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How to Get Sober Without AA

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If you’re in the addiction recovery space, you’ve likely attended Alcoholics Anonymous, or know someone who has. Although Alcoholics Anonymous is a great step for anyone looking to maintain sobriety, it is not the only option. 

What is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a fellowship of men and women who have struggled with alcohol addiction and are now committed to helping others recover. It's a support group that meets regularly to share experience, strength, and hope. 

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is one of the most popular rehab programs in the world, and has helped millions of people in their recovery journey. AA can be used for achieving sobriety or maintaining sobriety, and it's designed to help participants live a sober lifestyle, one step at a time. 

AA is a self-help group, which means that people are responsible for their own progress. It's also a great support system during difficult times, as the group routinely attends meetings that focus on personal growth and relapse prevention. AA is a safe place where members can share their experiences and learn from one another. 

Who Should Attend AA?

Anyone looking to get sober, or wanting to maintain sobriety should attend AA. Family members can also attend open AA meetings in order to get a better understanding of what their loved one is going through. Closed AA meetings are limited to AA members only and those who are focused on recovery from alcohol addiction. 

You can attend AA meetings for as long as you want to. In fact, it’s encouraged that if you are a recovering alcoholic, you continue to attend meetings even years into your recovery. 

group therapy meeting


What to Expect from an AA Meeting

AA meetings provide a space where members can share experiences, advice, and feelings in a safe and confidential environment. 

Some AA meetings meet in person, while others meet online. Typically, the leader will open the meeting, and give new attendees the chance to introduce themselves. There will be a time of discussion, which could be based on a specific topic from AA literature, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (Big Book), Twelve Steps, or Daily Reflections. 

Members will also have the opportunity to share their personal experiences with alcohol use and recovery, and share any struggles that they are having. 

Most importantly, AA is non-judgmental - this means that everyone who tries it out is accepted with open arms. What's important is that AA provides support for one another regardless of location or time availability - no matter how busy someone might be!

Some AA meetings focus on the Twelve Steps and encourage members to discuss how they have applied each step to their lives. Step meetings may focus on one step each week. 


What Are 12-Step Recovery Programs?

The 12-Step program, first developed and used by Alcoholics Anonymous, is a 12-step plan in order to overcome addiction. The basic premise of this model is that those in recovery can help one another achieve and maintain sobriety, but that inner healing cannot be achieved unless they surrender to a higher power. 

The 12-Step program is not associated with any particular religion, but can fit whatever type of spirituality you choose. 

These programs can be a big help for alcoholics who are looking for a comprehensive and holistic approach to addiction recovery.

What Are the Benefits of AA?

AA provides support through 12 step programs and community involvement. There are no fees associated with the program, making it an affordable option for people of all budgets.

Additionally, Alcoholics Anonymous offers a community of fellow recovering individuals who can offer support, advice, and fellowship. Alcoholics Anonymous also provides support through its 12 step programs, which can help addicts live sober lives.


Finding Sobriety Without AA

The longer a person stays in AA, and the more frequently they attend meetings, the more likely they are to remain sober, but AA is not the solution for everyone. In many cases, it doesn’t provide the structure and accountability that is needed to maintain sobriety. 

There is a big difference between Alcoholics Anonymous and rehab programs, and it's important to find a program that fits your needs and meets your expectations. Here are a few other things you can look into, if you are finding that AA is not fulfilling your needs.


Online Support Groups

There are a variety of different types of online support groups for alcoholics and addiction. So, whether you're looking for a group that is specifically tailored to your needs or just want to connect with people who understand what you're going through, there's sure to be a group perfect for you. 

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Inpatient Treatment

If you are looking for a rehab program that will offer the most intensive and long-term treatment possible, inpatient treatment is the best option for you.


Intensive Outpatient Program

An intensive outpatient program (IOP) is a structured treatment program that takes place on an outpatient basis for those struggling with addiction and/or mental health issues. It is more structured and intense than an outpatient program, but more flexible than an inpatient program.


Outpatient Counseling

Attending individual counseling can be an extremely helpful step in the recovery process for addicts of all types. By helping you to uncover the root of your addiction, you can start the healing process. You can then learn how to change the behaviors that led you down this dark path, and finally see hope for a brighter future.


Why Choose an Intensive Outpatient Program Over AA?

There is a lot of choice when it comes to alcohol rehabilitation programs, and that can be a good thing. It's important to choose a program that is tailored to your specific needs, and that will help you overcome alcohol addiction. 


IOPs Offer More Structure and Support

If you are looking for a higher success rate, more structure, and support than AA, an IOP could be the right choice for you. IOPs offer more structure which help recovering alcoholics stay on track. This can help reduce the chances of relapse. 

therapist and patient

They also provide more support, and have dedicated professional counselors and treatment experts who can provide assistance with all aspects of sobriety.

IOPs Are More Effective

There are a number of benefits to consider when choosing an intensive outpatient program, the most important of which is the fact that results tend to be better. The program is designed to be more intensive and last for a longer period of time, compared to traditional AA programs. 

Professionally-assisted treatment offers support throughout the entire treatment process and helps people learn how to live an alcohol-free lifestyle permanently. 


Find Treatment for Alcohol Use in Virginia

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcohol addiction, Aquila Recovery of Virginia can provide treatment that includes individual and group therapy, outpatient programs, and family support. 

Our specialists are skilled in helping people recover from alcohol use disorder over the long term through intensive outpatient programs and outpatient programs. Learn more about our intensive outpatient program in Northern Virginia, or contact our addiction recovery staff to find the program that is best for you.