People seeking or in long-term recovery, along with their families and loved ones, have a growing number of mutual aid groups to choose to participate in. Some of these groups are online and others hold in-person/face-to-face meetings in communities across the country. Helping others as part of a mutual aid group is an important way that many people have sustained their personal long-term recovery.
Find out about the growing number and scope of volunteer recovery mutual aid groups. This one-stop resource is for people in or seeking recovery from substance use disorder, their families and friends, addiction treatment service providers, and other allied service professionals. Numerous research studies have shown that mutual aid groups play a significant role in the process of recovery. Here you can learn about the many varieties of online and in-person mutual aid groups that are helping people find and sustain their recovery from substance use disorder.
The Guide to Mutual Aid Resources was developed by Ernest and Linda Kurtz for the Behavioral Health Recovery Management project in 2001. In 2005, the Guide moved to Faces & Voices of Recovery. Ernest Kurtz continued to manage it with the help of committee members Mike Boyle, Linda Kurtz, Pat Taylor and Bill White. In 2009, Lora Passetti and Bill White took over responsibility for working with committee members to update the Guide. In 2009, Faces & Voices of Recovery received funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Partner for Recovery Initiative to enhance the Guide.
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Guide to Recovery Groups
DRA is a nonprofessional, independent, 12-Step based self-help organization for people with a dual diagnosis – people with chemical dependency and emotional or psychiatric illnesses. DRA’s Preamble and Twelve Traditions help guide its meetings, groups, intergroups, and service boards to operate in ways that best nurture the recovery of all members of its Fellowship.
Founded 1989. 880 in-person meetings.
EA is a 12-Step fellowship of people who come together for the purpose of working toward recovery from emotional difficulties. EA is most suitable for people who are dually diagnosed and already attend AA or NA and people who want to use the 12 steps for emotional concerns not limited by diagnosis. Information available in English, Spanish, French, Japanese, and Spanish.
Founded 1971. 1000 chapters.
Families Anonymous (FA) is a 12-Step, self -help recovery program and fellowship of support groups for relatives and friends of those who have alcohol, drug or behavioral problems. Website includes information on meetings, literature, and an e-meeting. For those affected by drug or alcohol abuse, or related behavioral problems of a relative or friend.
Founded 1971. Over 500 in-person groups and online.
Gam-Anon is a 12-Step fellowship for men and women who are husbands, wives, relatives or close friends of compulsive gamblers who have been affected by the gambling problem. Gam-Anon’s purpose is to help individuals learn acceptance and understanding of the gambling illness, and to use the program to rebuild lives, and give assistance to those who suffer. Gam-Anon follows the same guidelines as Al-Anon Family Groups.
Founded 1960. 500 in-person groups.
GA is a fellowship of men and women who share experience, strength and hope with each other to recover from compulsive gambling by following a 12-Step program. Gamblers Anonymous has developed Twenty Questions to help individuals decide if they are compulsive gamblers and want to stop gambling. GA has a toll-free national hotline at 888-GA-HELPS or 888-424-3577.
Founded 1957. Approximately 1200 in-person meetings.
Founded by parents who lost their child to addiction, GRASP is a model support group for those who have lost loved ones. The group’s founders have information on forming groups and a link where departed loved ones can be commemorated. There’s information on coping methods, meditations, literature recommendations, and other resources and personal reflections. This group is representative of many local groups that respond to the need for support by relatives who have lost someone to alcohol and/or drugs.
Founded 2002. Seven in-person groups.
GROW, International, was originally organized in Australia. GROW in America is fully developed in Illinois and New Jersey, with some groups in Rhode Island. People come to GROW with diverse problems in living, such as mental health issues, emotional troubles, or difficulty coping with grief, loneliness, anxiety or stress. GROW offers leadership training and consultation to develop new groups.
Founded 1957. 650 in-person groups in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and other countries.
The Harm Reduction, Abstinence, and Moderation Support (HAMS) Network is a free-of-charge, peer-led support group for people concerned about their use of alcohol, marijuana, nicotine and/or caffeine. HAMS is open and welcoming to people who wish to reduce or eliminate the harm in their lives caused by any substance or any behavior. The 11 elements of the HAMS program help members to achieve safer use, reduced use, or abstinence from alcohol/drugs. HAMS sponsors live meetings in New York City and a chat room and email group as well articles on its website.
HA is a 12-Step program adapted from AA’s 12 steps and is concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of heroin addicts. There are no dues or fees for membership. HA will assist new groups that seek to begin meetings in new locations.
Founded 2004. In-person meetings in 11 states (AZ, CA, GA, IL, LA, MI, OH, SC, TX, UT, WA).
InTheRooms.com is the World’s Largest, Online Social Network for the Global Recovery Community. InTheRooms is for people already in Recovery, Seeking Immediate Help from any Addiction, and their Family, Friends and Allies. You will have unlimited access to over 117 live online Recovery meetings weekly. ITR offers AA, NA, and other 12 Step and non 12 Step Support Groups, Geo Locatable Global Meeting Finder, Daily E Meditations, Afternoon Affirmations, Free iPhone and Android Apps, Speaker Tape Library and much more. Join over 444,855 who are willing to share their Experience, Strength and Hope with you 24 / 7 / 365.
An online social networking tool with virtual meetings for the Jewish Recovery Community.
In the Rooms is a comprehensive online social network for the recovery community worldwide. Their mission is to help, inform, touch, connect, and heal those already in recovery, seeking recovery, and the family and friends supporting recovery around the world.
LifeRing sponsors face-to-face groups and online connections to chat rooms, discussion forums, blogs, and links to sources of information related to recovery from addiction. LifeRing is not affiliated with any other organization, and is independent financially, legally, and organizationally. LifeRing meetings are started and led by peer volunteers called “conveners.”
Founded in 2001. Over 115 in-person groups and online.