utah addiction

I Don’t Want To Do A 12 Step Program: What Are My Options?

Both Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous will be the first to tell you that they do not have a monopoly on recovery. They merely offer one solution for getting sober that has proven pretty effective for many people. That being said there are people who do not want to participate in a 12 Step program or have found that the 12 Steps just don’t seem to work for them. There arealternatives to 12-step programs that work. Many times these people can feel at a loss because they may have been lead to believe that if they can’t get sober in AA or NA then there is no hope for them. This, however, is not the case and there are a number of other options for getting sober if you do not want to be involved in a 12 Step Program.

Options For Getting Sober Without The Steps

 In the early 20th century renowned psychiatrist Carl Jung expressed the fact that in order for someone to overcome their addiction or alcoholism, something needed to occur that would result in a complete shift in thinking. Jung went on to say how often times therapy alone was not sufficient for this shift to take place, but something else, something along the lines of a spiritual experience, needed to take place in order for the shift to occur. For those who are opposed to the idea of spirituality in any sense of the word, try to keep an open mind and think of it as a change of the psyche, which is what all of these alternatives to AA or NA propose in one form or another.

Traditional Therapy

Often times traditional therapy is not enough to get someone sober because the element of relating is not there, but there are some cases where therapy has gotten people sober. If you are opposed to the idea of going to 12 Step meetings then check out therapy and see if this method of treatment will work in allowing you to overcome your addiction.

 Celebrate Recovery

Celebrate Recovery was started in the early 90s as a Christian support group for people suffering from alcoholism and addiction. Rather than using 12 Steps, it has 8 principles which it follows, that adhere to the beatitudes. Even though the program is somewhat based on the 12 Steps, it is in no way associated with AA or NA and its usage of the bible may make it useful for someone who is Christian. There are currently over 10,000 churches that offer Celebrate Recovery so finding a meeting near you should not be too difficult.

 SMART Recovery

Smart Recovery uses the ideas of cognitive behavioral therapy in order to allow its members to re-associate certain environmental and emotional influences that may have caused their alcoholism or addiction. By doing this the program allows its members to create healthier patterns of actions and thoughts, which break the cycle of addictive behaviors. The program employs the latest scientific and psychiatric research and although it is based on abstinence only, the program is not opposed to having members who are not sure if they want to quit completely. The goal is to empower its members and this is done by following a 4-point program consisting of:

  1. Building and maintaining motivation
  2. Coping with urges
  3. Managing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors
  4. Living a balanced life

Secular Organizations for Sobriety

Secular Organizations for Sobriety was started in the 1980s by a former AA member who felt uncomfortable with AA’s insistence on turning the will over to a higher power. He felt that by taking personal responsibility for his drinking and removing this notion from the idea of God, it would be more beneficial to his sobriety and life. There is no real structure of this program besides the idea of taking responsible for your actions and a few other suggestions as well.

Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety for formed in the 1970s by a socialist named Jean Kirkpatrick, who felt that what women needed in order to get sober was different from what men needed. Her approach differs from AA in that she views alcoholism as something that develops out of emotional problems, rather than alcoholism being the underlying cause behind other issues.

 LifeRing Secular Recovery

LifeRing Secular Recovery is an offshoot of Secular Organizations for Sobriety. Some members of SOS disagreed with the structure of the program and so they decided to start their own program. LifeRing Secular Recovery has three principles, which are centered on the ideas of sobriety, secularism, and self-help. In many ways, they are similar to SOS and they have grown quite a bit over the past 10 years.

 Religion

Finding sobriety through your chosen faith is a way that many people who do not go to AA or NA finally get sober. In fact, besides AA or NA, this is probably the most popular method of getting sober. The support that can be found in the church, synagogue, or mosque, coupled with a spiritual influence can be exactly what is needed in order to overcome addiction or alcoholism.

If you are at a point with your drinking or using where you feel that you need to make a change but do not want to go to a 12 Step Program, then seek out information on one of the alternatives above. Just because you do not want to go to AA or NA does not mean that you do not have the option to get sober. There are many people who felt exactly like you do and they were able to find their own niche in recovery. Hopefully this information was helpful to you and I hope that in the end you find exactly what it is that you are looking for. 

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Rose Lockinger is a passionate member of the recovery community. A rebel who found her cause, she uses blogging and social media to raise the awareness about the disease of addiction. She has visited all over North and South America. Single mom to two beautiful children she has learned parenting is without a doubt the most rewarding job in the world. Currently the Outreach Director at Stodzy Internet Marketing.

You can find me on LinkedIn, Facebook, & Instagram

 

 

 

Shannon Egan Celebrates 5 Years in Recovery

Five years ago I crashed my parent’s car into a ditch and ended up in jail with my 3rd DUI-- and with that I became a convicted felon. Today, I am a public face and voice for recovery in my community and the National Recovery Movement, and I’m so honored to carry the message in order to#SquashStigma and infuse hope. However, after publishing my first addiction memoir, No Tourists Allowed, I was reminded that I am not just a woman in long-term recovery, but much more. 

