The Secular Organization for Sobriety (SOS) is a nonprofit network of autonomous, non-professional local support groups dedicated solely to helping individuals achieve and maintain sobriety. It utilizes an abstinence-based recovery method for those who are uncomfortable with the spiritual or religious content of other programs. Both religious and nonreligious people are welcome at their meetings, and religion is not used as part of the treatment protocol. SOS believes that reliance on a “Higher Power” is not necessary to achieve sobriety.

Group Support Without Twelve Steps

In SOS, members share experiences, insights, information, strength, and encouragement in anonymous and supportive group meetings. The group states that “honest, clear, and direct communication of feelings, thoughts, and knowledge aids in recovery and in choosing nondestructive, non-delusional, and rational approaches to living sober and rewarding lives.”

In SOS, sobriety is a separate issue from religion and spirituality; it is the individual who achieves and maintains their own sobriety and deserves the credit for doing so. The group asserts that while the individual is ultimately responsible for their recovery, addiction thrives in isolation. Facing addiction alone is unnecessary, support from others is important, therefore group interaction can help with recovery.

There is no judgment on the form of recovery a person chooses; staying sober is the priority. The Twelve Steps used in Alcoholics Anonymous are not used in SOS meetings. Meetings are free, but voluntary member contributions support the group. Books are available for purchase on topics related to addiction as well as printed and video materials to help new groups that want to form according to SOS principles. SOS claims to be the largest non-Twelve-Step addiction recovery program in the world. Meetings are held across the U.S. and internationally.

People wishing to abstain from alcohol who seek a secular, non-12-step, supportive group environment to help them do so.

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