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Alcoholics Anonymous for nonbelievers

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A problem that's becoming more visible in this increasingly secular society is how much it is assumed in so many cases that one prescribes to a Christian view of the supernatural. One of the places this reveals itself is in the substance abuse arena. Higher intelligence has been linked to atheism in many studies, while others have linked higher intelligence to higher likelihood of substance abuse. So you can see why linking religion to recovery may be a problem for some people.

Well now there is an answer. We Agnostic and Freethinkers International AA Convention (WAFT IAAC) is organizing within Alcoholics Anonymous to create more inclusive meetings for nonreligious addicts. Their website has links to nonreligious AA meetings around the world. They also include instructions for starting your own meeting if there isn't one in the area to accommodate your needs.

There is also the problem with the famous twelve steps of AA. Six out of the twelve involve God in some way or another with the twelfth step being a spiritual awakening. There is now an alternative to that, as well, The Alternative 12 Steps: A Secular Guide to Recovery. It's available as an ebook in all of the popular formats, but it's also being made available online by AA Agnostic, a new chapter every month.

So far the introductory chapter, A Program for Living, is available online, as well as Step 1. Step 2 will be published on March 26. Here is a paragraph from the introduction that sums up the idea well:

We believe the 12-Step program suggests a practical philosophy for each of us – a philosophy of living. We also believe this program needs to be kept separate from any religious implications. In order to work the Steps, what we think about God doesn't matter but what we believe about our own whole self does.

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