SOS Celebrates 25 Years, Will Hold “Festival of Recovery” April 24

April 12, 2010

Secular Organizations for Sobriety , also known as Save Our Selves (SOS) is set to mark 25 years of service this year when it hosts its third-annual Festival of Recovery on April 24. They do this in the shadow of Alcoholics Anonymous’ 75th anniversary. SOS, a project of the secular Center for Inquiry, is the world’s largest non-religious alternative to AA’s traditional “faith based” 12-Step program.

“AA has enjoyed a level of dominance among addiction recovery providers and drug courts even though success rates are thought to be 5 to 15 percent effective at best,” said James Christopher, SOS founder and executive director. “Obviously the need for alternatives to 12-Step groups is crucial. We’ve contacted thousands of individuals, including inmates throughout the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, for example, and a significant number preferred SOS secular, self-empowerment support groups to spiritual or faith-based groups such as AA.”

Christopher says that other viable self-help support groups including SOS, Women for Sobriety, and SMART Recovery, are often shut out of traditional treatment with an “AA or the highway” attitude. SOS in co-sponsorship with SHARE! (Self Help and Recovery Exchange) and Project Return (mental health recovery) will host its third-annual Festival of Recovery  8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on April 24 at the Center for Inquiry/Los Angeles in its popular Steve Allen Theater located on 4773 Hollywood Blvd. 

“This ecumenical festival will feature all recovery options known to us, including AA, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, SOS, Women for Sobriety, SMART Recovery and mental health community recovery groups,” said Christopher. “SOS applauds 12-Step groups while at the same time stressing the urgent need for alternatives in recovery.”

SOS leaders say that the free public event with free parking, free music, and a free lunch has been very successful for the past two years, opening minds and hearts to a better understanding of diverse approaches to recovery from the horrors of alcoholism, drug addiction, and mental illness.

For more information, contact Jim Christopher via e-mail at