Twelve Step Based Programs

In the 1930’s, Bill W and a doctor named “Bob” founded Alcoholics Anonymous. It was the first program in existence that worked to help people with alcoholism to find a new and revolutionary way of getting sober, as well as helping them to live a sober life.

AA is not a medical treatment for alcoholics. It is a program that is soley supported by its members who attend local AA meetings. Each person identifies himself or herself as an “alcoholic.”

To achieve lasting sobriety through AA, one must believe that alcoholism is:

  • A chronic disease
  • Always present
  • Progressive and will continue to get worse
  • Can be fatal if left untreated

After acceptance of these fundamentals, you need to see the disease and its associated behaviors as “insane.”

AA works so well that hospitals, treatment centers, and clinics have changed their treatment programs to be based on AA’s model.

In the meetings, people openly share their suc­cesses and failures in achieving sobriety. They share their experience, strength and hope with each other, helping themselves, and the others to stay on their path of sobriety.

Moderation Management (MM)

There is a dispute over the effectiveness of this non Twelve Step program. However, most of the confusion comes from a misunderstanding of what this program really is and whom it is for.

MM is not suitable for every person who has an abuse problem.  It is most helpful in meeting the needs of someone with a “beginning stage drinking problem.”

MM does not view drug addiction or alcoholism as a “disease”, nor does it advocate sobriety or abstinence.

It advocates “controlled drinking.”

However, it is said that approximately 30% of its members realize that they need to go on to an abstinence based program.

MM avoids traditional treatment approaches, especially Twelve Step programs, because they will label one as an “alcoholic” or “drug addict.” Meetings are held outside of a clinic or hospital.

MM claims that it is more like a “behavioral change program for those who want to make positive changes in their lifestyle.”

MM provides information and instruction about:

  • Alcohol
  • Moderate drinking guidelines and limits
  • Drink monitoring exercises
  • Goal setting techniques
  • Self-management strategies

MM agrees with many professionals in the field that alcohol abuse is a learned behavior (habit) for problem drinkers, and is not a disease.

Save our Selves SOS

SOS is a ” . . . self-empowerment approach to recovery and maintains that sobriety is a separate issue from all else.

SOS addresses sobriety (abstinence) as ‘Priority One,’ no matter what!”

Save Our Selves is a program that is often referred to as “Sobriety without God,” and without religious aspects.

Just as AA is not for everyone, the SOS program is not for every person who has a drinking problem.

It is however very helpful for those who reject the traditional Twelve Step programs and treatment centers that are based on the Twelve Steps.

They reject the idea that a power greater than human power can help them to attain sobriety.

Save Our Selves does not limit its outlook to one area of knowledge or theory of addiction.

SOS asserts “Honest, clear, and direct communication of feelings, thoughts, and knowledge aids in recovery and in choosing nondestructive, non delusional, and rational approaches to living sober.


Find a facility that specializes in self-help programs.