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[Drug and Alcohol Findings] (2017) Does AA really help drinkers stop? London: Drug and Alcohol Findings. (28 March 2017) 4 p.

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URL: http://findings.org.uk/docs/bulletins/Bull_28_03_1...

12-step fellowships offer a way to reconcile shrunken resources with the desire to get more patients safely out of treatment. Accounting for the self-selection bias which has obscured AA’s impacts, this synthesis of US trials finds that attending more meetings after treatment boosts abstinence. Why then is research equivocal on whether promoting attendance improves drink-related outcomes?

Key points from summary and commentary
• This synthesis of US trials found that the more AA meetings problem drinkers attend after treatment, the fewer the days on which they drink, even after accounting for the possibility that more promising patients self-select into AA.
• However, research is equivocal on whether systematically and intensively encouraging attendance at 12-step groups significantly improves drink-related outcomes; heavy drinking and adverse consequences are usually unaffected even if abstinence is modestly boosted.
• A trial in England found no statistically significant improvements in abstinence after more active referral to 12-step groups, but was not a definitive test of these types of interventions.

Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Report
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD disorder treatment method, AOD disorder harm reduction, Psychosocial treatment method, Rehabilitation/Recovery
Source:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Date:March 2017
Pages:4 p.
Publisher:Drug and Alcohol Findings
Place of Publication:London
Number:28 March 2017
Subjects:B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use > Alcohol dependence
HJ Treatment method > Psychosocial treatment method > Group therapy
HJ Treatment method > Spirituality and religion in treatment
HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Treatment and maintenance > Treatment factors
L Social psychology and related concepts > Interpersonal interaction and group dynamics > Peer relations
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom > England

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