4814 Marietta Street Rohnert Park, CA (PressExposure) May 06, 2009 -- One of the many successful, growing organizations and alcohol treatment center across the US founded to fight alcoholism is the Alcoholics Anonymous or AA. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who share a desire to stop drinking alcohol. AA suggests that members completely abstain from alcohol, regularly attend meetings with other members, and follow its program to help each other with their common purpose: to help members "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety."
AA has been known to have created the successful twelve-step program used by many alcohol treatment center like Al-Anon, an auxiliary group for friends and family members of alcoholics; and Narcotics Anonymous, an treatment program for drug addicts.
Study About the Effectiveness of AA in Alcoholism
The study of AA tends to polarize observers into believers and non-believers, and discussion of AA often creates controversy rather than objective reflection. Some researchers take a skeptical view of AA because AA's solution is spiritual, not tangible or material (i.e., not scientific). A randomized trial of AA is very difficult because members are self-selected, not randomly selected from the population of chronic alcoholics, with the possible exception of those who participate in AA to comply with a court mandate.Two opposing types of self-selection bias are that drinkers may be motivated to stop drinking before they participate in AA, and AA may attract the more severe and difficult cases. Control groups with AA versus non-AA subjects are also difficult because AA is so easily accessible.
Many studies have demonstrated an association between AA attendance and increased abstinence or other positive outcomes. Other studies have concluded that AA attendance can lead to poorer outcomes than other therapies.
Studies on AA Attrition
In a 1989 internal AA report based on an average of five surveys, it was estimated that of those who attended AA meetings for the first time, nearly one third (31.5%) leave the program after one month. By the end of the third month, just over half (52.6%) have left. Of those who remain after three months, about half (55.6%) will remain until the twelfth month. After the first year, the rate of attrition slows.
About 40% of the members sober for less than a year will remain another year, About 80% of those sober less than five years will remain sober and active in the fellowship another year. About 90% of the members sober five years or more will remain sober and active in the fellowship another year, however the survey states that this information does not predict the number that will remain sober, and those who remain sober but not in the fellowship cannot be calculated. These figures have been repeated within a few percentage points using the same calculations since 1974.