Atheist Nexus Logo

Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives


Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives

Trouble with drugs (including alcohol) or other potential addictions? Tried 12 step recovery and found it wanting? You're welcome here.

Members: 121
Latest Activity: on Sunday

Desiderata (Revised)

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with it, whatever you conceive it to be.

And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

Discussion Forum

Recommended reading

Started by Seth R. Mar 19. 0 Replies

New in recovery

Started by diane sholly. Last reply by Barbara Blaney Jan 29. 8 Replies


Fictional look at AA culture in a zombie apocolypse setting

A book just came out by a New York lawyer by day, 12 Step prowler and author by night who goes by the pen name Michele Miller.

The setting is this new zombie apocalypses craze, a la Walking Dead or WWZ, neither of which I have every seen. I don't make time for this genre of story…

The growing secular voice in 12 Step Recovery

I am really happy to find this community. I was reading about the introduction of a secular 12 Steps to NA World Service. That sounds like a great idea that will meet some resistance. Organizations either adapt or reify into obscurity. AA is having a hard time getting a spirituality pamphlet approved by the Conference floor and some say it's because the inclusion of atheists and agnostics talking about their AA life is untenable to some of the more superstitious members.

I do like…

Back in "Sober Living facility" and getting beat over the head w/the "Bill's Big Book" need suggestions!

Hi, I just got out of detox (from Methadone/Buprenorphine) and have managed to land myself in a 3/4 house.  I haven't had time to read all the posts here yet but just wanted to re-introduce myself.  I've been a member of Atheist Nexus for a while now but I don't remember finding this particular group.  But there's a lot I may not remember lol.  Anyway all atheist help will be appreciated!

New in recovery

 I have one week of sobriety. I am glad that I found this group. I went to an AA meeting and hated it because of the talk of a higher power. Being brand new at sobriety I could use any support and friendship that I can find.

Looking for something better than Alanon

Hi Folks! I've been part of Atheist Nexus for years, but haven't been all that active recently. My husband (a superstitious, anti-organized-religion, theist) started attending AA meetings last year, and suggested I start attending Alanon. I can't stand the opening/closing prayers, the reading to the 12 steps, most of which makes reference to god/higher power. I feel like everyone at these meetings drank the coolaid, and I wonder what brainwashing is going on in the AA meetings my husband is…

Confronting the Fellowship of NA.

Greetings All,


          My name is Bill, and I am currently involved with the NA program. Im not a cookie-cutter member of the fellowship, as it were. My program does not involve the use of a god, and I feel my recovery is solid, as I have mulitiple years clean. My current journey brings me to the position of confronting the fellowship as a whole, about the inherent bias that runs through the literature/mtgs. They (NA, and the ppl involved) say that it is up to the…

New to group

Hi everyone,

I've been an Atheist Nexus member for awhile, but I've never posted anything before.  I'm an all-around addict... alcohol, pot, prescription drugs, and possibly biggest of all, food. 


I'm a nurse (which has given me lots of access to substances I don't need to be around), but I'm not working right now because I'm taking care of my mother, who is in poor health.  She requires 24 hour a day care, and I get no help from anyone else in her care.  My…

HAMS: Harm Reduction for Alcohol

I have been using a harm reduction model for cutting back on my drinking and found to be helpful with this aim.  They have a chatroom, books, worksheets, and more for people who have found the 12 step programs lacking.  They deal with moderation, harm reduction AND abstinence.  Just wanted to share, and to see if there are other "Hamsters" out there.

Dealing with my partner's pornography addiction

I've been in a relationship for about two years.  We're preparing to move in together soon and continue down the road, hopefully to marriage and a family together.  Well, about a week ago my boyfriend threw a huge curveball into my life by admitting he's addicted to porn.  He's living on his own for the first time since he's graduated from college and in the past few months he's spent nearly $1000 on porn sites.  He's been financially bailed out by his parents a couple times, who simply…

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Atheists, Addictions, 12 Step Recovery, and Alternatives to add comments!

