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Without delving down to the root of the problem, it becomes more likely to grow again. Treatment, such as rehabilitation and therapy, is run by professionals who start with their clients from where they are and work with them through a variety of medical and psychological means to build their autonomy, he said.

In contrast, support groups like AA or NA provide merely a peer-to-peer network of individuals supposedly working toward the same goal. In essence, an environment that is touted as a safe space can be anything but. From easier access to substances to sexual harassment, abuse or even outright murder , these programs can inflict further damage. While there are certain AA meetings that are women-only, the availability of these meetings is scarce at best.

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Hankel said she was frequently the only woman in a group of 15 or more men, because there was simply no other option in her area. Before a couple years ago, she said, there were no women-only meeting at all. AA boasts over 1. No kid wants to see their parent dating, anyway, but the guys from AA bring it to a whole other level. I was offered drugs there every single time.


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But what about me? I should put up with that? When she turned 22, she decided to get help, and started going to AA and NA. Her first week there, she met a man who had four years sobriety and began dating him, only to find him isolating her from her friends and family, policing the way she dressed, and eventually hitting her.

Alexia broke it off and left AA, only to fall back into deep depression and substance dependency. When she tried again, months later, to recover, she found AA to be a dangerous place even without an abusive relationship tinging it. I loved that all eyes were on me all the time. In hindsight, I realize I was never really able to focus on my sobriety.

She states that the type of attention paid to young women in the programs is detrimental in all ways. She said the drug courts in south-east Georgia, where she and Alexia reside, mandate offenders to go to AA meetings. When she complained about this procedure, she was told they could go to any meeting and to find a different group.

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Stern said the problem is compounded when sex offenders go through the drug courts and are ordered to go to step meetings, which he said is a fairly common occurrence. Stern suggests the judicial system should be revamped. Walton, Stern and Striebel all highly recommend a new peer-support option called Smart Recovery. It is similar to AA and NA, but does not involve citing powerlessness as part of recovery, and does not insist on invoking a higher being to belong to the club.

More importantly, Smart Recovery has a hour online option.

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The program encourages members to build their own motivation, find ways to cope with urges, manage behaviors and feelings, and start living a balanced life. The only way to combat this that I have found is through empowerment. As a kid you probably looked forward to the fair and carnivals that would come into town during the summer and fall.


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  8. Channel your inner child as you eat cotton candy and ride the rides. What better way to build your relationship than to share in taking care of yourself and each other at a meeting. This site is part of the larger Love Sober network, which offers support and resources for people in all stages of recovery. Love Sober Dating allows you to connect with other singles that are focused on living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. This site lets your get specific, allowing you to search for potential dates by state, age and even recovery program, from Overeaters Anonymous to Adult Children of Alcoholics.

    The Original Sober Dating Site - Singles in Recovery

    The site is free as well, and allows you to connect with over 11, sober singles across the country. You can search by the usual criteria age, area, etc.

    The next AA? Welcome to Moderation Management, where abstinence from alcohol isn't the answer

    The site also has recovery chat forums, sober dating advice, and information on 12 step events. Here are some match websites that may make you raise an eyebrow. For those who prefer to keep their partners at a distance. Search inmates by sex, age and whether they are in federal or state prison, and then get ready to write some letters.

    Although, we suspect this one may be more about meeting marketing success for restaurant chain Just Salad. Can you date in early sobriety? Follow Us Facebook Twitter.