An abstinence-based program founded in 2001, LifeRing offers confidential, non-spiritual, peer-based support to encourage personal growth and empowerment through face-to-face group meetings and participation in online communities. LifeRing has no prescribed steps to follow, is open to all addictions (no separate meetings for different addictions), and welcomes significant others to meetings. Religious beliefs are a non-issue at LifeRing meetings and are not discussed.
LifeRing’s principles are: Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help. Their motto is “We do not drink or use, no matter what.” Members of LifeRing believe that people struggling with addiction have an inner conflict between the “addict voice” and the “sober voice” and that the answer to recovery lies within every addicted person.
The goal of the LifeRing program is to create and refine a personal strategy for recovery. LifeRing uses positive social reinforcement to empower the “Sober Self.” Most meetings, which can be in person or online, begin with a check-in in the form of the question “How was your week?” This gives participants a chance to report on the highs and lows of the week and to plan ahead for upcoming decisions. LifeRing encourages conversation (“cross-talk”) but discourages personal stories about drug and alcohol abuse (which they call “drunkalogues”).
In-person LifeRing meetings convene for about an hour a week and are peer-moderated. While operating on a donation model, LifeRing is free. Additional materials may be purchased from their website.
People who wish to abstain from alcohol and who seek a supportive group environment to help them do so, focused on the individual’s plan for sobriety as an alternative to 12-step therapy.
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