Alcoholics Anonymous is arguably the most well-known of all the 12 step programs, but there are a number of other groups that have been formed using this treatment model. By attending meetings, listening and sharing experiences with others who are living with similar addiction issues, participants can find the strength and support to stay sober one day at at time. The following are a few examples of 12 step programs available to addicts.
Eight Helpful 12 Step Programs
The first Cocaine Anonymous (CA) group was started in Los Angeles in 1982. The group now has chapters located throughout the United States, as well as in Canada. CA chapters are also forming in Europe. Membership is open to anyone with an addiction to cocaine, crack cocaine or any other "mind altering" substance, including alcohol, marijuana or prescription medications.
Clutterers Anonymous (CLA) defines clutter as anything the group members want to be free of that threatens their serenity. Clutter can be something taking up a person's time, space or energy. It also includes resentments that members are holding onto, toxic relationships or activities that no longer have any meaning for the individual. CLA offers members face-to-face and phone meetings.
Codependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a group of people who want to have healthy relationships. This 12 step program doesn't have a specific definition for codependency, but instead offers a list of patterns and characteristics that are associated with this type of behavior pattern. Someone who is codependent may have issues with the following:
- Low self-esteem
An organization for people who want to stop accumulating unsecured debt, Debtors Anonymous (DA) offers fellowship and support to members. DA was founded in 1968 by a group of Alcoholics Anonymous members who started meeting to discuss the problems they were having with money. Now, more than 500 chapters are active in the United States. DA also has groups operating in other countries around the world.
The first Gamblers Anonymous (GA) meeting was held between two men who started meeting in 1957. Both of them had an obsession with gambling, and neither one of them went back to their previous behavior once they began sharing their experiences.
On September 13, 1957, the first group meeting for GA was held in Los Angeles. Since that time, the organization has grown steadily and now meetings are held in several cities in the United States. GA meetings are also held in over 55 countries around the world.
Overeaters Anonymous is not a diet group. Weight loss, gaining weight or achieving a certain weight is not the goal of members. Instead, this 12 step program focuses on helping members stop compulsive overeating. Members of the group may have a pattern of binge eating, fantasizing about food or using diet pills. Some of them may abuse laxatives or try starving themselves. Others may be unable to stop eating certain foods once they start.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
People who go to Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (S.L.A.A.) meetings all understand what it's like to have a sex or love addiction. Group members see this as a progressive illness. People who seek help can attain sobriety with the support of fellow addicts. People may benefit from joining an S.L.A.A. group if they are experiencing the following types of issues in their lives:
- Compulsive need to engage in sexual activity
- Dependency on one person (or many people)
- Preoccupation with fantasy or romance
Working hard is usually considered a positive trait, but some people become so engaged in their work that it takes precedence over family and other activities. Workaholics Anonymous meetings are held in person, by phone or online. There are over 50 active groups within the organization.
Anonymous and Free
All the organizations on this list of 12 step programs have the word "anonymous" in their names to indicate that any information shared by group members is considered confidential. The groups are self-supporting through donations, and are not affiliated with any group, organization or charity. Members are not required to pay any fees to seek help from the program. All they need is a sincere desire to break the cycle of addiction in their lives.