Alcohol Self-Help Groups List (Free or Very Inexpensive)

This alcohol self-help groups lists free or very inexpensive groups. All groups are non-12 step. It has links to more information along with other resources.

I. HAMS alcohol harm reduction program

alcohol self-help groupsThe name HAMS stands for Harm reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support. HAMS harm reduction is effective in reducing alcohol and drug problems. This is important. Many people find AA, NA, and other 12-step meetings to be embarrassing. They’re also time-consuming. And, worst of all, they’re generally ineffective.

Learn more about HAMS.

II. LifeRing

alcohol self-help groupsLifeRing believes that every alcoholic has the power to achieve lasting sobriety.  It’s hard. There are often setbacks. But in every alcoholic there exists the desire to find lasting sobriety. LifeRing works by giving positive reinforcement to abilities that people already have. The process is “Empowering Your Sober Self.”

Discover more about LifeRing.

III. Moderation Management

alcohol self-help groupsModeration Management (MM) is a behavioral change program and support group network. It’s for people concerned about their drinking and want to make positive changes. MM empowers individuals to accept personal responsibility for choosing and maintaining their own path. It can be either moderation or abstinence.

Visit Moderation Management.

IV. Rational Recovery

Rational Recovery (RR) for alcoholism is a low-cost program. It’s available through the internet as well as through books and videos. It uses cognitive therapy to help individuals achieve abstinence forever.

RR uses sound psychological principles. Not surprisingly, research has also shown that RR for alcoholism and drugs works. It’s also effective for other behaviors.

To learn more, visit this description of Rational Recovery.

V. Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS)

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous groups of pers. Its sole purpose is to help people achieve and maintain abstinence. It can be from alcoholism, drug addiction or food addiction.

Discover more about Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS).

VI. SMART Recovery

SMART Recovery (Self-Management and Recovery Training). This is a free addiction recovery support group network. It teaches self-empowerment based on scientific principles and evidence. SMART has both face-to-face group meetings and daily on-line meetings.

Want to learn more about SMART Recovery?

VII. Women for Sobriety

Women for Sobriety is a non-profit organization that helps women overcome addictions. It addresses the special needs of women in recovery. These include the need to feel self-value and self-worth. Also the need to eliminate feelings of guilt and shame.

Learn much more about Women for Sobriety self-help. 

Resources: Alcohol Self-Help Groups


Anderson, K. How to Change Your Drinking: a Harm Reduction Guide to Alcohol. NY: HAMS, 2010.

Christopher, J. How to Stay Sober: Recovery without Religion. Buffalo: Prometheus, 1988.

______. SOS Sobriety: the Proven Alternative to 12-step Programs. Buffalo: Prometheus, 1992.

Hester, R., et al. SMART Recovery. J Internet Med, 2013, 15(7), e134.

Kelly, P., et al. SMART Recovery. Drug Alc Rev, 2014, 33, 7-8.

Kishline A. Moderate Drinking: The Moderation Management Guide. NY: Crown, 1995.

MacGregor, S. and Herring, R. The SMART Pilot Project. London: Middlesex U. Drug and Alc Res Group, 2010.

Nicolaus, M. Empowering Your Sober Self. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.

National Newsletter for S.O.S. Buffalo, NY: S.O.S.

O’Sullivan, D., et al. SMART Recovery. Rehab Couns Bull, 2014.

Rational Recovery is an Effective Self-Help Program. In: Barbour, S. (Ed.) Alcohol. San Diego: Greenhaven, 1998, Pp. 135–143.

Rotgers, F., et al. Responsible Drinking: a Moderation Management Approach for Problem Drinkers. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger, 2002.

Sobriety Handbook. The SOS Way. Oakland, CA : LifeRing, 1997.

S.O.S. Newsletter. Buffalo: SOS.

Trimpey, J. Rational Recovery. NY: Pocket, 1996.

Links to Alcohol Self-Help Groups Websites

HAMS alcohol harm reduction program.


Moderation Management.

Rational Recovery.

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS).

SMART Recovery.

Women for Sobriety.

Know of any non-12 step alcohol self-help groups that should be added? If so, contact hansondl[at sign]potsdam[dot]edu/  Thanks!