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J Subst Abuse Treat. 2004 Apr;26(3):151-8; discussion 159-65.

Self-help organizations for alcohol and drug problems: toward evidence-based practice and policy.

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1
SAMHSA/Veterans Health Administration Workgroup on Substance Abuse Self-Help Organizations, c/o Program Evaluation and Resource Center, Veterans Affairs Health Care System (152-MPD), 795 Willow Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. KNH@stanford.edu

Abstract

This expert consensus statement reviews evidence on the effectiveness of drug and alcohol self-help groups and presents potential implications for clinicians, treatment program managers and policymakers. Because longitudinal studies associate self-help group involvement with reduced substance use, improved psychosocial functioning, and lessened health care costs, there are humane and practical reasons to develop self-help group supportive policies. Policies described here that could be implemented by clinicians and program managers include making greater use of empirically-validated self-help group referral methods in both specialty and non-specialty treatment settings and developing a menu of locally available self-help group options that are responsive to client's needs, preferences, and cultural background. The workgroup also offered possible self-help supportive policy options (e.g., supporting self-help clearinghouses) for state and federal decision makers. Implementing such policies could strengthen alcohol and drug self-help organizations, and thereby enhance the national response to the serious public health problem of substance abuse.

PMID:
15063905
DOI:
10.1016/S0740-5472(03)00212-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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