12-Step Treatment More Effective than Alternative, Study Says

Research Summary

Researchers from Stanford University found that a *12-step oriented treatment program that included attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings boosted two-year sobriety rates by 30 percent compared to cognitive-behavioral (CB) programs, the BBC reported Jan. 29.
Twelve-step oriented programs also cost 30 percent less than CB-based treatment for addiction, the researchers said.
Lead study author Keith Humphreys said the spiritual dimension of AA may explain why recovering alcoholics in such programs are better able to resist the temptation to return to drinking.
The study appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
*Editor’s Note, Jan. 31, 2007:
As originally published on January 30, the title of the summary read: “AA Boosts Sobriety by 30 Percent, Study Says.” We have changed the title and summary to clarify that the researchers studied 12-step oriented treatment programs — not only AA meetings.

Source: Humphreys, K., Moos, R.H. (2007) Encouraging Posttreatment Self-Help Group Involvement to Reduce Demand for Continuing Care Services: Two-Year Clinical and Utilization Outcomes. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(1): 64–68; doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2006.00273.x.

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