repeatedly at actually staying clean and sober.
Another reason is because traditional recovery methods (typically 12 step programs) are all about speaking in front of a group of people. Many, many people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol are very much afraid of speaking in front of a group of people. This keeps thousands away from 12 step programs permanently. They are not willing to try and overcome this fear, so they do not have a chance at traditional recovery. It is not an option for them due to their anxiety.
Some would also point out that success rates are fairly low in 12 step programs, but this is not a valid argument. Why not? Because there is no evidence that any recovery method is any better, really. There is data out there but none of it really supports the idea that the 12 step model is much worse (or better) than other recovery strategies. Many are biased towards or against the 12 step program, but their bias is not rooted in hard data. There is not solid evidence that other methods are better or worse.
With that being said, you still CAN overcome an addiction without using AA or NA. In fact, there are several methods out there to do so, and many addicts and alcoholics have found alternative paths in recovery. Here are just a few such examples:
* A person goes to church, and gets heavily involved in the community there. They stay clean and sober based on their religious experience.
* A person gets into martial arts, and they overcome their drug addiction or alcoholism based on the discipline that they learn there.
* An addict or alcoholic learns to meditate, and they use meditation as their means of recovery.
* Exercise can be a recovery strategy all by itself. While some will argue that you can get addicted to exercise, it still is a valid method of recovery. In fact, there are formal programs of recovery that are based on distance running and triathlon training and so on.
* One on one counseling can be enough for some people to conquer an addiction.
* Group therapy is another strategy.
* Online resource and online meetings can be a solution for some who cannot employ these other methods. Some people rely entirely on online recovery to help them to stay clean and sober.
So you have to think a bit outside of the box here. Just going to rehab and then following up with 12 step meetings is not the only way to make a new life for yourself in recovery. Many people try to do just that and follow the traditional path and they end up relapsing.
If you have tried to stay clean and failed in the past, then what do you have to lose by trying an alternative strategy? They even say this in AA: if you keep doing it, and it does not work for you, then try something different. Many people who are chronic relapsers in AA need to take this advice to heart and leave the 12 step program, as it is not working too well for them.
So basically, you can overcome alcoholism or addiction without using 12 step programs, but you still have to put in a tremendous amount of effort in order to do so. Recovery is all about what you put into it. There are no shortcuts. Only hard work.
But of course, it is all worth it in the end….