DJ Mac highlights a recent study of 302 18-24 year olds entering residential treatment and their opinions of 12 step groups. The study also included follow-up at 3, 6 and 9 months.
He pulls a few quotes from the paper and one, in particular, leapt out to me.
Clinicians can highlight that 12-step specific content was rarely cited as a reason for discontinuing 12-step attendance among young adults.
He also summarized their findings:
What was most helpful?
- Removing a sense of isolation
- Validating experiences
- A sense of belonging, acceptance and validation
- Installation of hope (being inspired/encouraged by another member who has a similar problem).
- Altruism (members help and support each other).
12-step specific responses were rare leading the authors to conclude that ‘general group therapy factors were more important to these young adults in early recovery/post-treatment.’
What did they like least?
- Meeting structure (length, repetition)
- Having to motivate oneself to get there
Interestingly, less than 1% of young people found meetings unhelpful.
Why did they stop going?
- Logistical barriers (e.g. lack of transport)
- Low recovery motivation and interest
Why did some never attend?
- Didn’t need treatment
- Don’t have a problem