Facilitating Involvement in Twelve-Step Programs

  • Dennis M. Donovan
  • Anthony S. Floyd
Part of the Recent Developments in Alcoholism book series (RDIA, volume 18)


Twelve-step programs represent a readily available resource for individuals with substance use disorders. These programs have demonstrated considerable effectiveness in helping substance abusers achieve and maintain abstinence and improve their overall psychosocial functioning and recovery. Despite these positive benefits associated with increased involvement in twelve-step self-help programs, many substance abusers do not affiliate or do so for only a short period of time before dropping out. Because of this, clinicians and researchers have sought ways to increase involvement in such self-help groups by facilitating meeting attendance and engagement in other twelve-step activities. The present chapter reviews the impact of treatment program orientation and specific interventions designed to facilitate twelve-step program involvement, subsequent meeting attendance, engagement in twelve-step activities, and alcohol and drug use. The findings of studies evaluating these approaches indicate that it is possible to increase twelve-step involvement and that doing so results in reduced substance use. The results suggest that incorporating these evidence-based interventions into standard treatment programs may lead to improved outcomes.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Substance Abuse Treatment Alcoholic Anonymous Motivational Enhancement Therapy Referral Condition 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funding for this manuscript was provided in part from Cooperative Agreement 5 U10 DA13714, as part of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network, U. S. National Institutes of Health. The opinions expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors, not of the sponsoring agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis M. Donovan
    • 1
  • Anthony S. Floyd
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesAlcohol & Drug Abuse Institute and, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Alcohol & Drug Abuse Institute, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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