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J Clin Psychol. 2006 Jun;62(6):735-50.

Participation in treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous: a 16-year follow-up of initially untreated individuals.

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Center for Health Care Evaluation, Department of Veterans Affairs, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA.


This study focused on the duration of participation in professional treatment and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) for previously untreated individuals with alcohol use disorders. These individuals were surveyed at baseline and 1 year, 3 years, 8 years, and 16 years later. Compared with individuals who remained untreated, individuals who obtained 27 weeks or more of treatment in the first year after seeking help had better 16-year alcohol-related outcomes. Similarly, individuals who participated in AA for 27 weeks or more had better 16-year outcomes. Subsequent AA involvement was also associated with better 16-year outcomes, but this was not true of subsequent treatment. Some of the association between treatment and long-term alcohol-related outcomes appears to be due to participation in AA.

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