Effectiveness of Making Alcoholics Anonymous Easier

Most treatment programs recommend clients attend 12-step groups, but many drop out posttreatment.

The effectiveness of Making Alcoholics Anonymous [AA] Easier (MAAEZ ), a manual-guided intervention designed to help clients connect with individuals encountered in AA, was tested using an “OFF/ON” design (n = 508). MAAEZ effectiveness was determined by comparing abstinence rates of participants recruited during ON and OFF conditions and by studying the effect of the number of MAAEZ sessions attended.

  • At 12 months, more clients in the ON condition (vs. OFF) reported past 30-day
  • abstinence from alcohol (p = .012),
  • drugs (p = .009), and
  • both alcohol and drugs (p = .045).

MAAEZ results

In multivariate analyses, ON condition participants had significantly increased odds of abstinence from

  • alcohol (odds ratio [OR] = 1.85) and from
  • drugs (OR = 2.21);
  • abstinence odds also increased significantly for each additional MAAEZ session received.

MAAEZ appeared especially effective for those with

  • more prior AA exposure,
  • severe psychiatric problems, and
  • atheists/agnostics.

MAAEZ represents an evidence-based intervention that is easily implemented in existing treatment programs.

Kaskutas LA, Subbaraman MS, Witbrodt J, Zemore SE. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2009 Oct;37(3):228-39. Epub 2009 Apr 1. Effectiveness of Making Alcoholics Anonymous Easier: a group format 12-step facilitation approach.

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