Prior to my felony, I was writing about sexual and reproductive health issues in emergency settings for the UN Population Fund in NYC, which required an in-depth understanding of how the ‘culture of silence’ surrounding sex further exacerbated life threatening situations for families and communities around the world. I was an avid reader and researcher, and I had dreams of traveling the world, and writing many books that empowered readers and challenged the status quo in creativity, spirituality, sex, addiction, religion, and so forth. 

At five years, the time has come for me to live a more balanced and authentic life. Besides working for USARA and advocating for recovery nationally, I want to take my creativity and sensuality (gasp! 😱) to the next level through #Cosplay, and develop more networks outside of the recovery community. 

This year, I will publish my second memoir, Sex, Drugs & Recovery (which picks up after Africa and takes place in NYC), and in 2017, I’ll publish a third: Girl Gone Global, which will feature a variety of travel stories and humanitarian issues that didn’t make the first two. One day, I hope to go back out into the world and wander for a while (with my cats in tow, won’t that be interesting!) 

I hope you’ll join me in the quest to live more authentically--despite the judgements of others. I believe it’s an opportunity for individuals to practice tolerance —if they’re awake—and gain a deeper understanding of the concept of multiple pathways in all things. 

As Steve Jobs put it, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” 

💫 As for me, I choose to live my life boldly and with great passion. 💫

Thank you for sharing the journey with me, Shan. 

 

EX-MORMON SPEAKS OUT ABOUT UTAH'S ADDICTION AND RELIGIOUS CHALLENGES IN NEW BOOK

International journalist, author, and addiction recovery advocate, Shannon Egan of Salt Lake City, debuts her first memoir: NO TOURISTS ALLOWED: Seeking Inner Peace and Sobriety in War-Torn Sudan. Her story is set in Khartoum, Sudan where Egan worked as a freelance journalist for IRIN News of the United Nations from 2004-2006. Following this, Egan wrote for the United Nations Population Fund in New York City and reported on issues that affect women and young people during humanitarian crises, such as sexual and reproductive health, and gender-based violence. 

Despite her success, Egan struggled with drug and alcohol addiction for nearly fifteen years. Her book is dedicated to the person still struggling with addiction. She hopes that by sharing her story readers will find purpose and meaning in their own struggles and know for themselves that recovery is possible. 

"Today, I have nearly five years in recovery, and I'm not just sober, but I'm happy, healthy, and thriving both professionally and personally.  I've come a long way considering that in 2011 I woke up in a jail cell for the third time in my life with a horrific hangover, still slightly intoxicated, and refusing to believe that I had an addiction problem," Egan says. 

Egan currently works as the Development and Communications Director for USARA, Utah’s statewide Recovery Community Organization, and as a Recovery Advocate for the National Recovery Movement in order to reduce the stigma surrounding addiction as well as barriers to sustaining long-term recovery. 

She says she left for Africa at the age of twenty-five in order to escape Utah's unique religious culture where oppression and persecution against non-Mormons is still very prevalent; Utah is the only state with a Mormon majority and a majority population belonging to a single church. In Salt Lake County alone there are over 500,000 members, four temples, six missions, 174 stakes, the Tabernacle Choir, the Mormon Prophet, and most of his twelve apostles--all packed into 740 square miles. 

Egan grew up in a Mormon household and says as a young person her desire to  seek God differently than the predominant religion caused great heartache. "At times, fear-based messaging, manipulation, and control were used to promote religious dogma in attempt to get me to conform. After years of being bullied and ostracized 'in the name of God' I turned to drugs and alcohol in order to cope. 

"This is not just my story but the story of many. Through my work for Utah’s recovery community I come across many individuals who are suffering from similar wounds. Our addiction recovery rooms are  filled with Mormons and ex-Mormons hiding in shame and secrecy because they've been broken by religious persecution and are afraid to speak out."

As of 2014, Utah ranks fifth out of all fifty states in the number of opiate-related overdose deaths. This number is higher here than the national average and increasing exponentially: in Utah, more people are dying from drug-related deaths than car accidents and firearms.

"By sharing my story, I hope to facilitate a positive conversation around addiction and religion throughout the world, and specifically in Utah, where a substance use epidemic is wiping out my family, friends, and community members at an alarming rate. It’s time for our community to address these issues lovingly, compassionately, and in support of our spiritual differences." 

No Tourists Allowed is a story of self-discovery leading outward. From her fight with alcoholism to the global media system that often puts in jeopardy the lives it wants to protect, Shannon sings of despair and celebration, relapse and recovery, and learning, finally, to love the unlovely. 

Egan is available for interviews and appearances. For booking presentations, media appearances, interviews, and/or book-signings contact author@shannonegan.com