Minnesota 12-Step Model produces consistent results

This study focused on outcomes of the Minnesota Model of alcohol treatment as delivered at Hazelden in Center City, Minn.

Stinchfield and Owen collected data on 1,083 men and women at four points: when they entered treatment at Hazelden, and at one month, six months, and 12 months after treatment.

At the 12 month point, 53 percent of these people said that they’d abstained from alcohol and other drugs during the year after treatment. Another 35 percent said that they’d reduced their chemical use.

Between 70 and 90 percent of these clients also reported improved quality of life in areas such as family relationships and job performance.

These results, consistent with other studies of Minnesota Model treatment, compare favorably with outcomes reported for other private treatment programs. Keep in mind that the Minnesota Model, with a Twelve Step foundation, fuses many elements: a residential setting, group therapy, individual counseling, lectures, discussions, assignments, attendance at Twelve Step meetings, and more. And as part of the model, clients receive services from a team of counselors, nurses, physicians, psychologists, recreational therapists, and spiritual care specialists. Treatment is individualized, and aspects of Cognitive Behavioral and Motivational Enhancement Therapy are woven in.

But what unifies these disparate elements is Twelve Step philosophy: lifelong abstinence is the goal of recovery, and frequent attendance at Twelve Step meetings is the primary way to maintain abstinence over the long term. Stinchfield and Owen put it this way: ‘The primary agent of change is group affiliation and practicing behaviors consistent with the Twelve Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous.’

Stinchfield, R. & Owen, P. (1998). Hazelden’s model of treatment and its outcome. Addictive Behaviors, 23, 5, Doug Toft. 2004 Hazelden Foundation


The Untold Story Behind the Minnesota Model


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