Comment by Peter Shorts on December 9, 2012 at 11:52am

Hi group..I'm new to the neighborhood and exploring freethinking and recovery as I develop my individual path to abstinence. I continue to learn tolerance despite what appears to be ignorance and self absorption of others.  I don't have to be wrong and the majority be right. It's nothing new as a college educated, multiracial child of the 60's. Just looking for how others navigate recovery, making connections with others to support the peaks and valleys of the journey, and what tools you use to stay in the boat and not drown in the sea..

Comment by Ian Mason on October 15, 2012 at 12:44am
Comment by Mike Supan on January 11, 2011 at 9:57am
Bob, you might try this link. I haven't connected with anyone like this yet, but this may be a step in the direction you wish to go.
Comment by Erin O'Neil on August 15, 2010 at 10:24pm
I have been a member of NA for 23 years, and have been an atheist all that time. I didn't really realize it until a few years in, as I was striving to stay clean, and was being constantly told I needed some form of "higher power" to do this. I went through the whole gamut of spiritual concepts, and even adapted a version of the Eightfold Noble Path of Buddhism to better fit my progression in recovery. I frequently found myself at odd with the "old-timers", even when I had substantially more clean time than some of them. I refused to talk about "the program", and instead discussed "my process". It took me years to come completely "out" and talk openly about my atheism at meetings, and I still sometimes struggle with the sanctimonious drivel many people in meetings spout when I tell them I have no higher power. It seems they think that, despite my being able to remain clean for 23 years, it is imperative and inevitable that I will find a higher power someday. I will freely admit to finding it hard not to be judgmental sometimes. The neat thing is, I have stumbled upon a number of fellow atheists who also attend NA. I find that the fellowship of other recovering addicts is extremely beneficial to my continued recovery, and have a number of very close friends who are also in recovery. Although I still take issue with a large portion of the Basic Text, as it either directly discusses a higher power or implies dogmatic adherence to spirituality, there are some parts I have found very helpful. Hell, if Jefferson can do it with the bible, why can't I do it with the basic text?
Comment by Joe McCarthy on June 17, 2010 at 3:03pm
I had so many tiffs with my aa group people cuz of HP crap that I drankk. First for the wrong and addictive reasons but life chnges when you get older and people depend on you. I am sure I have the etoh'ism gene being descended from bog trotter still workers but so what. Have a snort and do what needs to be done.
Comment by Cindy E on June 17, 2010 at 9:55am
Hi. Looking for a non-theist codependents' group. Any ideas?
Comment by Joe S. on May 26, 2010 at 7:51am
Here are links to our meeting documents:

Meeting Format

We Agnostics How It Works

Meeting Flyer
Comment by Ian Mason on May 26, 2010 at 1:17am
Sounds good, Joe. I'd be grateful for chance to read them. The paragraph you've posted sounds very promising and hits a lot of nails on their heads.
Comment by Joe S. on May 25, 2010 at 9:32pm
Friends: I am fortunate to take part in a local AA group for non-theists. We have taken it upon ourselves to alter some of the wording in the steps - removing the notion of god - for our own purposes.

I'm happy to share our meeting format and step adaptation with anyone who might be interested.

"In this group, we don’t consider any part of our literature infallible or sacrosanct, and we recognize the historic and cultural context in which AA initially developed. We are grateful for those founders and their passionate dedication to helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety. We simply prefer to focus on the tangible, measurable actions and attitudes contained in the steps."
Comment by Ian Mason on February 10, 2010 at 9:07am
Hi Tom, and welcome.

I can't believe either. Commen sense says that this "Higher Power" malarchy is a form of visualisation, a technique know to psychotherapy for years. With that in mind, I've adopted the figure of Sisyphos from Greek mythology as my hero. He was the one who had to push a rock up a hill every day, only to have it roll down again every night. This helps me stay sober and do my best in my fight against depression.

Once again, welcome and good luck.

Members (121)


Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today



Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon


Nexus on Social Media:

© 2015   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service