Deciding to quit using a substance is the first step toward achieving recovery. Next is detoxing, and after that comes perhaps the most important step: finding treatment.

One of the most popular forms of addiction treatment is group meetings. Many groups and programs have been designed over the past few decades to help offer support and accountability to those suffering from a substance abuse disorder.

There are two leading types of group recovery meetings: Alcoholics Anonymous and Celebrate Recovery. While they have the same overall goal of promoting a sober and addiction-free lifestyle, they have their own varying principles and methods that they implement along the way.


What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?

Alcoholics Anonymous is a program that offers daily recovery meetings. These sessions mainly focus on their 12 Steps, which are said to encourage healthy habits and thoughts. People at these meetings are typically anonymous in the interest of privacy for themselves and their families. All of those suffering from a drinking problem are welcome to attend; the only requirement is that you must quit drinking alcohol.


The 12 Steps to Recovery

The 12 Steps that AA builds its foundation on are as follows:

  1. Admit you are powerlessness over the addiction
  2. Believe there is a higher power that can help
  3. Decide to relinquish control to that higher power
  4. Take a personal inventory of oneself
  5. Admit to oneself, another individual, and higher power what wrongdoing has been done
  6. Be ready for the higher power to come in and correct any of your shortcomings
  7. Ask the higher power to get rid of those shortcomings
  8. Make a list of wrongdoings and be willing to make amends to yourself and others
  9. Contact those who have been hurt, unless that would further harm them
  10. Continue to record a personal inventory and admit when you make other mistakes
  11. Use prayer and meditation to seek enlightenment and connection with a higher power
  12. Carry forth the message of the 12-Step Program to people who need help


What Is Celebrate Recovery?

Celebrate Recovery uses AA’s base to create a different approach. This type of treatment offers addiction support that’s based on a biblical curriculum; it aims to help people become sober through implementing lessons from The Bible and Christianity.

This model uses a revised and religion-focused version of the 12 Steps, along with a collection of eight spiritual principles. While the meetings encourage and celebrate Christian stories and beliefs, a large portion of participants come from outside the church to gain a new perspective on recovery.


Revised Recovery Steps

Celebrate Recovery used AA’s 12 Steps to inspire their own set:

  1. Admit we are powerless over our addictions and compulsive behaviors and that our lives have become unmanageable (Romans 7:18 NIV)
  2. A power greater than ourselves can restore our sanity (Philippians 2:13)
  3. We have decided to surrender our lives and wills over to the care of God (Romans 12:1)
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves (Lamentations 3:40)
  5. We admitted to God, ourselves, and another human being our exact wrongdoings (James 5:16)
  6. We are completely ready for God to remove all of our character defects (James 4:10)
  7. We have humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings (1 John 1:9)
  8. We listed everyone we have harmed and are willing to make amends to all of them (Luke 6:31)
  9. When possible, we have made amends directly to some people, except when doing so would cause greater harm to them (Matthew 5:23-24)
  10. We continue to take personal inventory when wrong and admit it (1 Corinthians 10:12)
  11. We have used prayer and meditation to contact God, praying for knowledge of His will for us, and the power to execute it (Colossians 3:16a)
  12. Upon having a spiritual experience from these steps, we will carry this message forward (Galatians 6:1)


The Purpose Behind AA & Celebrate Meetings

Both types of meetings aim to set their participants up with the tools they need to stay sober and live happy, healthy lives. They both celebrate companionship & a sense of community to reach across barriers and bring hope to everyone involved.


Alcoholics Anonymous vs. Celebrate Recovery

Though they have these similarities, there are a few major differences between Celebrate Recovery & AA. Here are three that stand out:


  1. Spirituality & Religion

While AA believes in acknowledging a general “higher power,” Celebrate Recovery specifically references and practices the belief of Jesus Christ.


  1. The Focus: Broad vs. Specific

The tables turn when it comes to the focus of the meetings. While Celebrate Recovery groups focus on a wide variety of addiction, illness, and personal issues, AA puts a lens on alcoholism.


  1. Steps Toward Success

Both kinds of meetings have a 12-step system that they follow to inspire participants. While the steps are slightly different, they have the same backbone.


Choosing Between Celebrate Recovery & AA

If you or a loved one has dealt with an addiction issue and are trying to decide whether to attend Celebrate Recovery or AA, ask yourself what parts of your treatment and recovery are most important to you. If you’re a Christian, for example, Celebrate Recovery might be the choice for you; but if you prefer a secular and diverse environment, AA could be the better option.


How These Therapies Could Help You

Whichever form of therapy you choose, education and treatment is the key to a successful recovery. Immersing yourself in a positive group environment will help you develop the skill set you need to move forward and achieve sobriety for good.

To learn more about your recovery options, contact our team here. We can help you determine the best course of action while offering our own addiction treatment services. Give us a call by dialing 267.209.7312.