This article was originally published on January 2, 2019 on Recovery Ways
"After leaving treatment, attending mutual aid meetings are a great way to continue your recovery. You meet other people who are also in recovery, which helps you build your sober network. Attending meetings also gives you a chance to review what you learned in treatment. At the very least, attending regular meetings is a good reminder that recovery from addiction is an ongoing process.
12-step programs such as AA are the best known and most widespread kind of mutual aid group. There are more than 100,000 AA groups alone, not counting other 12-step programs such as NA. However, the 12-step approach isn’t for everyone. Many people have legitimate differences with the 12 steps, including their reliance on the disease model of addiction and their insistence on the surrender to a higher power. For these people, an alternative approach may be more effective.
One alternative to 12-step programs is Refuge Recovery. Refuge Recovery is a relatively new organization that has quickly grown in popularity in recent years. It is a recovery method based on Buddhist practice. The Four Noble Truths of Refuge Recovery are: 1. Addiction creates suffering, 2. The cause of addiction is repetitive craving, 3. Recovery is possible, and 4. The path to recovery is available. Refuge Recovery uses mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness meditation to reduce cravings, regulate emotions, and build social connection. Meetings are free and confidential and you don’t have to be a Buddhist to attend.
The meetings themselves are fairly simple. They are peer-led, which means meetings are facilitated by a member who is familiar with the Refuge Recovery philosophy and format. No one is expected to identify as an addict or alcoholic. Meetings start with a short introduction to Refuge Recovery, along with a reading of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Then, everyone participates in a 20-minute group meditation….." Read the full article on aaagnostica.org