The Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program for beating alcohol addiction has a long history and has helped millions of people around the world back to health.
It works as a 12-step program – the Steps being the program of the system which guide the user away from their dysfunctional relationship with drink. The 12-steps involve belief in and surrender to a ‘higher’ power which the AA people always stress need not be a formal ‘God’. So does the 12-step approach work for those who are not religious?
Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Addiction Program studied a group of 227 alcoholics. Those enrolled in a 12-step program like Alcoholics Anonymous did better than those who did not. It is the camaraderie and support you get in the 12-step program that likely provides the benefit, the researchers say.
Source; Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research August 2006