Peer support programs are some of the most used avenues for recovery, specifically connected to the original support group, Alcoholic’s Anonymous. Founded in 1935 in Akron, Ohio by Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob, the simple strategy of sitting down for coffee and helping each other remain sober from alcohol has saved hundreds of thousands of lives over the years and continues to offer such support.
Today, there are multiple different peer support programs. These include:
- 12-Step: This includes AA and other versions such as Narcotic’s Anonymous or Cocaine Anonymous. These programs help people through providing a safe supportive environment to encourage recovery. They also focus on taking a self-inventory and working to improve many things in your life. Working with an individual sponsor provides a guided approach to healing and stepwork.
- SMART Recovery: Developed as an alternative to AA, this program emphasizes coping skills and some strategies drawn from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to improve rates of sobriety.
- LifeRing: This peer support program most closely resembles AA, although makes a strong effort to avoid spiritual themes in its content, instead focusing on self and relationship healing.
- Celebrate Recovery: Often conducted through churches, this is a faith-based recovery program which includes a workshop approach, ministry, and group process used to heal from the disease of addiction.