Mutual Aid Groups

The American National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) reports:

Last year alone, more than 5,000,000 people across the nation attended mutual aid/support groups…. Since AA started in 1935 and Al-Anon in 1951, there has been a dramatic growth in the number of mutual aid/self-help groups addressing a wide variety of needs of people coping with alcoholism and drug addiction, as well as many other types of problems: food, sex, gambling and a range of mental health issues.

Those who attend mutual aid/support groups often find a deep sense of fit–a sense of finally discovering and connecting to the whole of which one is a part. Within this community of like-minded individuals, mutual aid/support groups help you take responsibility for your alcohol and drug problems and for your recovery.

Says William L. White, a noted recovery advocate, “The recovery community is a place where shared pain and hope can be woven by its members into life-saving stories whose mutual exchange is more akin to communion than communication. This sanctuary of the estranged fills spiritual as well as physical space. It is a place of refuge, refreshment and renewal. It is a place that defies commercialization – a place whose most important assets are not for sale.”

Mutual aid groups are nonprofessional and include members who share the same problem and voluntarily support one another. Mutual aid groups do not provide treatment but provide social, emotional and informational support focused on taking responsibility for their alcohol and drug problems and their sustained health, wellness, and recovery.

The Mutual Aid (or Self-Help) Groups listed at Recovery 101 include:

Alcoholics Anonymous
Other 12-Step Fellowships
Al-Anon, Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACA) and Codependents Anonymous (CODA)
SMART Recovery
LifeRing Secular Recovery
Women for Sobriety
Secular Organization for Sobriery (SOS)