Support Groups for Alcohol Abuse

Support groups for alcohol abuse and addiction can provide countless benefits for those trying to get or stay sober. There are many different options, including 12-step and non-12-step programs.

When someone decides to get sober, they often feel very alone in their decision. This feeling can worsen when people isolate themselves in an attempt to avoid alcohol or people who drink.

Additionally, many people have to leave old friends behind to stay sober, as some people can play a significant role in a person’s ability to remain abstinent. This can leave the sober person feeling friendless and unsupported in his or her decision to stop drinking.

Luckily, there are many different support groups available for those who have stopped drinking or who are trying to quit. From Alcoholics Anonymous to non-12-step groups, there’s a support group to suit the needs of just about everyone.

What Are Support Groups For Alcohol Abuse?

Support groups for alcohol abuse and addiction are nothing new. In fact, the first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was first held in 1935—almost a century ago. Support groups have many purposes, with the primary one being to provide support to those who are sober or trying to get sober.

Support groups for alcohol abuse can be made up of two to three people or a hundred. There is no specific amount of people required to form a support group.

Alcohol abuse support groups are typically free to join and make no requirements on their members except a desire to quit drinking. Most also keep their memberships anonymous, so individuals can feel they are in a safe and discreet environment when attending the group.

Most support groups offer meetings at various times and locations, allowing people who work or have other responsibilities the chance to fit a meeting into their schedule. Most support groups are comprised of people trying to remain sober, and members often share their experiences and advice with each other.

Support groups provide many benefits and can help a person stay sober much longer than if he or she were to do it on his or her own.

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Why Are Support Groups For Alcohol Addiction Important?

Alcohol abuse and addiction support groups are important for a number of reasons. First and foremost, attending a support group regularly can help individuals maintain sobriety longer than those who do not attend support groups.

Support groups give people an outlet to speak and share about their experiences in sobriety and any hardships they may be trying to overcome.

Additionally, support groups give people the chance to form lasting bonds with like-minded individuals. Friendships in recovery can be highly beneficial to helping a person stay sober longer. Support groups also offer a sense of community and provide people with a place to turn when they are feeling alone or isolated in their sobriety.

What’s more, alcohol abuse and addiction support groups can help to prevent relapse. Support groups offer help and guidance as well as coping skills and tools that can help a person get through situations that would otherwise lead them to drink.

Members of support groups can share their experiences and strength and receive empathy and feedback on certain life situations and how to handle them.

Types of Support Groups For Alcohol Abuse

There are several different types of support groups for alcohol abuse and addiction. The most popular type of support groups are 12-step groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. However, there are many non-12-step groups that help countless individuals get and stay sober.

12-Step Groups

Twelve-step support groups are those that follow the 12-step method of recovery. This method emphasizes following the 12 steps—a set of 12 tasks that individuals are to complete and live by. These steps are implemented in many alcohol addiction rehab centers and have been proven successful at helping people get and stay sober.


Al-Anon is a 12-step program that was created for family members and loved ones of those struggling with an alcohol use disorder. Because alcoholism very rarely affects only the person who has it, Al-Anon provides support and guidance in how loved ones can navigate relationships with alcoholics. This support group offers a safe environment for family and friends of alcoholics to share their feelings and discuss the impact this disease has had on their lives.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous, probably the most famous support group for alcohol addiction, is a program for alcoholics or those who have a desire to quit drinking. AA follows the 12-step model and implements the use of sponsorship to provide further guidance and support for its members. AA has no dues or fees and requires complete anonymity of its members.

AA emphasizes the importance of complete abstinence in order to overcome addiction to alcohol and lead a meaningful life. They also utilize a “chip” system, in which poker chips are given to celebrate extended lengths of sobriety. AA has helped millions of people get and stay sober and is one of the most well-known support groups of alcoholism in existence.

Non-12-Step Groups

There are a number of alternatives to 12-step support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Some people don’t like that 12-step groups require you to admit complete powerlessness over alcohol or the spiritual component to 12-step meetings. Non-12-step support groups vary in type, with some that are secular and some that center around a religious component.

SMART Recovery

SMART (self-management and recovery training) Recovery utilizes a four-point program that helps members manage cravings for alcohol, learn coping mechanisms, and boost motivation and self-confidence. This program focuses on leading a well-balanced life that is self-sufficient and based in abstinence from alcohol.

SMART Recovery holds both online and in-person meetings in cities throughout the country. This program does not emphasize any spiritual or religious component, so some people find this more inviting than a 12-step program. The goal of SMART Recovery is to help members positively change their life to support and sustain sobriety.

Secular Organizations For Sobriety (SOS)

Secular Organizations for Sobriety commonly referred to as SOS, is a nonprofit organization that offers meetings both in person and online. SOS is open to anyone wishing to get and/or stay sober, and there are no dues or fees. The programs asks its members to practice anonymity while supporting and encouraging each other to remain sober.

SOS is a secular support group that does not practice any religion or spirituality in its program. SOS relies on the donations of others to remain in existence and has been around for more than 30 years.

Women For Sobriety (WFS)

Women for Sobriety (WFS) is a nonprofit organization founded by women, for women. They are based on 13 “Acceptance Statements” that promote spiritual and emotional change and growth. They offer both online and in-person meetings led by certified moderators and leaders. They also provide around-the-clock phone support for those who need it. WFS is open to any woman who wishes to get and stay sober.

Finding A Support Group For Alcohol Abuse Near You

There is a support group out there that will meet your needs and preferences. Being part of a sober community can help improve your chances in recovery and provide a safe place to form lasting relationships with others in sobriety.

For more information on support groups and other treatment resources for alcohol abuse, contact one of our treatment specialists today.

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