TIPS & GUIDELINES TO START
Suggested Group Opening Statement The SOS International Advisory Board
Starting your own Group
people (the bigger the better, as
it always seems like more)
Enthusiasm, Patience &
Perseverance. (secular angels are always welcome)
A Meeting Place -
community rooms, libraries, schools, colleges, hospitals, etc.,
Date, time and
length of meeting - when best for the
majority. 1-1.5 hours.
- whatever suits your group,
- 1) chairperson or another reads out
SOS Opening Statement (below).
2) sharing - speaking in turn voluntarily, without comment from
3) cross-talk - friendly comments from others about others where
4) Discussion topic (optional)- introduced for 5-20 mins by
«Sobriety Priority, Abstinence, Urges & Cravings, Feelings, Emotions,
Medical base of addiction, Medical problems from addiction, Xmas,
Holidays, Family, Work,
My story, Relapse, Anger, Guilt, Joy, Sober living », etc.,
- elected secretary,
organizer. Rotating chairperson
- There is no membership
fee. But a collection is held so people can give what they wish or are
- practical questions for
the running of the group.
Closing the meeting
- no formalities,
thank all for coming, give time and agenda for next meeting.
Produce leaflets, letters of introduction. Mail them to hospitals,
doctors, clinics, associations,
Press releases to newspapers, radio, TV, etc., Pin fliers to notice
Visit other recovery groups.
Offer to speak at professional bodies or other meetings.
Inform details to European and US Website and International Clearing
House by post or e-mail asap!
THINGS YOU DON'T NEED!
Charter. SOS groups are
A Higher Power, 1200 steps, Belief
in God (a private issue)
A Sponsor, People saying "Hi!
My name is Hydro, again. Hi! Hydro, again"
A Serenity Prayer, Intolerance of
other people's beliefs.
Someone telling you how to live
WHAT YOU WILL GET!
Anonymity and confidentiality.
Support and advice on your recovery. Being treated as a responsible
adult. Respect for you as a unique individual, and respect for others'
views and paths. Democratic discussions and time for all to speak. We
welcome healthy debate. A scientific understanding of your illness.
Self-empowerment and individual responsibility. An approach, with
methods and tips which you can adapt to suit your own path to recovery.
sobriety priority )
Although, we disagree with 12 step
programs (as a method for us), try to avoid allowing meetings to turn
into AA/NA bashing affairs. Get on with your own Sobriety. SOS is about
Getting Real. This means we tend to talk about the good
and bad things of life here and now in our efforts to get and
stay sober/clean . This doesn't mean it isn't important to use the bad
experiences of our past drinking/using at a personal and group level to
help us keep sober or help others. (see
But we do it as appropriate and not
as a ritual or guilt trip. Sobriety is about reclaiming your life and
the group contributions are to help us do that. The group facilitates
self-empowerment and the development of individual responsibility for
your illness in a serious, but friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
Many groups have both alcoholics
and other drug addicts together; overeaters, gamblers as well; friends
and family and sufferers together; some have separate SOS Family and
Friends groups, others form Women's' Groups. Do what suits you and your
group to deal with addiction!
FOR HELP AND
ADVICE ON STARTING A GROUP CONTACT -
Welcome to SOS ; My name
SOS stands for Secular
Organizations for Sobriety or Save Our Selves. We are a support group
for people who wish to get sober and stay sober, and/or for friends and
family of alcoholics and addicts who are looking for knowledge and
support. People are asked not to drink or use before coming to a
SOS is a secular recovery group
and does not use religious or spiritual programs. Nor is SOS aligned
with any political groups, sects or cults. SOS is open to all regardless
of their personal beliefs and does not attempt to enforce any doctrine
SOS is only interested in
discussing sobriety and ways and methods which help us along this path.
However, we do respect diversity, encourage debate, rational thinking
and scientific enquiry, and gain strength from the experiences, methods,
ideas and opinions of others.
SOS does not have a "programme" or
"steps", but we do have an approach which is called the «
Sobriety Priority », and methods such as « Closing the Gap ». These
explain that life-long abstinence from all mind-altering substances is
obligatory for recovery. In meetings we share our common, well-tested
methods for achieving and maintaining sobriety. However, your own
approach for implementing your own Sobriety Priority must be
fashioned in a way that suits you, and feels comfortable for you. SOS is
concerned with self-empowerment and individual responsibility, through a
Our secular meeting are totally
anonymous and strictly confidential. We begin by allowing each person to
« get things off their chest » and share their experiences and problems
with the group. This is without comments from others. A separate part of
the meeting is set aside for « cross talk », in which everyone is
welcome to make constructive comments to others, unless others do not
wish it. And/or a member may introduce a topic for discussion.
Business is kept to
a minimum necessary for the functioning of the group. There are no
membership dues. However, we are self-financing and a collection is held
to pay for necessary costs."
Read the SOS
Story and a biography of SOS Founder
Thank you at SOS International for this web page. To see all of the web
site go to