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Quit Drinking Without AA

Updated on May 16, 2011

It is possible to stop drinking without Alcoholics Anonymous!

Alcoholism is a terrible affliction, one that causes a lot of damage in people's lives. If you struggle with a drinking problem, the sooner you can get sober and stay sober, the better off your life will be.

Of course, getting sober is easier said than done. Achieving sobriety is especially difficult for people who have trouble accepting the tenets of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the 12 step program.

AA has helped thousands of alcoholics achieve sobriety, but the spiritual nature of the program can be a cause of struggle and confusion for many others. Everyone in this country, including treatment counselors and other health professionals, recommends AA as the only program that works, but what then are atheists, agnostics, and people who aren't spiritual supposed to do? If you can't buy into the program, the program is not going to work for you.

However, there is hope. Contrary to what many AA followers and counselors will tell you, it is possible to quit drinking without AA. Many people have done so, and there are resources out there.

Tips to quit drinking without AA

  • AA meetings without the AA program - This may sound counter to the point of this page, but here's the point: if you ignore the spiritual aspects of AA meetings, you have a chance to talk with people who have found a way to get sober, and they are willing to share their experiences of how they did so.

    I did this for a while, going to meetings (as part of a treatment program) without doing the steps, and just being around sober people helped me learn some important ideas and tactics for sobriety. And a number of AA aphorisms hold true outside of spirituality, including "One day at a time" and "The first drink gets you drunk." Before- and after-meeting socializing also gives you an outlet for your questions, concerns, and worries with people who know what you have gone through.

  • Focus on today - When you start thinking about your entire life and wondering if you'll ever drink again, it's easy to become overwhelmed and fatalistic, making it easier for you to give up. Don't tell yourself that you'll never drink again for the rest of your life. Instead, tell yourself that you won't drink today, and you won't drink tomorrow. As time keeps going by, just keep the focus on today and not drinking today. It gets easier.
  • Be open and honest - When you first confront your drinking problem, being open about it with other people can be difficult. You worry that others might judge you or think less of you, and you want to keep it a secret for privacy reasons. But I've found that being open and honest was one of the biggest changes that allowed me to stay sober. It takes away the option of drinking again without too many consequences because people will know what is really going on and won't buy your excuses. This gives you some accountability, which can be very important when getting sober. And you'll be surprised how supportive most people are. Almost everyone has been touched by alcoholism or addiction in some way, whether it's themselves, their friends, or their family, and people will respect that you're being honest about it and doing something about it.
  • Time sober becomes its own motivation - The first few months are always the toughest, and slips and relapse are very common. If this happens, don't give up. If you can get a few months sober, you find that that becomes its own motivation. If you reach six months, you'll hesitate about giving that up for a stupid drink because you'll know you're throwing that hard work away and you'll just have to start over again. And as you keep reaching milestones, it becomes even easier.

Overcoming Alcoholism without AA

My name is Emmett, and I am a recovered alcoholic. I have been sober for over two and a half years without AA and the endless cycle of meetings. I found a way to maintain sobriety on my own, and my life is so much better than it was before that I can't even describe it.

I wanted to share my experience with others who are struggling with AA, and I wanted to show these people that it is possible to quit drinking without AA. I wrote an ebook called Overcoming Alcoholism without AA to do just that.

In the ebook, I provide four reasons to avoid AA, as well as an extensive list of tips, ideas, and suggestions that I used to get sober and stay sober without AA. I also share my experience with alcoholism and my futile attempts at quitting drinking through AA, and I describe how I gained some important realizations that led me to a solid, lasting sobriety without the crutch of AA.

Quitting drinking without AA is not easy, but it is possible! Life is so much better on the other side, and I hope you let me help you along the way!

Overcoming Alcoholism without AA is available in PDF format at And you can find the Kindle version here at the Kindle Store.

Rational Recovery

Another resource I want to share is Rational Recovery, which does a great job of describing how alcoholism works and how your brain tries to trick you into drinking again. Their model helped me understand alcoholism, and helped me find ways to avoid falling into the same old traps. RR also teaches you a lot about the psychology involved in alcoholism, and how to overcome it.

You can find out more about Rational Recovery here.

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    • Dmarieinspires profile image

      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Always good to have an's all about changing the way we live and the demons inside :)