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Non-12-step Recovery Programs: Alternative to 12-Step Programs

Non-12-step Recovery Programs: Alternative to 12-Step Programs

Last updated on 28 Jun, 2023

Non-12-step treatment is the approach that is generally made for people who do not believe in 12 -the step model. It has a more practical approach rather than a spiritual or religious approach which makes it easier for people to believe. These are the treatments that are medically assisted, with a lot of evidence to support it.

Non-12-step-Recovery programs are the approaches that made people life easier who do not like to surrender. Generally, the 12- step-model holds an approach that is spiritual in nature. Non 12 step model makes it easier for non-religious people. This blog contains the uses and types of Non-12-step programs. It also displays the differences between both models.

What Are Non-12-Step Treatment Programs?

It is because of this process that people don’t want to participate in the 12-step Recovery Program. It is based on high spirituality. peer or support groups where people don't want to participate in the traditional style and object to the principles (1). Both the 12-step and Non-12-step recovery programs' goals are the same, as both programs encourage abstinence from Alcohol and Drugs. Non-12-step programs don’t refer to addiction as a disease. (2)

What Are The Uses And Types Of 12-Non-Step Recovery Programs?


Some of the most common Non-12-step- Recovery Programs are

Smart Recovery

It is an alternative treatment option that basically means self-management and recovery training. This is a nonprofit organization that aims to empower addicted individuals with the right tools to overcome their addiction. There are four main components to this recovery process. They are building and maintaining motivation, coping with urges, managing emotional aspects, and living a better life.

Refugee Recovery

This program is basically based on Buddhist teachings. This is found in many non-step rehabilitation centers. This is a systematic system and process that frees people from all addictions. The main components of the theory include

  • Compassion

  • Forgiveness

  • Meditation.

Evidence-Based Treatments For Addiction

There are many scientific types of research that prove Evidence-based Treatments. There are many therapies that are provided under this treatment.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This therapy is often an important part of Addiction Recovery. Many individuals have certain behavioral patterns and beliefs that are harmful. These patterns indulge in them, which makes them even harder to quit. This therapy shows a reflection of yourself, which makes you question yourself and replace the bad ones with good ones.

Many individuals who are going through addiction believe that they are not capable of beating their Addiction. This makes you understand and believe that change is possible.

Interpersonal therapy: 

Many people believe that those who suffer from alcoholism have harmful thoughts. This not only impacts their relationship but also affects the environment. This helps in thinking and behaving, along with mending up their relationships.

Multi-systems therapy: 

This therapy focuses on the risk factors that might occur in the addiction process. These include many factors such as family, work, community, or peer group factors (3).

Medication In Addiction Recovery

 Medication helps a lot in Addiction Recovery. For instance, Naltrexone helps in reducing the cravings for Alcohol or any other toxic substances. This also helps in preventing relapses, which helps a person abstain from alcohol.

The above-mentioned are the systems that Non-12-step-treatment relies on. Though the 12-step programs and Non-12-step programs function for the same goal yet functioning differs. 12-step programs are based on high spirituality and morality, which doesn’t really work well for all. At that very point in time, you need the Non-12-step-Recovery programs, which can alienate your Addiction.

Armodafinil for Addiction Treatment 

Armodafinil can be an effective adjuntive therapy for treating addiction. It do not directly helps in managing and improving the signs of addiction but helps such people to stay motivated during the entire detox program. This Nootropi imparts a sense of motivation and boosts mood and energy that can combat relapse. So, such people can order Armodafinil 150 mg after consulting a doctor. 

Effectiveness of Non-12-Step Recovery Programs?

The effectiveness of Non-12-step-programs generally varies from person to person depending upon the individual needs of a person. Many people are dependent on the models as they are easy to access. According to a study, about 40% of people participated in  AA even though they were not religious. According to the same study laid down, about 75%of people did not participate in AA. The reason for non-participation was laid down to be the religious undertones of the 12-step model. After the survey, according to many researchers, it was found out and suggested that they might be more interested in participating in the Non-12-step-Recovery Programs (1).

Differentiation Between 12-Step & Non-12-Step Recovery Programs?

Non-12-step programs are secular in nature, and it differs highly on this ground from the 12-step model. These programs put emphasis on self-empowerment. Some people cannot accept the idea that they can’t control their addiction. Both models have the same goal, but the Non-12-step model doesn't have a higher power like a 12-step model.  Non-12-step programs don’t consider addiction to be a disease, while the 12-step model does. The 12-step program is based on more spiritual thinking rather than practicability. The Non-step program is more of a self-help group. 

The 12-step model doesn’t understand the complexity of a substance. On the other hand, as Non-12-step-model is also considered a medically-assisted treatment consider, addiction is a serious issue where professionalism is required.

How to Choose Between 12-Step and Non-12-Step Recovery Programs? 

The treatment option varies from person to person, depending on their requirement and circumstances. Both models are positive depending upon one’s individual choices. There are also many options like non-12-step Rehab Centers. You can search and find Rehab centers near you for better treatment options. Just you need to keep in mind that Addiction can be cured with a firm belief in yourself.

Our final thoughts: Non-12-step Recovery Programs

Non-12-step Recovery Program is a model where it helps people to get rid of Addiction. These are the Recovery Programs specially designed for people who do not like the principles of 12-step programs. 12-step programs are generally designed with spirituality and morality. Whereas the Non-step programs are medically assisted programs with practicability and proper survey.


The chapter “We Agnostics” of the Alcoholics Anonymous book indicates recovery from addiction without having to believe in spirituality or supreme power. Moreover, the non religious 12 step program, SMART recovery, is an effective alternate for AA.

Many individuals have recovered through this approach. Moreover, the non 12 step program is the best option for secular or non-religious individuals.

Yes, the non 12 step programs maintain privacy with a safe and trusted environment.


  1. 12-Step or Non-12-Step Recovery Programs: Which Is Right for You? sunrise house.
  2. Non-12-step-Treatment Centers, Addiction Recovery Gateway.
  3. Non-12-step-Rehab-Centers, promisesbehavioralhealth.


Disclaimer: We do not provide any medical advice.

The contents of HealthMatter are for informational purpose only and is taken by a thorough evaluation of research papers and Journals. We do not provide professional medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. We advise all readers to consult a physician before consuming any medication mentioned on the website.