How and Why Twelve-Step Self-Help Groups Are Effective

  • Rudolf H. Moos
Part of the Recent Developments in Alcoholism book series (RDIA, volume 18)

Self-help and mutual support groups are a key component of the system of informal care for individuals with substance use and psychiatric disorders. In fact, almost 80% of adults who seek help for alcohol dependence participate in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) (Dawson, Grant, Stinson, & Chou, 2006); such participation appears to improve the likelihood of achieving and maintaining remission and reduce the need for further professional care. Moreover, many providers of substance use disorder (SUD) services have adopted twelve-step techniques in treatment, and most of them refer patients to self-help groups (SHGs) (Magura, 2007).

Accordingly, more information is needed about the association between participation in twelve-step SHGs and SUD outcomes and the active ingredients or social processes that may account for the effects of twelve-step SHGs. These issues are addressed here by reviewing some evidence for the effectiveness of twelve-step SHGs, describing four theories that specify social...


Active Ingredient Coping Skill Substance Misuse Avoidance Coping Alcoholic Anonymous 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Career Scientist and Professor, Center for Health Care Evaluation (152-MPD)VA Health Care SystemMenlo ParkUSA

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