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Study Finds Active Participation in AA Aids in Long-Term Recovery


Recovering alcoholics who help others in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have better outcomes themselves, a new study concludes. Helping others increases the amount of time a person stays sober, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

The findings come from a 10-year study, reports. The researchers examined the effects of Alcoholics Anonymous-related Helping (AAH). “The AAH findings suggest the importance of getting active in service, which can be in a committed 2-month AA service position or as simple as sharing one’s personal experience in recovery to another fellow sufferer,” lead researcher Maria Pagano said in a news release.

She found that participants engaged in AAH attended more meetings and did more step-work than those who did not help others. Pagano noted that “being interested in others keeps you more connected to your program and pulls you out of the vicious cycle of extreme self-preoccupation that is a posited root of addiction.”

The findings appear in the journal Substance Abuse.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of Delton
    Delton / November 27, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    I have found in 17 years of recovery that 12 step programs work because 11 of the 12 steps have nothing to do with drugs and alcohol, they are designed to assist us in correcting the emotional deficiencies that lie within us. As addicts drugs and alcohol are not our problem in its entirity they are merely a symptom of our problem.

  2. Jerry Clevenger / October 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I have noticed, over the past twenty six years working in the field, that the same results can be achieved by attending church or any other activity that stresses getting one “out of self”.

  3. Carlos / September 14, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I have difficulties with reports of studies for which I can not read the full report and able to scrutanized the full study.

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