AA attendance reduces healthcare costs

Over a period of three years, alcoholics who initially chose to attend AA were compared to those who sought help from a professional outpatient treatment provider (total N=201).

Those who chose to attend AA had 45% ($1826) lower average per-person treatment costs than did those who chose outpatient treatment.

Despite the lower costs, AA attenders also experienced significant improvements in

  • alcohol consumption,
  • dependence symptoms,
  • adverse consequences,
  • days intoxicated and
  • depression.

These outcomes did not differ significantly from those of alcoholics who chose professional treatment. This was true both at one year and at three years after the beginning of the study.

Humphreys, K. and R. H. Moos (1996) Reduced Substance-Abuse-Related Health Care Costs among Voluntary Participants in Alcoholics Anonymous. Psychiatric Services, 47, 709-713.

BriefTSF training for alcohol intervention

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