a woman beginning a non 12 step rehab program Most people need support from peers during and after addiction treatment to help maintain their sobriety. Peer support means getting together with like-minded individuals who’ve been in your shoes and know what it’s like to leave drugs or alcohol behind and do the work of recovery. They understand your struggles and celebrate your victories alongside you. Many find this support through 12-step groups, but they’re not a good fit for everyone. Fortunately, there are many alternatives available.

At Clarity Way treatment center, we meet you where you are. We understand that recovery looks different from one person to the next, which is why we offer both 12-step groups and alternatives. We’ll help you discover what works best for your individual recovery, whether that includes the 12 Steps or an alternative that incorporates peer support.

What Are 12-Step Groups?

Twelve-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous® are well-known in the recovery community. Similar programs include Narcotics Anonymous® and Crystal Meth Anonymous®. These groups are often peer-led, and most attendees are also recovering addicts. Participants find a sense of community through shared struggles. They learn from one another about how best to stay sober.

To get the full benefits from a 12-step group, you “work the steps.” The 12 Steps can be summarized by the following points:

  • Admitting you are powerless over your addiction
  • Looking to a higher power for help
  • Accepting responsibility for your mistakes and making amends
  • Creating new morals and values for yourself and acting on them
  • Sharing your experience and wisdom by helping newer recovering addicts

That last point highlights the importance of sponsorship in 12-step groups. A sponsor is someone who guides and mentors a newer member of the community. They come to know your history, triggers, and relapse warning signs. Sponsors can then help you correct your course through support and advice.

Common Concerns About 12-Step Groups

Traditional 12-step rehabilitation programs don’t work for everyone. In a study conducted over a 30-year period, 81% of newcomers to AA stopped attending in their first month. There are many reasons people may not continue in a 12-Step group:

  • Focus on spirituality – Although “higher power” doesn’t have to mean God, AA is a self-identified Christian organization. Other 12-step groups are not, but still have a spiritual focus. They are influenced by religious themes and practices like prayer. Some participants find the concepts too basic, such as asking a higher power to remove defects of character. Others who attend aren’t religious and may find these religious elements uncomfortable.
  • Outdated and/or accusatory language – Members are asked to identify as “addicts” for life. This may not sit well with some people suffering with substance abuse.
  • One-size-fits-all approach – Only 15% of those with alcohol addiction are diagnosed with a severe alcohol use disorder. Some people find 12-step groups are tailored to those with complex and pervasive alcoholism or drug addiction. Alternatives take into account that some have milder addictions and may not want or need the type of in-depth personal reflection that AA and NA ask for.

At Clarity Way, you have the option of attending tried-and-tested 12-step groups. If you’re seeking a different approach or you’ve tried the 12 Steps and found they weren’t for you, Clarity Way offers a variety of alternatives. These include Refuge Recovery®Stages of Change and SMART Recovery®.

Non 12 Step Rehab Programs

Clarity Way provides clients a high level of control over their recovery. This means involving you in key decisions about your treatment plan. You and your therapists identify treatment modalities and activities that align with your individual goals, interests, and needs. You can also customize an aftercare addiction treatment program.

Our non-12-step approach includes:

Stages of Change Model

The Stages of Change model helps therapists, clients and loved ones understand drug addiction and the motivation to change. With specialized training in this model, our clinicians assess whether you’re ready to be sober. Then therapists work with you to choose and carry out customized treatments that meet you where you are in your journey of recovery.

The Stages of Change model views recovery as a timeline, broken up into five segments:

  1. Precontemplation (not ready for change)
  2. Contemplation (considering making a change)
  3. Preparation (ready to make a change and planning to act within the month)
  4. Action (has made significant lifestyle changes within the last six months)
  5. Maintenance (increasing confidence and working to prevent relapse)

Our clinicians at Clarity Way help you determine your current stage. We’ll continually re-assess your progress as you work through your substance abuse treatment plan.

SMART Recovery® Meetings

Another non-12 step alternative, SMART Recovery® is a non-spiritual, non-step, self-empowering alcohol and drug addiction recovery support group. SMART stands for Self-Management and Recovery Training. Clients who participate in our SMART Recovery® support groups engage in supportive, educational meetings and evidence-based psychological treatments and medications, according to need. SMART Recovery® is a four-point program that includes:

  1. Building and maintaining motivation
  2. Coping with urges
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  4. Living a balanced life

This approach views substance abuse as an unhealthy way of coping with life’s hardships. It teaches “common sense self-help procedures” and uses a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy called rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT). According to this therapy model, your thinking influences your emotions, which then influence your actions. By altering your thoughts, you can change your behavior.

Refuge Recovery

Refuge Recovery is a Buddhist treatment method that integrates mindfulness practices. It is non-theistic, which means that it doesn’t involve a belief in God or a higher power. You learn to view your life and actions from an accepting and non-judgmental perspective. This recovery approach emphasizes empathy and knowledge as the keys to healing from addiction and underlying issues. It draws on teachings from the Four Noble Truths:

  1. Addiction creates suffering.
  2. The cause of addiction is repetitive craving.
  3. Recovery is possible.
  4. The path to recovery is available.

Practices like meditation, service to others and yoga can help you break free from the grip of substance abuse.


We recognize that spirituality can be a vital resource for many people in recovery. That’s why it’s such a major component of many 12-step groups. We make it easy for you to take the spiritual elements of 12-step programs and integrate them into your treatment plan. Clarity Way doesn’t endorse a particular religion, but we support all clients in their quest to develop a deeper level of spirituality—whatever that means to them. You’ll have opportunities to engage in mindfulness practices and other activities. These include meditation groups, yoga, and outings to local religious services.

Would you like to learn more about support group and alcohol and drug rehab options at Clarity Way? Give us a call at  17172253906 to start a conversation with us about what treatment will look like for you.