In recent years, there has been a growing movement of people who are critical of traditional recovery methods like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and 12-step programs. While over two million people worldwide greatly benefit from AA and 12-step programs, others may feel like they’re left without viable ways to continue the recovery journey.

Finding an appropriate alternative for yourself or a loved one can feel challenging, especially if you don’t know what options are available. Fortunately, there are many ways to continue the healing process using modern methods and new, innovative recovery strategies. Here are 7 of the best alternatives to AA and 12-step programs that can guide you along the path of lasting recovery.


Sober Companion


A sober companion or sober coach, also known as a Personal Recovery Assistant (PRA), provides support and guidance for individuals striving to maintain sobriety. Working with a sober companion is an effective 12-step alternative used alongside this or other programs, as a PRA advocates for individuals to stay involved in life while helping to identify triggers and barriers early in the recovery journey. The goal is to help recovering individuals learn from teachable moments and understand thoughts, feelings, and situations that can influence their choices.

Sober companions can provide support alongside AA or as an AA alternative. A sober companion is a sobriety support program with many benefits, such as:

  • Full-time, part-time, or hourly support
  • One-on-one coaching, mentoring, and encouragement
  • Assistance with daily living activities such as transportation, shopping, exercise, meal planning, and medication support
  • Care coordination with community-based professionals and family
  • Sober monitoring
  • Secular alcohol recovery
  • Assistance in identifying community-based support
sober companion alternative to AA

6 Other Alternatives to AA Meetings & 12-Step Programs

There are many non-AA support groups and alternatives to 12-step programs where individuals can continue healing from substance use and addiction. Consider which programs align with your goals, lifestyle, and belief system to have sustainable results. 


Celebrate Recovery

An AA alternative that still works within a 12-step model, Celebrate Recovery holds local peer-led meetings and encourages additional peer mentorship. Although both programs are based in spirituality, Celebrate Recovery focuses on a faith-based perspective. Celebrate Recovery has 8 core principles based on Christian scripture that correlate with the 12 steps of recovery.


SMART Recovery

Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART Recovery) is a 4-point program designed around motivation, cognitive-behavioral management, coping strategies, and a balanced life. SMART Recovery offers nationwide non-religious alcohol support groups to help recovering individuals abstain from substance use and continue the healing journey.


Moderation Management

Moderation Management support groups are a 9-step program with peer meetings for early-stage alcohol addiction. The program promotes early intervention and self-recognition to help individuals learn and abide by drinking limits and self-management practices. The program strives to help individuals set goals and cope with triggers and barriers.



Harm Reduction for Alcohol (HAMS) is an AA alternative to help individuals who want to change their drinking habits. The program is a peer-led support group with features like live meetings, online support forums, personal chats, and sample recovery plans. Through the program’s 17 steps, participants learn how to drink safely or reduce drinking with small steps and behavior changes.


SOS Sobriety

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is an independent alcohol recovery group that helps individuals reach and maintain abstinence. The secular alcohol recovery program provides local and online support groups to learn about factors that contribute to addiction, the cycle of sobriety, and rational decision-making.



LifeRing is a non-AA sobriety support group that aims to strengthen the sober self and weaken addiction through local and online groups, peer-to-peer support, and resources on different treatment approaches.


Begin the Healing Journey With Personal Recovery Assistance

Hired Power is an addiction and mental health recovery service provided nationally that offers Personal Recovery Assistance to help clients live sober after treatment. Our certified recovery specialists and PRAs work one-on-one with healing individuals to ensure a smooth transition into daily living. PRAs play a profound role in helping individuals establish healthy routines and navigate day-to-day activities and interactions. 

Hired Power’s highly trained and experienced professionals take time to understand each individual’s and family’s needs, circumstances, and goals to find the best PRA for each client. To learn more about Hired Power’s PRAs, additional services, and support options, contact us today or call 800.585.5816 for a free consultation.