It’s impossible to measure the success of AA…or is it!!!!

Over the past 20 years there have been a number of people within the recovery industry who have taken a wrecking ball to the credibility of Alcoholics Anonymous. They inevitably quote “research has revealed the following outcomes” and the latest to join the queue is Scott Stern who in his recent article said.

“Experiential treatment (“it worked for me, so if you work it it will work for you”) not only lacks supporting data, but provides successful outcomes of only 5%-8%. Research based these findings on 12 step treatment whose clients maintained abstinence for one year or longer according to various recent research findings.”

“Peer-reviewed studies peg the success rate of AA somewhere between 5 and 10 percent. These quoted outcome percentages reference an article written by Dr Lance Dodes a well-known anti 12 step protagonist.

Now let’s cut to the chase.
It is impossible to measure the success rate of or the outcomes of Alcoholics Anonymous…….. why?
1. There are no records kept of people who attend a meeting
2. There are no records kept of where a person is on the scale set out in the DSM-5
section 1.2.15 substance related and addictive disorders. For all AA or anyone
knows they could be suffering from hyperthermia

Think about this. If you cannot get a unified starting point for any controlled research of people walking into the rooms of AA then on what basis can you come to any findings about the outcomes of attending AA?

It is a pure nonsense to quote figures or percentages of any so called research on the success or otherwise of AA. Dodes and all of his anti AA lobby confederates should be ashamed of themselves for holding up these meaningless, unsubstantiated findings which have absolutely no validity on any view of what evidence based research stands for.

The bottom line is it is impossible to apply the principles of evidence based research to conduct any reliable studies on the success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous.
So what do we know about Alcoholics Anonymous and the other 12 step groups such NA and GA.
• AA has been in existence for 80 years and the other 12 step groups have come into
existence since the inception of AA and are based on the same philosophies.
• There are AA meetings all over the world and it is estimated currently on anyone day
upwards of 2 million people will be attending an AA meeting somewhere in the
• Millions of people have got sober/clean in the rooms of a 12 step group and gone
onto live a life they could have only dreamed of.
• It does not work for everyone
• Some people don’t like the 12 step model and will try something different.

These are the facts that can be relied on when read or participate in any discussions on the 12 step model.


Go to Smartblog Theme Options -> Ad Management to enter your ad code (300x250)

No comments yet.

Leave a Comment