Hazelden Study Signals Importance of Twelve Step Meeting Attendance for Young Women in Early Recovery
The frequency of attending Twelve Step mutual support meetings following addiction treatment can help predict success in early recovery for young women, according to a data analysis study.
Meeting attendance frequency predicted both abstinence from substance use and number of drinking days at six months post-treatment for young women studied, reports Audrey A. Klein.
Analysis focused on 139 young women, age 17-23, attending Twelve Step-based residential treatment for a substance use disorder. They were statistically compared to a sample of 237 young men who attended the same treatment program during the same time period. The analysis showed young women were as likely as young men to attend Twelve Step meetings and engage in prescribed Twelve Step practices. However, whereas frequency of meeting attendance predicted abstinence status and number of drinking days at six months post-treatment for women, Twelve Step experiences—such as getting a sponsor or considering oneself an Alcoholics Anonymous member—predicted drinking days for the men.
Klein notes that little is known about young women and addiction even though women experience a faster transition between initiation and heavy substance use and admission to treatment, and women suffer more adverse neurological and physical abuse from substance abuse. Women are also more likely than men to have a co-occurring psychological disorder.
The study on substance use disorders and young women, titled "12-Step Involvement and Treatment Outcomes among Young Women with Substance use Disorders," was published in Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 29, 204-281.