RadioMD: Staying Well

Do 12 Step Programs Really Work?

July 21, 20149 min
Studies have shown 12-step and abstinence treatments have a low success rate.Alcoholics Anonymous, known as AA was first originated in the 1930s in order to help those suffering from addiction. Throughout the decades, AA and many other 12-step programs have been the number one strategy to fight and conquer alcoholism and many other addictions.However, researchers have been looking into the 12-step program to see if this is the best option for those looking to stay sober.Many studies have found the 12-step program method, specifically used in AA does not always see successful results and are usually between 5 and 10 percent.Some might have a problem with how AA sets up its program by saying you are powerless against your addiction. Another reason why the 12-step program might fail is its faith based principles. Some people have a hard time agreeing to this and letting go to a higher power.What are some alternative routes towards recovery and ways to get proper help?Substance use has typically looked at you either are an addict or you're not. You either have a problem or you don't.A lot of recovery treatments are moving away from this notion that if you are in a 12-step program you have to remove alcohol away from your life, forever.Where can you go if you don't want to follow a 12-step program recovery plan?Dr. Adi Jaffe, PhD discusses the success rate of AA and other 12-step programs, if it is the best option and what other treatment options are available for the type of treatment you're seeking.

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