Alcohol drinking problems can be very hard to overcome. There are a variety of methods offered for alcohol treatment and one of them is the well-known “Twelve Step Program” from Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). AA is an association of men and women all with the goal of staying sober and helping one another to achieve it. Sounds good right? Yet some (if not many) people decline or avoid joining AA, or if they joined, they eventually drop
Reasons to Choose Non-AA Treatment
Here are some reasons why people choose a non-AA alcohol treatment.
- Emphasis on being “powerless”: In joining AA, one must agree and declare that he/she is completely powerless and thus the individual must rely and trust on a higher power. Admittance to being powerless may not seat well with some people because it may conflict with their understanding and belief of themselves. Understand alcoholism or drinking problem is not an illness to be cured, but a negative habit that must be broken. Admitting you are powerless would mean that you cannot control what you are taking in and this is not true. Apart from this, some individuals, especially atheists, may feel discriminated or uncomfortable on the part of “relying upon a higher power” because it has a religious connotation on it.
- Total abstinence is the only cure for drinking problems: There are different levels or severity of alcoholism and in AA, the only basis for being cured is through the total abstinence from drinking alcohol – and this is wrong. Breaking the habit of persistent or long-term drinking doesn’t need to be total abstinence but it can be through acquiring the ability to control one’s drinking habits. Control can pertain to drinking occasionally or in moderation, not necessarily abstinence.
- Embarrassment and being uncomfortable: Some people don’t want to join AA because of the stigma of being called an “alcoholic”. Aside from this, introverts or people with social anxiety may feel uncomfortable in joining and talking to other people they don’t personally know regarding a very crucial and important issue in his/her life.
As we have mentioned earlier, other methods can help an individual to overcome alcoholism. For starters, you must believe you are not powerless, instead, believe that you have the power to control yourself and what you drink. The power of positive thinking is a must.
Here are some non-AA alcohol treatments available:
- Behavioral therapy: involves the help of a therapist in changing a recovery patient’s attitude and behavior towards drinking. It also helps the patient to develop some skills to prevent drinking relapses.
- Group Therapy: can be an excellent way of overcoming drinking problems. This therapy involves peer groups experiencing the same problem for them to recover together. With the group, peers will have the opportunity to share their experiences and ideas on the best practices of staying sober while being able to do activities together to avoid craving of alcohol.
- Medications: There are various approved medications that can help in the management of alcohol dependence especially if used together with therapy. Such medicines would include Naltrexone, Benzodiazepines, Disulfiram, Odansetron and Acamprosate.
You do not need to rely on AA for your drinking problems because there are non-AA alcohol treatments that can serve as the alternatives. The preceding alternatives are just some few ways to recover, you can check out our How to Give up Alcohol Course for more. You can also go to our Treatment Directory page to find treatment options near you.