Outcome Research on 12-Step and Other Self-Help Programs: Introduction | Participation in Self-Help Groups and Substance Use
Outcomes | Connections Between Self-Help Groups and Treatment | Self-Help Groups and Health Care Utilization and
Costs | Personal Factors, Participation, and Self-Help Group
Outcomes | Self-Help Groups for Family Members | Ingredients of Self-Help Group Outcomes | Key Points | References | Suggested Reading
Twelve-step self-help groups (SHGs), often called
mutual help or support groups, are an important component of the system
of informal care for patients with substance use disorders (SUDs).
Individuals make more visits to SHGs for help with their own or
family members' substance use and psychiatric problems
than to all mental health professionals combined. As many as 9% of
adults in the United States have been to an Alcoholics Anonymous
(AA) meeting at some time in their lives, and more than 3% have
been to a meeting in the prior year (Room and Greenfield 1993). Moreover,
many SUD treatment service providers have adopted 12-step techniques
in treatment, and most of them refer patients to SHGs.