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Alcoholism Support Groups 

Alcohol use disorder is a serious condition that, although hard to treat, can be overcome by integrating a variety of treatment methods. 

As a patient advances in treatment, the need for medical assistance and individual therapy reduces as recovery leans more towards group therapy and support groups. 

By joining support groups, recovering alcoholics get to receive emotional support from peers dealing with the same issues. This helps create a community of like-minded individuals whose sole focus is to encourage each other to maintain lifelong sobriety. 

And although there are many substance abuse support groups, knowing which one to join can prove difficult, especially if you’re looking to join one that specifically focuses on alcoholism. 

To help you out, we’ll take a closer look at some of the main alcoholism support groups, paying close attention to their main features and effectiveness.

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Alcoholics Anonymous 

Popularly known as AA, Alcoholics Anonymous is arguably the world’s most popular drug recovery support group and opens its doors to all members regardless of age, gender or background. 

AA observes the 12-step program used by many other support groups. 

The alcoholism support group is heavily reliant on spirituality, and is founded on the principle that a Greater Power can help members overcome alcohol use disorder and maintain long-term sobriety. 

All you’ll need to join AA is just the desire to overcome alcoholism. 

However, you must be respectful of all members and honor the group by attending sessions consistently.  

Some of the spiritual principles that will guide you as an AA member include: 

  • Acknowledging that you’re powerless and have no control over alcohol 
  • Believing that a Higher Power can restore you
  • Making amends with people you harmed when addicted to alcohol

Smart Recovery

Short for Self-Management and Recovery Training, SMART is a support group based on the principles of motivation and self-empowerment

The goal of the SMART program is to help members practice abstinence by taking up positive lifestyle changes and new habits. These changes allow members to overcome triggers and cravings, thereby increasing the chances of maintaining lifelong sobriety. 

Unlike AA that applies spiritual principles, SMART leans more towards evidence-based research and involves the following components:

  • Motivation to change 
  • Learning to cope with urges 
  • Managing negative thoughts, behaviors, and feelings 
  • Living a well-balanced lifestyle 

Smart Recovery groups focus on the present and the future and help members prioritize their mental health to remain motivated. 


LifeRing is a support group that promotes sobriety through self-empowerment as opposed to a belief in a Higher Being. 

The support group is founded on three key principles– sobriety, secularity, and self-help, which makes it a great option if you aren’t big on spirituality. 

Instead of applying the same steps to every member, LifeRing embraces the concept that each person is unique and heals differently.  

In addition to sharing their respective journeys, members also get to advise and encourage one another, which helps promote individual healing. 

Members can attend physical or online meetings, depending on personal preferences.  

Women For Sobriety

Women for Sobriety (WFS), as the name suggests, is a women-only support group tailored to help members recover from alcoholism and other types of addictions. 

Some of the main strategies used by the not-for-profit  group include positive reinforcement, relaxation, cognitive restructuring, exercise, and diet. By empowering women to transform these strategies into habits, WFS helps members to remain motivated to maintain sobriety. 

The Women for Sobriety is based on 13 unique acceptance statements that encourage spiritual and emotional growth. For the program to be effective, members are expected to go through the 13 statements daily and focus on one statement every day

Moderation Management

Moderation Management (MM) is a recovery program designed to help alcohol consumers monitor their drinking habits with the goal of reducing consumption before the dependence gets out of hand. 

While Moderation Management is not recommended for patients who’ve completed inpatient programs, it often works as a great starting point for people with mild alcohol abuse problems. 

The program requires members to keep a regularly updated drinking diary that helps to determine drinking patterns and triggers. 

By working as a team, members motivate and help one other to monitor and reduce their alcohol dependence. 

Dual Recovery Anonymous

Dual Recovery Anonymous is a 12-step support group that targets people struggling with alcohol abuse and mental health problems

In addition to helping members maintain sobriety, Dual Recovery Anonymous also focuses on underlying mental health issues like anxiety disorders, depression, and bipolar disorder that mostly co-occur with alcohol addiction. 

The program fosters an environment where members can openly share about their underlying mental issues and also urges everyone to seek professional mental health treatment to reduce the chances of relapses. 

Are Alcoholism Support Groups Worth The While?

Get Help Today

Don't go through the process of recovery alone. There are people who can help you with the struggle you're facing. Get in touch with one today.

Make a Call

Alcoholism recovery is a lifelong process that doesn’t end with discharge from a rehab facility. As such, it is crucial to join support groups as part of your aftercare program. 

Once you join an alcoholism support group, you’ll get to interact with like-minded peers whose primary goal is to maintain lifelong sobriety. 

Such groups will give you the support, motivation, and strength needed to overcome triggers, as you’ll feel like part of a compassionate, non-judgmental family working towards the same goals. 

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