Photo: From the Saturday Evening Post issue of March 1, 1941 (the Jack Alexander article that allowed AA to grow exponentially)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AA!
Most of the studies that measured abstinence found AA was significantly better than other interventions or no intervention. In one study, it was found to be 60% more effective. None of the studies found AA to be less effective.
In the studies that measured outcomes other than complete abstinence, AA was found to be at least as effective. For the studies that considered costs, most showed significant savings associated with AA participation: One found that AA and 12-step facilitation counseling reduced mental health costs by $10,000 per person.
The researchers looked only at studies of AA; they excluded Narcotics Anonymous and organizations focused on addiction to other substances. While it was beyond the scope of their study, Humphreys said the AA review is “certainly suggestive that these methods work for people who use heroin or cocaine.”
Humphreys noted that the findings were consistent whether the study participants were young, elderly, male, female, veterans or civilians; the studies in the review were also conducted in five different countries. “It absolutely does work,” he said of AA’s method.
He added that he feels validated in giving advice to so many patients to try AA: “That was really good advice, and that continues to be good advice,” he said.