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The Difference Between 12 Step and Rational Recovery

answered 08:26 PM EST, Wed March 13, 2013
anonymous anonymous
What is the difference between the 12 Step recovery model, and the "rational recovery" model?
Can you use both for different addictions, or are you stuck with one once you've picked one?

I'm asking because I used the 12 Steps of AA / NA to stop drinking & using drugs (804 days today), but I can't seem to stop smoking. I'm wondering if the "rational recovery" approach could help at all.

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds

Thank you for your question and congratulations on reaching 804 days substance free. I think it's great that you want to take your recovery further to stop smoking. An overall healthier lifestyle will only help you to maintain abstinence.

An integral part of 12 Step recovery is going to meetings and developing a support system. Rational Recovery is completely online. There are no meetings. Rational Recovery is based on a system called AVRT which can be learned online. I see no reason why you couldn't continue to use your 12 Step meetings to continue your abstinence from alcohol and drugs use another approach to stop smoking. However, Rational Recovery goes against many of the concepts that you learn in a 12 Step recovery approach. AVRT will help you learn about addictive thinking and help you separate the addictive part of you from the "rational" part of your brain. The issue you may have with combining the two approaches is that Rational Recovery does not agree with the disease concept. It advocates that you can end your addiction forever. It may be confusing for you to try to combine the two very different approaches. If you feel you can take what you need from Rational Recovery and leave the rest behind, then it could be helpful. I just caution you to not abandon everything that is working for you now and completely accept another approach.

Good luck with quitting smoking!

Before trying Rational Recovery, I would look for a support group in your area to help you stop smoking. If you contact your local hospital or a county funded drug and alcohol treatment, you may find there are support groups available that would be a better fit for the 12 Step program you are already using. I hope this answers your question and good luck with quitting smoking.


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Page last updated Mar 13, 2013

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