Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Published by Alcohol Research Group, February 27,2018
Alternative Mutual Help Groups are Viable Options to Traditional 12-step Groups
People with an alcohol use disorder who participated in alternative mutual help groups had abstinence outcomes equivalent to those who participated in traditional 12-step groups at the same level, a new study from Senior Scientist and Center Associate Director Sarah E. Zemore and colleagues. This is the first longitudinal, comparative study of 12-step groups and their alternatives, including Women for Sobriety (WFS), LifeRing Secular Recovery (LifeRing), and SMART Recovery (SMART).
There has been little evidence to-date on the effectiveness of mutual help groups besides 12-step groups like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This study points to a range of viable options for people who seek sobriety support, and especially those who object to some of the underlying principles of 12-step groups. Results suggest that mutual help group involvement—measured as meeting attendance; having a regular or home group; having a close friend or sponsor in the group; leading, convening, or facilitating meetings; and doing volunteer or service work—offers equivalent benefits in relation to substance use and problems regardless of group choice.
“We know that participation in AA and other 12-step groups contributes to recovery from alcohol and drug problems, but until now, almost nothing has been known about the efficacy of alternatives to the 12-step approach,” said Zemore. “Our findings showed that participation in three major, secular alternatives to 12-step groups yielded the same benefits for recovery from an alcohol use disorder as did participation in 12-step groups—even though the philosophies of these alternatives are very different from AA’s philosophy. This is exciting news, because it suggests that there are several good choices for individuals seeking a recovery support group.”
Further results indicated that... [ CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ]
[CURATED CONTENT: Published in MedicalNewsToday.com, February 27,2018]