Rational and Secular Programs

Many addiction professionals believe rational means (listed below), while useful, do not work by themselves for addicts and alcoholics because they do not fully address all the facets of the illness of addiction. However, professional organizations such as the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse have endorsed rational approaches such as Smart Recovery as constituting "evidence based practice."

Exposure Response Prevention  (killthecraving.com)
ERP® is a behavior therapy technique that systematically exposes an addict to simulated versions of their drugs of choice and the equipment related to its use in order to elicit powerful cravings. It is believed that as the addict learns to handle these triggers and cravings without giving into them, the desire to use becomes weaker and weaker over time. ERP® therapy increases self-control and confidence, resulting in a reduced likelihood of relapse. ERP® can be done through photo cards (using their book "Kill the Craving" ERP kits and their web site) or with a trained therapist (call 1-888-8-CARE-4U for more information about this version of ERP®).  ERP therapy should never be used as the sole treatment for substance abuse problems.  These are complex disorders that require a comprehensive treatment approach that can include group therapy, community-based support meetings, individual psychotherapy to handle co-occurring psychological problems, and medication where appropriate to assist in treatment.

LifeRing Secular Recovery  (lifering.org)
This non-religious recovery network is based on a group process self-help system of recovery. The web site provides a national meeting list organized by state, news bulletins, online scientific articles, a chat room with daily online meetings, reviews of recovery books, and extensive links organized by topic such as recovery groups, government/academic sites, and various approaches to healing.

Rational Recovery  (rational.org)
Rational Recovery is the concept of immediate self-recovery from addiction through the learned skill of planned abstinence. Abstinence is facilitated by using an easily-learned method called Addictive Voice Recognition Technique® (AVRT). There is no religious or spiritual component to this method of recovery. The web site offers an online course on AVRT, an online bookstore offering Rational Recovery books, audio tapes, videotapes, discussion forums, articles and essays.

Secular AA  (secularaa.org)
Secular AA is a service network and central location for sharing resources to support agnostics, atheists and freethinkers in AA. The purpose is to help broaden the reach of recovery through AA by making it more accessible and welcoming to a greater number of people. Resources include meeting lists in the US and Canada including online meetings. They also list Agnostic AA group websites, podcasts, recovery resources, and blogs.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)  (sossobriety.org)
SOS provides a non-religious path to sobriety through a network of local group meetings. Their web site offers a 24 hour online real-time chat meeting using voice or type, a meeting locator for groups in the U.S. and Europe, a sobriety tool kit, recommended readings, and more.

SMART Recovery (Self Management and Recovery Training)  (smartrecovery.org)
This nationwide not-for-profit organization provides free self-help support groups to people who want to abstain from addictive behavior. The program is based on cognitive, behavioral and educational methods that seek to change the beliefs and attitudes that can lead to addictive behavior. The site has online recovery meetings, a message board, Internet discussion groups, a meeting list and recommended reading.

Updated May 17, 2018