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Free 12 Step Program Help


(See a list of specific 12-step programs after the following introductory information about the philosophy and practices of these programs.)

There are free 12-step programs in many locations for sex addicts. There is also a large number of specialized 12-step programs for love addicts (or sex and love addicts). And there are some 12-step programs specifically for partners who are in relationship with the addicts. In addition, there are a few programs for recovering couples. These programs are based on the original Alcoholics Anonymous model. The programs are referred to as "12-step" programs because there are 12 basic tasks or processes that each participant eventually "works" with the help of a sponsor. More will be said about sponsors later below.

These 12-step programs are available across the U.S. and increasingly in other
countries. The purpose of these programs is to bring together people with a common addiction or common experience to help each other stop the compulsive behaviors. The main recovery activity in these programs is going to meetings where there is confidential sharing of participants' strength, hope and experience. There usually is no other requirement to attend these meetings than to have a desire to stop the addictive behavior and to respect the anonymity and confidentiality of other members. Most major cities in the U.S. have from one meeting to many meetings every week.

Through listening in these meetings to others with a similar problem, the recovering addict feels not alone and discovers solutions to heretofore uncontrollable behaviors. Through sharing about one's own experience in the addiction and in the recovery process, the recovering person makes connections with others and gains self confidence.

An informal, but important adjunct to recovery meetings is the fellowship that usually happens after meetings. The fellowship is spontaneous conversation that takes place between individual participants or in small groups that stay for awhile afterward or that gather at a local coffee shop or restaurant. The fellowship allows recovering people to practice new social skills, to have a little appropriate fun in addition to the serious work of recovery and sometimes eventually to develop new positive friendships.

In addition to in-person meetings, there are now a few live online meetings and teleconference meetings that mostly utilize a chat format, for people in areas where in-person meetings are not available or to increase the number of meetings a person can attend.

Personal guides, called sponsors, are often chosen from regular program participants to give members individualized assistance. Newcomers are encouraged to select a sponsor after attending a few meetings. Sponsors are people of the same gender, chosen for their experience and success, who direct their "sponsees" through the 12-step work and are generally available to call on at any time the sponsee is tempted to act out sexually or at other times of need.

One way that recovery success is measured is in terms of how much sobriety the recovering person has attained. Sponsors help sponsees determine what the criteria are for their sobriety so that the sponsee knows at all times how many days of sobriety he or she has. The sponsor also helps the sponsee recover from relapses if and when they occur.

Most of these programs have annual national conferences and occasional local "retreats" which promote fellowship and boost recovery, as well as providing healthy activites to replace the unhealthy ones that were pursued while in the addiction.

Check the recovery programs listed below that match your issues and needs. Phone numbers, postal and email addresses and links to web sites are provided. You will probably be sent some literature if you write. If you call, you will probably get a recording asking you to leave your first name and number, and indicating that someone will call you back anonymously to give you personalized information. By emailing you most likely will get some standard information or maybe a personal response. The web links will allow you to go directly to the organization's homepage for specific information about the particular program, which often will include a directory of meeting locations and times. Continue to scroll to locate the kind of program that fits your need.


For people interested in recovery from their sexual addiction. Includes on-line and telephone meetings.
(Some meetings are for men only, some for women only, and some mixed.)
Phone: (800) 477-8191
Address: International Service Organization of SAA (or ISO of SAA)
P.O. Box 70949
Houston, TX 77270
Web Site:

For people wanting recovery from patterns of addictive relationships where love, romance and sex are the addictive focus. Includes on-line and teleconference meetings.
Phone: (210) 828-7922
Address: The Augustine Fellowship
1550 NE Loop 410, Ste. 118
San Antonio, TX 78209
Web Site:

For sexually addicted people looking for a recovery program with a more specific definition of what recovery is.
(Seems to appeal particularly to heterosexual men.)
Phone: (615) 370-6062 or toll free: (866) 424-8777
Address: P. O. Box 3565
Brentwood, TN 37024
Web Site:

For sexually compulsive people seeking recovery. Includes on-line meetings.
(Founded by gay men and open to people of all sexual orientations. Web site has online meetings.)
Phone: 1-800-977-4325 ( 1-800-977-HEAL) International: +1 212 606 3778
Address: P. O. Box 1585, Old Chelsea Station
New York, NY 10011-0935
Web Site:


(And Others in Relationships with Sex Addicts and Love Addicts)

“Companion” program of Sex Addicts Anonymous
For those whose lives have been affected by another person's compulsive sexual behavior and who seek support and recovery from their own addictive patterns with their sexually addicted partners or others.
(Majority of meetings usually women's meetings, though isolated mixed and men’s meetings may be found.)
Phone: (763) 537-6904
Address: International Service Organization of COSA (or ISO of COSA)
P.O. Box 14537
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Web Site:

“Companion” program of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous
For friends, children, partners or others in relationship with sex and love addicts.
Phone: (860) 456-0032
Web Site:

“Companion” program of Sexaholics Anonymous
Phone: (615)833-3152
Address: S-Anon Family Groups World Service Office
P.O. Box 111242
Nashville, TN 37222-1242
Web Site:


(Generally, participation in a couples program is encouraged after some participation and work by both members of the coupleship in respective individual programs. Only the program below is known at this time by the sponsors of this site.)


For couples in which addiction (not just sex addiction) and codependency exist, who desire recovery from their addictive behavior with each other.
Phone: (510) 663-2312
Address: P. O. Box 11029
Oakland, CA 94611
Web Site:

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