The self-help movement is alive and well. From the work of Dale Carnegie ("How to Win Friends and Influence People") and Napoleon Hill ("Think and Grow Rich") to the popular "for Dummies" guides, there is no shortage of materials available for people who decide they want to make changes in their lives. 


When an addict chooses the self-help route to get help for their addiction, they are in control of their treatment, as opposed to being told or directed in the "right" direction.

What is Self Help?

Self help is where a person finds the answers to a problem they are facing on their own. As the name implies, they don't ask or rely on a third party for help.

Approach to Treatment

Treatment centers that offer a self help option allow the addict to determine the best way to approach their journey to becoming clean and sober rather than relying on a 12-step program or a defined program. The addict chooses whether they want to attend lectures, go to meetings, or learn how to use guided meditation techniques to achieve their goal of achieving sobriety.

A self-help group is made up of people who share a common experience. It provides peer-to-peer support for its members. Rather than feeling powerless, as in the case of a 12-step program, the self-help group empowers its members.

Benefits of Self Help

This way of approaching treatment allows the addict to get help without having to adopt a spiritual view that they don't agree with. Twelve step programs are sometimes criticized for being geared toward people who are religious, even though these organizations stress that their program is spiritual and open to people of all belief systems. If the person feels comfortable about their treatment choice, they are more likely to continue with the program and stay sober.

How to Find a Self Help Group

Web sites like the Self Help Group Locator can help you find local self help groups. Your local hospital's web site may have a list of groups meeting in your area. Your doctor may be able to point you in the right direction to get help for an addiction using this approach.