Stop Drinking, Drug/Alcoholism Addiction & Rehab

Alcohol Treatment Without Religion

Is it possible to get sober without religion?

For people who are struggling with alcohol addiction, the main treatment in alcohol rehabilitation uses the 12 Step Method. Because the 12 Steps were adapted from the traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous, there is a faith or religious component.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the biggest mutual support group that helps people overcome their alcohol addiction.

During the beginning of a session, in the Serenity Prayer, and during meeting where the twelve steps are discussed, God is constantly mentioned. In fact, in the updated version of the 12 Steps, “God” is used four times, the word “Him” is mentioned three times, and the word “prayer” is mentioned in step 11.

One of the biggest reasons why people are hesitant to join AA is because of the faith issue. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, 2% of the world’s population are self-identified atheists.

In America alone, atheist account for 10% of the population. For many atheist and agnostics out there who want to start quitting alcohol, the options seem limited.

People who want to get started on their journey to sobriety want to join AA, but cannot come to terms with AA’s religious scene. It is the same situation when they enter alcohol rehabilitation clinics—the 12 Steps dominate.

Here is a guide to systems that lead to sobriety, without religion, without God.


But first of all, I have a personal stake in writing about this: I am an atheist.

So far, these are what I have discovered about Alcohol Treatment without religion:

Non-religious alcohol addiction treatments include:
• Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
• Community Reinforcement Approach
• Behavioral Couples Therapy
• Motivational Enhancement Therapy
• Neurofeedback Therapy
• Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
• Brief one-on-one or group interventions

In alcohol rehab clinics, medication is used together with therapy increase the possibility of alcohol recovery. When this is utilized, the emphasis is on alcoholism as a brain disease. This mindset helps people to think, “I will make myself better, because I am sick. There is a cure and I will use it.”

In addition to therapy in rehab clinics, non-religious mutual support groups exist. Always remember that mutual support groups must not also be confused with treatment. Support groups are organizations that help enhance the efficacy of treatment, but joining a group is not treatment in itself.

Here are the non-religious mutual support groups I found that use the abstinence model:

• Sober Grid, founded by Beau Mann
Sober Grid is a smartphone app created by Beau Mann. He described his realization that sober warriors do not have a social network like gay men have Grindr and runners have Runkeeper.

Having a digital community of like-minded people prevents relapses. Recently, there is news that the app can predict when relapses will occur. Best of all, Sober Grid is completely free, downloadable in Apple and Android App stores.

If you check out Sober Grid’s Youtube channel, he as a video of the 12 Steps interpreted as principles, with no hint of God whatsoever.


• Smart Recovery
Without using the labels “addict” and “alcoholic”, SMART recovery describes itself as present and future oriented. It aims to help people develop coping skills to deal with life’s ordinary and extraordinary upsets. SMART recovery’s four points are:

o Point 1: Building and Maintaining Motivation
o Point 2: Coping with Urges
o Point 3: Managing Thoughts, Feelings and Behaviors
o Point 4: Living a Balanced Life
SMART recovery meetings are free. Like AA, it is non-profit organization.


• Secular AA
This group also belongs to AA. It uses a version of the twelve steps. They insist that they are “not taking God out of AA”, but are conducting meetings that hold fast to the third tradition of AA, that a belief in God is not a requirement for sobriety.


• AA Agnostica
Members of AA Agnostica are AA members. The group does not endorse any religion or atheist group. They have their own version of the 12 Steps, which they follow. This group pretty much runs like AA, without the faith component.


• Life Ring
Life Ring uses a 3-S approach to combat alcohol addiction. It is based in USA. In its website introduction, “Day One”, it describes seeing alcohol addiction not as a sin. In addition, it reminds people that, “It does no good to punish or psychoanalyze yourself, [our] recovery meetings exist not to judge you or shame you or guilt you for your drugged/drunken past, but to support you in building your sober present and future.”


• Women for Sobriety (WFS)
WFS uses thirteen principles called “Acceptance Statements”. The organization is exclusive to women only. WFS promotes self-help, self-acceptance, and women empowerment. Their new member packet guide also describes six levels of recovery, which members are expected to go through in a fluid way. (WFS explains that sometimes people need to revisit a level during trying times, when recovery slows down).


As for the Harm Reduction or Moderation model, I found the following mutual support groups:

Moderation Management (

MM has holds face-to-face group meetings with its members.


If you prefer to intereact online at first, there are chat rooms available. MM has affiliated therapists who support moderate drinking. In terms of method used, MM advocates keeping a Drinking Diary, comparing your drinking to a guide, and following the program’s “steps to change”.

The first part uses “Your 30”. This is a thirty-day period of abstinence. MM does not mention God in any part of its program.


Moderation Drinking (MD)

MD is the digital arm of SMART recovery. Its new name is “Check Up and Choices”. MD claims that using the app has been clinically proven by the US National Institute of Health to help people drink less alcohol. The app is personalized, interactive and confidential.


Check Up and Choices is an online program that has a monthly fee.

This list that I have compiled in not exhaustive.

There are new mutual support groups and therapeutic processes that are being developed as I write.


Alcohol addiction complex disorder, many factors are involved.


We cannot change our genetic make-up, we cannot change what happened in the past, neither can we change who we are at the core (spiritual or philosophical beliefs included).


But what we can change is our addiction to alcohol.

