The relationship between regular attendance in 12-Step Programs and improved treatment outcomes is well established. This is why 12-Step Facilitation, which is an evidenced-based practice, regular attendance at 12-Step Meetings, and systematically working the 12-steps with a sponsor has been strongly recommended to support Relapse Prevention Therapy (RPT). Secular support groups such as SMART Recovery are also available.
When addiction professionals recommend 12-Step Programs as part of an addiction recovery program it is import to be aware of the controversy and legal opinions related to the question if Alcoholics anonymous and other 12-step programs are religious in nature according to the law. This controversy is explored in an in-depth blog: Is A.A. A Religion by Terence T. Gorski.
Here is an abstract of a 2003 article reporting on a six-month followup study regarding A.A. effectiveness (Gossom et al 2003).
Gossom and his associates studied the relationship between attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings prior to, during, and after inpatient treatment and treatment outcome was studied. The research sample included 150 patients in an inpatient alcohol treatment program who met ICD-10 criteria for alcohol dependence. The participants were interviewed at admission and 80% of the sample was reinterviewed 6 months following departure. The following results of the study were seen:
(1) Significant improvements in drinking behaviors, including frequency, quantity, and reported problems; in psychological problems; and in quality of life;
(2) Superior drinking outcomes for frequent AA attenders compared to non-AA attenders and infrequent attenders;
(3) Greater reductions in alcohol consumption and more abstinent days for those who attended AA on a weekly or more frequent basis after treatment;
(4) A finding that this effect was sustained after controlling for potential confounding variables; and
(5) A finding that the improvements were related only to improved drinking outcomes and that many of the sample had alcohol and psychiatric problems at follow-up. It is concluded that adequate aftercare services are often lacking and that AA is a useful aftercare resource.
Gossom, M.; Harris, J.; Best, D.; Man, L.H.; Manning, V.; Marshall, J.; Strang, J. Is attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings after inpatient treatment related to improved outcomes?: A 6-month follow-up study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 38(5):421-426, 2003. (171217)
LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE – LIVE FREE