Alcoholics Who Help Other Alcoholics Help Themselves Too
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the largest self-help, mutual-help organization for alcoholics in the world with over 2 million members. Almost any village, town, city or community has at least one AA meeting. On every night and often day of the week one can easily find an AA meeting.
One of the altruistic values followed by AA members is that of helping others find and maintain sobriety.
A study by Pagano et al, found that AA members who were helping others were significantly less likely to relapse in the year following treatment. This was true for all demographic groups with older age having a slight advantage.
The study concluded by saying; “Clinicians who treat persons with substance abuse disorders should encourage their clients to help other recovering alcoholics to stay sober.”
The report was by; Pagano ME, Friend KB, Tonigan JS, Stout RL. Helping other alcoholics in alcoholics anonymous and drinking outcomes: findings from project MATCH. Journal of Studies on Alcohol. 2004 Nov; 65(6): 766-73.