A group in which participants support each other in recovering or maintaining recovery from alcohol or other drug dependence or problems, or from the effects of another' s dependence, without professional therapy or guidance. Prominent groups in the alcohol and other drug field include Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and Al-Anon (for members of alcoholics' families), which are among a wide range of twelve-step groups based on a non-denominational, spiritual approach. Mutual-help groups in the alcohol field date back to the American Washingtonians of the 1840s, and include such Europe-based groups as Blue Cross, Gold Cross, Hudolin groups, and Links. The approach of some of these groups allows for professional or semi-professional guidance. Some recovery homes or halfway houses in the alcohol field and therapeutic communities for those dependent on other drugs might be seen as residential mutual-help groups.
"Self-help group" is a more common term, but "mutual-help group" more exactly expresses the emphasis on mutual aid and support.WHO Lexicon of alcohol and drug terms