The Addiction Solution Podcast

Do People Need Support Group Meetings to Overcome Substance Use Problems? – Episode IV

Do People Need Support Group Meetings to Overcome Substance Use Problems?

by | Sep 7, 2018 | Audio/Video, The Addiction Solution Podcast

When looking for alternatives to 12 step based programs and meetings, people often look for alternative support groups. And while there are a few, the question remains, are support groups actually necessary and/or effective at helping people to change their substance use behaviors? What people fail to realize is that before 1935 when Alcoholics Anonymous was formed, those people who struggled with alcohol or drug problems simply got over their problems and moved on with their lives. The entire premise that people need some kind of support structure or meeting was literally born out of the 12 step movement. Freedom Model co-authors Mark Scheeren, Steven Slate and Michelle Dunbar discuss their personal experiences in support group meetings and where their research has taken them. They talk candidly about whether or not support group meetings are necessary or effective.



  1. Sally

    Hi guys,
    I’m a fan and appreciate your work.

    I am a SMART facilitator but TBH I only do it because it’s NOT 12 step and there’s a real need for my services here in the #rehabriviera. I teach SMART to clients in local treatment centers and sign a lot of court cards. Unfortunately SMART meetings are pretty much taken over by steppers. Or even run by steppers. Some people are even “bi program” doing AA and SMART. 🤷🏼‍♀️
    I have about an equal amount of time in each program and I’m pretty much deprogrammed from 12 step now.
    I don’t think we’re gonna get 12 step outta treatment in my lifetime but at least I can offer some real tools from psychology in the meantime.

  2. monica

    I think for me when i left AA I needed to see alternatives to AA. I found it helpful to hear more scientific topics expressed in a self help group setting. I went to SOS, MM and SMART Recovery. I don’t think it is necessary or needed. I even found that attending these alternatives helped me to deprogram. I am so happy you are doing these podcasts. I do not need them anymore at all, although I have visited a SMART Meeting to give support. Seems like the rehabs are taking people to SMART meetings now and over powering them with AA thinking. I think the whole idea that people NEED support is not valid as well. We need to empower and get on with our lives. They can get support from their family and friends.

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