The "3-S" Philosophy
Sober, Secular, Self-Help
“3-S” is short-hand for the fundamental principles of LifeRing: Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help.
Sobriety. “Sobriety” can mean different things in dictionaries, but in LifeRing it always means abstinence. The basic membership requirement is a desire to remain abstinent from alcohol and “drugs.” LifeRing welcomes people regardless of their “drug of choice.” Please look elsewhere for support if your intention is to keep drinking or using, but not so much, or to stop drinking but continue using, or stop using but continue drinking. The successful LifeRing participant practices the Sobriety Priority, meaning that nothing is allowed to interfere with staying abstinent from alcohol and “drugs.” The motto is “we do not drink or use, no matter what.”
Secularity. LifeRing Recovery welcomes people of all faiths and none. You get to keep whatever religious beliefs you have, and you are under no pressure to acquire any if you don’t. Participants’ spiritual or religious beliefs or lack thereof remains private. Neither religion nor anti-religion normally comes up in meeting discussion. Participants are free to attend both LifeRing and Twelve-Step meetings, but LifeRing supports recovery methods that rely on human efforts rather than on divine intervention.
Self-Help. Self-help in LifeRing means that the key to recovery is the individual’s own motivation and effort. The main purpose of the group process is to reinforce the individual’s own inner strivings to stay clean and sober. LifeRing is a permanent workshop where individuals can build their own Personal Recovery Plans. LifeRing does not prescribe any particular “steps” other than abstinence and is not a vehicle for any particular therapeutic doctrine. LifeRing participation is compatible with a wide variety of abstinence-based therapeutic or counseling programs.
For more about these topics, read the three basic brochures (available at the bookstore for purchase or download) or How Was Your Week, especially Chapters 10 – 12, or Empowering Your Sober Self.