The 4 Step Fastrack to Sobriety. A freely available alternative sobriety method to traditional 12 step programs.

Originally written in 1996 when the author had three years of sobriety, now from the perspective of thirty alcohol free years.

A simple, straight forward method that provides a framework from which you can build your new life in sobriety.

Why the 4 Step Fastrack to Sobriety?

I first started noting what helped my sobriety effort as a way to increase my chances of staying sober. I figured if I could isolate the strategies and thoughts that worked for me, and concentrate on those, the whole process would be less grueling.

I had a pretty good base of recovery theory as a result of a state-mandated program in the mid-1980s that required me to write extensive reports on AA meetings for one year.

In addition to this, I read whatever I could get my hands on. This process led me to the book, The Truth About Addiction and Recovery by Stanton Peele Ph.D. and Archie Brodsky, with Mary Arnold. You can click directly on that title to find it at Amazon or find it along with several other resources at Amazon by clicking this Reading Room link which will provide you with in-depth resources to complement the 4 Step Fastrack, whether you are here for yourself or to help a loved one.

Somewhere between six months and a year after being sober, a peculiar thing began to happen. I was approached by friends, individually, and asked how I was staying sober. Since I had jotted down most of the key strategies that worked for me, I shared those things with them. I got some excellent feedback from most of these people. This led to the development of the 4 Step Fastrack.

A second thing happened that made me commit this concept to a formal report. I began to notice a group of people who were disenchanted with some of the things they were hearing at AA. I have some very close friends in AA, and I hope to keep it that way, but I disagree with portions of the AA philosophy. Having said that, I believe the group therapeutic benefit that can be derived from attendance of AA meetings during quandary admission to be invaluable.

Unfortunately, as one progresses into sobriety, I found for myself, and witnessed in some others, that AA is not necessarily the best way to stay sober.

If you find that AA works for you, then by all means, stick with it. Use any strategies that allow you to stay sober. The discussion explaining the differences between the 4 Step Fastrack and traditional 12-step theory could fill a book while offering little or nothing in the way of tools one can use to get sober comfortably. Perhaps I’ll address that in a 4 Step Fastrack, 2nd edition.

It is my simple hope that this report will help someone who wants to get sober to accomplish that.


The Fastrack method of quitting problem drinking provides the user with specific strategies to attain sobriety while being as comfortable as possible in the process. The information in the Fastrack program is the result of personal exposure to and study of 12 step programs, disease and behavior-based models, and extensive interviews with alcoholics, all over a 12-year period.

The four steps involved are equally important and need to be applied with the same intensity.


You may notice the absence of a spiritual tone in the steps. It is my belief that your choice of spirituality is a separate issue. I personally became more spiritually aware after being sober for a little over a year. I disagree with the notion of “turning over” this problem to a higher power. I’ve come to believe that the miracle available to you through your higher power is the ability to choose a healthier lifestyle.

While I believe that enhancing one’s spirituality is certainly a good idea, the fastrack program deals with the specifics of how to stop drinking, not personal spiritual development.


This report is intended to help people totally abstain from problem drinking. Depending on how your drinking habit has evolved, you may be able to moderate your drinking as part of your maturation process. Personally, having experienced the emotional turmoil of habitual, destructive drinking, and now knowing the incredible tranquility of abstention, I have no interest in attempting moderate drinking. This is a highly personal choice, but since you are trying this program, why not abstain for right now?


The physical manifestations of withdrawal (cold sweats, shaking, delusions, sleep disruption, etc.) can last anywhere from 2 days to a week or more. It is a good idea to consult with your physician before starting this program to address the best way to handle these.



Start with Step 1 here.