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SOS Takes Off In Britain

Secular Organizations for Sobriety (SOS), the CODESH-sponsored self-help group, is proving to be a great success in Great Britain. SOS-UK, which held its first meeting in Spring 1995, now has five local groups and has just launched a national newsletter.

SOS aims to help people with alcohol and other drug dependency problems who can't accept the quasi-religious elements of AA and similar "12-step" organizations. The SOS alternative was introduced to Britain by its American founder, Jim Christopher, on a visit to London in early 1995. Its growth has been aided by active support from the British humanist movement and widespread positive publicity in the British media. SOS-UK now looks set to emulate the phenomenal growth and success of its US parent.

SOS was started in 1985, with an article in the CODESH magazine Free Inquiry. Nearly 2,000 grass-roots SOS groups have since been formed in North America and the SOS recovery program has helped tens of thousands of people achieve and maintain sobriety. In 1995 SOS opened its new international Clearinghouse at the Center for Inquiry - West in Los Angeles. In addition to the new SOS branches in Britian, self-help groups throughout Europe have incorporated the SOS approach into their own programs.

SOS founder Jim Christopher, who coordinates the international organization, commented, "It's great to see that the SOS approach is proving so successful in Britain. Over the last decade, we've seen thousands of folks who couldn't recover in traditional programs, reclaim their lives with the SOS program. In recent years this track-record has given our secular approach a very good reputation amongst addicts and recovery professionals who previously relied entirely on the 12-step approach. SOS aims to build on this foundation both by starting more groups in the US and abroad and by developing new and more in-depth counseling clinics at our Los Angeles headquarters."

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This page was last updated 12/04/2003

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