Become a member of Allies in Recovery and we’ll teach you how to intervene, communicate and guide your loved one toward treatment.Become a member of Allies in Recovery today.

A Recovery Method Based on Buddhist Practice

Refuge Recovery

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



In your comments, please show respect for each other and do not give advice. Please consider that your choice of words has the power to reduce stigma and change opinions (ie, "person struggling with substance use" vs. "addict", "use" vs. "abuse"...)