Addiction Recovery Meeting Finder

Recovering from addiction is a lifelong journey. People who are in recovery have to work every day to maintain their sobriety.

One of the best and most successful ways to stay sober even after treatment has ended is to participate in support groups such as addiction recovery meetings.

Addiction Recap and Why Meetings Work

Addiction is a chronic but treatable disease. The most successful way to treat substance addiction is to enter a drug or alcohol abuse rehab program.

Most treatment facilities utilize a variety of therapies, including group therapy. Group therapy helps create a support system for a newly sober person. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that when used alongside a treatment program, group therapy helps to support recovering addicts to stay sober.

What Are Recovery Meetings?

Recovery meetings are designed not just for those currently in treatment but also for those who have completed treatment as part of their continuing aftercare program.

Also known as peer-based support groups, recovery meetings are traditionally free and led by a trained facilitator. These meetings aim to develop or continue curating a support system to help those in attendance maintain sobriety.

Recovery meetings are available for both alcohol addiction and drug addiction. Recovering addicts can find a generalized meeting that covers multiple types of addictions, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings, or they can find more specialized groups, such as Cocaine Anonymous and Crystal Meth Anonymous.

People struggling with behavioral addictions can also find meetings that don’t focus on substance use disorders. Groups such as Overeaters Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous provide the same support and accountability as AA or NA meetings but focus on specific behavioral addictions instead.

Types of Recovery Meetings

There are three main categories of addiction recovery meetings. They include:

  • Twelve-step meetings
  • Secular recovery meetings (non-12-step)
  • Religious recovery meetings

Finding 12-Step Meetings

Twelve-step recovery meetings are the world’s most widely known type of addiction recovery support group. The two most popular 12-step groups are Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

Twelve-step meetings are typically peer-led, and participants in the meeting take turns sharing, although it is not required. These 12-step programs usually have a main text or book as their reference guide. In AA, it is known as The Big Book and serves as the primary guide for people in the program.

While considered secular, 12-step meetings focus on a “higher power,” which can be a deity or a concept determined by each attendee.

Many 12-step meetings are group-specific (women only, men only, LGBTQ+ only, and a sense of belonging) to promote comfort and a sense of belonging.) Some meetings are open to outside attendees, such as friends and loved ones of addicts, while other sessions are “closed,” meaning that only recovering addicts can attend.

12-Step Support for Loved Ones

Alcoholics Anonymous has additional programs available for the family and loved ones of alcoholics or drug addicts. Most commonly, Al-Anon and Alateen provide resources and support for both adults and teens who have a loved one in their lives with a drinking or drug problem.

Finding Non-12-Step Meetings

While 12-step meetings are the most widely known type of recovery support group, the concept is not for everyone. For those people, secular non-12-step meetings are another great option.

While 12-step groups emphasize in-person meetings, non-12-step groups are much more open to online meetings, making these recovery groups popular—especially over the past few years.

The most popular secular non-12-step group is SMART Recovery. SMART Recovery focuses on motivational and cognitive-behavioral principles to help people get and remain sober.

Other popular secular non-12-step groups include:

Finding Religious Recovery Meetings

While 12-step and non-12-step groups are largely non-denominational, some recovery groups lean into a person’s religious beliefs and upbringing. The largest and most well-known of these religious-based support groups is Celebrate Recovery, which is a Christian-based organization.

Other popular religious-based addiction recovery groups include:

Benefits of Recovery Meetings

The most significant benefit of attending addiction support group meetings is its support system. Recovery treatment teaches patients to surround themselves with solid support systems. It is also essential to be around people who can relate to some of the unique challenges of recovery.

When you attend an addiction recovery meeting, most of the other people in attendance are also in recovery. Not only do they know what you are going through, but they can also help you navigate any challenges you may be facing because chances are they have experienced something similar.

Who Should Attend Recovery Meetings?

People struggling with alcohol and/or drug abuse who want to quit should join a recovery meeting program. However, recovery meetings don’t take the place of addiction treatment programs. These meetings help people stop drinking or abusing drugs, but they do not provide actual addiction treatment services.

Recovery meetings can be an excellent tool for individuals with a minor substance abuse problem, or they can be great supplementary tools for people already enrolled at an addiction treatment center. Many recovery programs include recovery meetings as part of their curriculum, and when treatment ends, recovering addicts can continue attending recovery meetings as part of their aftercare plan.

How to Find a Meeting in Your Area

Whether you are home or traveling, chances are there is an addiction support group meeting happening somewhere near you right now. To find the meeting closest to you, click on the links below to access each organization’s “meeting locator.”

You can also reach out to local places of worship and community centers for meeting times.

Start Your Addiction Recovery Journey

While recovery support groups are an excellent tool for continued sobriety, these groups can’t take the place of addiction treatment.

Call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit their online program locator to find addiction treatment options in your area.

You can also speak with your doctor or healthcare provider about addiction treatment options available in your area.

How do I find an AA Zoom meeting?

If you want to attend an AA meeting virtually via Zoom, you can find the list of those meetings on the AA website.

Where can I find an AA meeting?

You can find the closest AA meeting by visiting their website to view the times and locations of meetings in your area. AA also has a free app where you can search for local meetings.

Are there meetings for family members of addicts?

In addition to attending “open” meetings, family members of addicts can also participate in Alanon meetings. Alanon is a recovery support group specifically designed for family members and loved ones of addicts.

Similarly, Alateen is a support group for teenagers with a loved one who is an addict.

Reviewed by:Kent S. Hoffman, D.O.

Chief Medical Officer

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Kent S. Hoffman, D.O. has been an expert in addiction medicine for more than 15 years. In addition to managing a successful family medical practice, Dr. Hoffman is board certified in addiction medicine by the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM). Dr. Hoffman has successfully treated hundreds of patients battling addiction. Dr. Hoffman is Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Addiction Guide and ensures the quality of our website’s content and messaging.

Written by:

Content Manager

Jessica Miller is a USF graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in English. She has written professionally for over a decade, from HR scripts and employee training to business marketing and company branding. In addition to writing, Jessica spent time in the healthcare sector (HR) and as a high school teacher. She has personally experienced the pitfalls of addiction and is delighted to bring her knowledge and writing skills together to support our mission. Jessica lives in St. Petersburg, FL with her husband and two dogs.

11 references
  1. Peer-based recovery support. Recovery Research Institute. (2019, July 25). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.recoveryanswers.org/resource/peer-based-recovery-support/

  2. Have a problem with alcohol? There is a solution. Alcoholics Anonymous. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.aa.org/

  3. Because of the LA County order to “stay at home” due to the coronavirus pandemic, our Chatsworth Office is closed. coronavirus statement-revised 14 September 2021 – English: Spanish. NA. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.na.org/

  4. SMARTfinder: Smart recovery meeting finder. SMARTfinder – SMART Recovery Meetings. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://meetings.smartrecovery.org/meetings/location/

  5. Women for sobriety. Women For Sobriety. (2022, May 15). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://womenforsobriety.org/

  6. In-person meetings. Picture1. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://lifering.org/

  7. Celebrate Recovery. (2021, July 22). Celebrate Recovery Home Page. Celebrate Recovery Homepage. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.celebraterecovery.com/

  8. SOS. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.sossobriety.org/

  9. Jacs: Encouraging and assisting recovery. The Jewish Board. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://jewishboard.org/listing/jacs-jcsrecovery/

  10. Home. (n.d.). Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.millatiislami.org/

  11. Tracy, K., & Wallace, S. P. (2016, September 29). Benefits of peer support groups in the treatment of addiction. Substance abuse and rehabilitation. Retrieved July 21, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5047716/

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