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Harvard Study Says AA Meetings are Helpful by Increasing Spirituality

Posted in Relapse Prevention

Recovering alcoholics who attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may have a better chance at permanent sobriety, according to a new study from Harvard Medical School.

Dr. John F. Kelly and his colleagues followed more than 1500 adult alcoholics for 15 months, and found a link between attending meetings and increasing spirituality as well as decreasing frequency and amounts of alcohol use.

"These findings support the notion that AA works in part by enhancing spiritual practices," Dr. Kelly, a professor of psychiatry and associate director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital. "We found that AA participation leads to recovery by helping members change their social network and by enhancing individuals’ coping skills, motivation for continued abstinence, and by reducing depression and increasing psychological well-being."

This study that appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.