How LifeRing Is Organized

LifeRing is a free-standing, self-supporting, democratically run organization. LifeRing is not affiliated with any other group. The organization ad­opted the LifeRing name in 1999 and held its national founding congress in 2001. At this time there are LifeRing meetings in about 20 states and four countries. Each meeting elects a delegate to the annual LifeRing Congress, which decides all major issues of policy and elects the Board of Directors. There is a Service Cen­ter and LifeRing Press. All directors and officers are unpaid volunteers. LifeRing is a nonprofit corporation and meets expenses by passing the basket at meetings, general donations, and through literature sales.

The LifeRing approach is compatible with a wide variety of ab­stinence-based treatment programs.  The basic LifeRing therapeutic orientation is pragmatic and eclectic.  The expert may readily identify elements of cognitive behaviorism, motivational interviewing, solution-focused therapy, role-playing methodology, and many other schools of thought in the LifeRing mix.  There are letters of refer­ence for LifeRing from treatment professionals. Although the LifeRing approach is different from 12-step, LifeRing has operated for years side by side with 12-step groups without friction.

Persons interested in knowing more about LifeRing may wish to look at other articles on the website, read the books and pamphlets offered by the LifeRing Bookstore or contact the LifeRing Service Center at 1-800-811-4142 or service@lifering.org.


  1. Elizabeth on June 4, 2018 at 1:45 pm


    I am in Oakland, CA and interested in knowing if there are any youth/teen-specific meetings that are organized, or if they are all mixed meetings.

    Thank you!

    • Craig Whalley on June 5, 2018 at 11:02 am

      I’m afraid we don’t have any meetings aimed at youths in particular. We’re aware of the need and how young people would do much better in a meeting with other young people. Alas, as a small, all-volunteer organization, making that happen is a daunting task. one of many daunting tasks on o0ur wish list. If you’re aware of a treatment provider who serves primarily younger clients, we could talk to them, but no guarantees even then.
      == Craig W.