There have been plenty of studies performed in the past decade looking at how effective 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, really are. Those who have had good success in the programs tend to cheer the groups on loudly while those who have not been successful tend to remain in the background. However, it is difficult to get a good picture of the programs’ effectiveness simply because most of them do not keep records of individuals who have attended meetings. However, it is estimated that millions of people have gone through the Alcoholics Anonymous program alone.

Surveys of Rehabilitation Program Effectiveness

Alcoholics Anonymous has performed some of its own surveys, which do show generally promising results. As of 2007, the agency reported that a third of those who responded to the surveys had remained sober for ten years or more. The surveys were somewhat inconclusive because many of those who attended meetings went for less than a year.

On the other hand, the accuracy of these surveys is limited at best because of the limited sample group and the fact that many who failed on the program may not have answered. However, it is encouraging to note the numbers who did attain excellent results because even one person saved from alcoholism is a cause for rejoicing.

[su_note note_color=”#F0F0F0″]One of the main discouragers of 12-step programs is Dr. Lance Dodes who came out with a book several years ago entitled The Sober Truth. He believes that the program generally does not work and says that the success rate is between 5 to 10 percent. He does admit some of the positives of the program, which include camaraderie among those who have similar problems and the supportive structure of the program.[/su_note]

Finding the Best Treatment for Addiction Recovery

Those who are struggling with addiction should keep in mind that a 12-step program may not be the best place to start. Instead, a drug or alcohol rehabilitation center will get these individuals started down the correct path with medications, behavioral therapies and group therapies that can help changes their dangerous, destructive patterns. First Step Recovery Center is one such place that focuses on initial treatments in outpatient settings before recommending continued community-based care in a program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous. After a patient has received initial treatment and is on the road to recovery, a 12-step program can provide the continued support and group therapy that he or she needs.