A 12-step program is one where addicts help other addicts through fellowship to break free from addiction. Rather than relying on themselves and their willpower to lead healthier lives, they admit they have no power over their addictions and turn their lives over to a Higher Power for help. Members also admit their shortcomings and make amends, where possible, to those they have hurt.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Alcoholics Anonymous is an organization where people who are addicted to alcohol help each other to get and stay sober. The program is not affiliated with any religious faith, and is open to anyone who wants to join. There are no fees or dues required, only a desire to lead a sober life. Alcoholics Anonymous Overview Alcoholics Anonymous has chapters in 180 countries around the world. The organization doesn't keep a list of members' names, but estimates that it has 2 million members who come from all backgrounds. Members who suffer from alcoholism range in age from their teens through all ages of adulthood. 

Cocaine Anonymous

Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of people helping others who want recovery from cocaine addiction and to stay free from cocaine use. The program is open to all who want to stop using this drug, as well as other mind-altering substances (alcohol, prescription medications, heroin, methamphetamine, etc.) Cocaine Anonymous Overview Cocaine Anonymous group was started in Los Angeles in 1982. From that first meeting, the group has expanded throughout the United States and Canada. Cocaine Anonymous ("C.A.") also has some groups staring in Europe. As of 1996, C.A. estimated its membership at 30,000.

Crystal Meth Anonymous

Crystal Meth Anonymous ("CMA") is a 12-step program where people addicted to methamphetamine help each other to stay clean. Members meet in group settings to share information and provide support to each other. Crystal Meth Anonymous Overview CMA groups are active in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The group relies on the 12-step program to getting and staying clean developed by the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Groups support themselves through donations from members, and there are no formal fees or dues charged to people who want to attend meetings.

Marijuana Anonymous

Marijuana Anonymous is an organization that seeks to help people who are trying to break free from their addiction to marijuana. The only criteria needed to join Marijuana Anonymous is a desire to stop using the drug. Marijuana Anonymous Overview Marijuana Anonymous was formed in 1989 by members of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous who felt that the issue of addiction to marijuana wasn't being taken seriously. They decided to start their own group to help fellow addicts get and stay clean.


Nar-Anon is a group that is open to friends and family members of people who are living with a behavioral addiction problem or drug abuse. Nar-Anon was started in California in 1968 and now has groups active in the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, and Mexico. Nar-Anon Overview This group provides help and support to people who have felt desperation because of someone else's addiction issues. Everyone at the meetings will appreciate what new members are going through, because they have had similar experiences themselves.

Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous ("NA") is an organization of drug addicts helping other addicts. The organization hosts 43,900 meetings each week in 127 countries around the world. Narcotics Anonymous Overview The first NA meetings were held in Los Angeles, California, in the early 1950s. Its program is based on the one used by Alcoholics Anonymous. By the early 1970s, NA established chapters in other major U.S. cities and in Australia. In 1983, NA published a book entitled, "Basic Text," which brought more attention to its activities. Enrollment jumped as a result, and by the end of the year, the group was active in more than 12 countries.

Nicotine Anonymous

Nicotine Anonymous is a 12-step program available to people who want to stop using nicotine. This program is open to those who are using nicotine withdrawal aids and smoking cessation products. Nicotine Anonymous Overview Nicotine Anonymous is a non-profit program. The only requirement for joining is the desire to be free of nicotine. Members of the group are expected to abstain from tobacco products.