Finding 12-Step Meetings

Whether you live in small-town Utah, love the fast-paced culture of Olympia, or reside in one of the many big cities and small towns in Montana, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, or across the United States, drug addiction treatment can make life challenging. Finding the drug rehab you need isn’t always easy, especially if you’re on the fence about seeking drug treatment in the first place. Addiction treatment works, though, and 12-step meetings are the perfect option for independent-minded addicts who prefer a do-it-yourself approach. To successfully recover from drug addiction or alcoholism, you need not just a good Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous group; you need the best drug rehab group for your needs and values.

Why Choose a 12-Step Program?

Drug abuse and alcoholism is a legitimate medical condition that necessitates addiction treatment. For many addicts, the prospect of checking into drug rehab or pursuing addiction therapy feels daunting. Perhaps time constraints or budgetary issues limit your options, or maybe you want to keep your drug or alcohol addiction under wraps to avoid upsetting loved ones. No matter your reason, 12-step programs really do work. Indeed, AA and NA are among the most successful substance abuse recovery programs in the world, with many inpatient drug rehab facilities relying on these addiction programs. So successful is the model that it has greatly expanded. Many areas now also sponsor spin off drug abuse programs, such as Marijuana Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, and Pills Anonymous. And for loved ones who struggle to manage the challenges of caring about a drug or alcohol addict. Alanon, Naranon, Alateen, and Narateen can step in to help lighten the load.

What Happens in 12-Step Meetings?

Every 12-step group relies on the 12 steps, which encourage drug addicts to admit to their substance abuse, make amends to those whom they have hurt, conduct an inventory of your own behavior, place your faith in a “higher power” (the higher power does not have to be a deity), and carry the recovery message to other struggling drug and alcohol addicts. The degree to which an individual drug and alcohol recovery group relies on the steps varies greatly, though. Some groups stick to a specific script, using only AA or NA-sponsored materials. Others encourage open discussion and sharing, while some pray or even do community service. The treatment groups are as unique as the drug and alcohol addicts who form them, so bad luck with one group doesn’t mean you have to rule out 12-step programs in the future. Some common themes most 12-step programs share include:

  • An emphasis on group sharing.
  • Rules about how and when you can share, how you can respond to what other people say, and how to most effectively provide support to other addicts.
  • No charge, but drug and alcohol addicts are encouraged to offer a donation.
  • Flexibility in scheduling. You can go to meetings as often or as infrequently as you like, with many newly sober drug and alcohol addicts attending a meeting every day.
  • Complete confidentiality. You don’t use your last name, and you don’t even have to give your real first name. The things you share in group sessions are supposed to be completely private.
  • The chance to select a sponsor. A sponsor is a recovering drug addict who is further along in his or her recovery journey than you are. Many drug addicts call their sponsors when they’re tempted to use.

 How to Find a 12-Step Group

To find a local Narcotics Anonymous group, click here, then choose your location from the drop-down menu.

If you need an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting instead, you can find that here.

Alanon and Alateen directory listings are available here.

If your loved ones need help managing your drug addiction, find a Naranon or Narateen family group meeting here. can also help you find local 12-step programs. Additionally, we offer listings for local drug rehab facilities that include a 12-step component. If you’re torn between several programs, our detailed program listings coupled with clear reviews from drug addicts just like you can help make the search a bit easier.

Tips for Screening Your Drug Addiction Recovery Group

There’s no rule that you have to love – or even join – the first drug rehab group you try. It’s natural, though, to feel a little reserved at your first meeting, so don’t take any anxiety you feel as a sign that you’ve chosen the wrong group. Instead, consider some of the following factors:

  • Whether the drug addiction recovery group members share your values; for instance, do you have to endorse religious beliefs with which you disagree?
  • How welcome you feel in the addiction recovery group.
  • Whether you feel a sense of fellowship and community with drug recovery group members. Sometimes it’s helpful to join a group whose members have lives similar to your own.
  • How safe you feel at the meeting space, and whether there are drug treatment group members who make you feel unsafe.
  • The convenience of the meeting location. Even if the drug addiction recovery group is great, having to drive two hours in traffic may harm more than it helps.
  • How comfortable you feel sharing your feelings with the drug recovery group.
  • Whether the meeting space itself is comfortable.
  • Whether the drug addiction recovery group practices equal opportunity sharing, or relies on a few “teachers” to share their wisdom with the rest of the group.
  • How willing the addiction recovery group is to entertain differing viewpoints.

If your first treatment group doesn’t work out, don’t give up. The search for a 12-step drug and alcohol treatment group can be a bit tricky, but when you’ve found your perfect match, you’ll understand how important these groups can be on the march toward sobriety.