How to Stop Drinking Alcohol Safely

Why It is Important to Quit Drinking

Alcohol addiction or alcohol use disorder is a serious health concern due to the effects the heavy drinking can have on the body. Not only can alcohol affect the body but alcoholism can have an effect on a person’s social and personal life as well. There will come a time where the effects of alcohol abuse can make one want to consider quitting, however, it is easier said than done and some just return to drinking after trying and failing to quit. It however remains important to quit to live a better and longer life.


Simple Steps to Quitting

Quitting excessive drinking isn’t as straightforward as just putting a stop to drinking and most alcoholics have realized that by now. It is a step-by-step process and needs to be seen through to the end. Below is a short and simple guideline to quitting.


1. Make Up Your Mind and Be Determined to Quit

For many alcoholics, quitting can seem like a long hard road or just an impossible journey. However, every alcoholic must be able to evaluate and acknowledge the advantages of quitting and be determined to make the move and see it through.


2. Set Personal Realistic Goals

The next important step is to set personal realistic goals that will lead you to quitting totally. You can start by setting goals such as when you will start to quit, setting drinking limits for yourself, when you will quit completely, etc.


3. Seek Help

Although many people try to quit by themselves, it is not a safe way and most times it only takes you back to square one. Sudden alcohol cessation can lead to serious health conditions including heart failure [1]. It is best to seek help from a professional, preferably a doctor or therapist to help guide you through the process or to recommend the best alcohol rehab centers near you to help with your treatment and rehabilitation.


3.Follow the Rules of Your Treatment Program Religiously

One of the problems recovering alcoholics face is following the rules of the rehab or treatment program they are in due to an urge to return to drinking during this time and withdrawal symptoms. The fact of the matter is that, these programs are specifically designed to take people off drinking safely and totally and therefore all the steps and rules put in place are designed to do just that purpose. Trusting the process and letting it take its course is your best bet to quitting and total alcohol detoxification.


4. Be determined to stay sober

Once you are able to quit drinking, staying sober should be one of your top priorities. Always be determined to keep away from drinking and keep away from temptations to drink. You can also seek group support by joining an AA group and learning from the experiences of people who have been in a similar situation.


What are Some Safe Alcohol Abuse Treatment Options?

Quitting excessive alcohol use safely is important because of the threats sudden withdrawal and self-detoxification can have when not done properly. There are various alcohol treatment options for people who want to quit drinking and all are made of two important components for quitting; professional supervision and peer support. These two important components are found in most alcohol treatment centers in London which include these in their treatment plans. Some of the available treatment options for alcohol use include:

  • Mutual-Support Groups

Mutual support groups can offer peer support to alcoholics and recovering alcoholics. This treatment option however offers the most value when used in conjunction with other treatment options for better results. Alcoholics Anonymous groups offer advise and share stories which each member can learn from as well as give each other emotional support when need be. The success rate of these groups has not yet been established through research due to their anonymous nature.

  • Behavioural Therapy

Behavioural therapy has been established as one of the most successful methods of helping people quit.[2] There are different types of behavioural therapies that can be used to help people quit drinking. These types help with planning treatment with a professional and under supervision to help modify drinking behaviours and behaviours that lead to excessive drinking. The Types of Behavioural therapies used include:


1. Motivational Enhancement Therapy

This type of therapy is used within a short time frame to modify drinking behavior by putting up and strengthening motivational behaviours by helping alcoholics evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of quitting. This not only helps change drinking behaviour but also instills confidence and helps people stick to the plan.


2. Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy

This type of behavioural therapy deals with identifying all the cues and triggers that lead to excessive drinking. This is an individual-based therapy that has to do with interacting with each person one-on-one to determine how best to go about the process and manage their thought-processes. It also helps to manage individual’s post-treatment behaviours to support them and prevent relapse.


3. Brief Interventions

This kind of intervention can either be done as a small group or individually and has a set time. The professional will supervise each session and determine the drinking patterns and possible risks of each person and plan the appropriate intervention to use to modify their drinking behaviour.


4. Family or Marital Counselling

Much similar to the counselling couples get to prevent divorce, this type of therapy includes the family or spouses in the treatment process and helps mend relationships as well as provide support for the one who wants to quit.



There are a couple of approved medications that help cut back drinking, stop drinking as well as help with withdrawal symptoms that can come with quitting. These drugs are specially made to treat alcohol dependence. These medications can be used alone on in conjunction with other forms of treatment for best results.



These treatment options are all important and quite effective to safely stop drinking alcohol. It is more important to seek help for your alcohol addiction than which method to choose. Alcohol treatment and rehab centers have professionals that can help you safely quit drinking. It is always best to eek help before you hit rock bottom. But when you do hit rock bottom, there is still help available for you.

The Guide Is Open


Welcome to the guide!

Over the coming days and weeks we’ll be casting a light into the mysterious world of alcohol and drug addiction recovery – from those who’ve actually been there personally.

Those in addiction are often ostracised or isolated from the rest of their group – be that spouse, children, or wider friends and peers – partly down to the addiction itself but also partly due to the stigma that surrounds addiction – and sadly – the misunderstandings around how people get into it – and out it.

We’re here to set the record straight, and give a voice to those who *are* in recovery – to help those suffering with addiction find a voice and a place – to feel safe, to develop themselves, and move forward from – no matter their background.

So stay tuned for premium content, interviews, guest blogs, and podcasts, on the topics you want to hear about most – addiction recovery, treatment, and rehab.