LifeRing: A Secular Path to Recovery

LifeRing: A Secular Path to Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

LifeRing Secular Recovery, also known as LifeRing or LSR, is a secular program. If you’re someone who can live without the spiritual principles and the religious talk in recovery, then perhaps a more scientific orientation is your style.

LifeRing is a peer-run (similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous community) program for those who wish to recover from an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. In other words, there are no “experts” in the room and there isn’t anyone who apparently knows more than anyone else. Just like in AA where everyone is following a particular program while supporting each other, the same is true for LifeRing.

What’s interesting about LifeRing is its emphasis to its members that they should experiment with a variety of approaches to maintaining abstinence. Members are encouraged to incorporate ideas from other recovery methods. Another noteworthy trait of LifeRing is its view on relapse. This group doesn’t see relapse as a life failure. Instead, once a relapse takes place, men and women are strongly advised to see that relapse as a learning experience. It’s a time to recommit to their sobriety. It’s a time to review their recovery and explore any needs that weren’t getting met.

The LifeRing philosophy is based upon the three principles. These are sobriety, secularity, and self-empowerment. It uses an abstinence approach, meaning that abstinence is the highest goal, just like the AA philosophy. There are other programs, such as Moderation Management (MM), which includes abstinence on its continuum to achieve, but doesn’t emphasize it. Instead, participants aim to discover the level of drinking or drug use that can work for them without causing harm in their lives, which can include sobriety. Along these lines, the Harm Reduction model also accepts continued drinking and drug use as long as the harm to oneself continues to go down over time. However, LifeRing does not follow any of these approaches. Its participants aim for complete sobriety and abstinence.

One of the main principle of LifeRing is its attempt to strengthen the sober self in a person and weaken the addict self. One way they do this is  to encourage their members to focus on their current lives rather than the hurts and painful experiences of the past. In fact, they point out that at local meetings, LifeRing members talk sober-self to sober-self, learning from each other and gaining strength in their connection.

LifeRing is also a program that can serve those who are in relationship with someone who is an addict or alcoholic. Similar to Al-Anon, LifeRing supports those whose loved one is an addict. It provides local support groups for men and women learning how to live with and love someone struggling with an addiction.

If you’re interested in LifeRing as a means for recovery, visit


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