• Early detection, including screening and brief interventions (for nondependent problem drinkers)
  • Comprehensive assessment and individualized treatment plan
  • Care management
  • Individually delivered, proven professional interventions
  • Contracting with patients
  • Social skills training
  • Medications
  • Specialized services for medical, psychiatric, employment or family problems
  • Continuing care
  • Strong bond with therapist or counselor
  • Longer duration (for alcohol dependent persons)
  • Participation in support groups
  • Strong patient motivation
Research Sources: McLellan, T.A. 2002; Miller,W.R. 2002; National Institute on Drug Abuse. 1999; Project MATCH Research Group. 1997.

Active participation in a support group can contribute to long-term recovery.

Project MATCH and other studies in the 1990s definitively proved that AA can be an active ingredient of treatment both during a professional intervention and afterward, depending on the patient’s type of therapy.

Patients who joined the AA fellowship or who had an AA sponsor after receiving twelve step facilitation therapy had better abstinence records than those who received an intervention but did not continue their AA participation upon completion.

Other research indicates AA participation may be less effective for patients who receive cognitive behavior therapy because the programs have different goals that may confuse patients.

What researchers still don’t understand, however, are the precise mechanisms of AA participation.

While AA affiliation is associated with self-efficacy, motivation and coping efforts, all significant predictors of good outcome following a professional intervention, some studies have shown that patients who adopt more of the fellowship’s basic tenets – such as acknowledging that alcoholism is a disease, admission of their powerlessness over alcohol and working the twelve steps of the program – relapse at the same rates as patients who adopt very few.

This suggests that the active ingredient may be less about AA per se than continuing participation in support groups that promote a lifestyle inconsistent with the problematic use of alcohol and other drugs.

From; www.ensuringsolutions.org

Brief-TSF is designed to support active participation in Alcoholics Anonymous.