Adolescents who misuse alcohol and other drugs to the point where they need treatment must contend with costly and limited options for youth-specific care, as well as high relapse rates following treatment. Mutual-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are widely available but little research has addressed their benefits for adolescents. An assessment of 12-step meetings and recommended activities has found that attendance, participation, and finding a sponsor promote greater abstinence among adolescents.
Participating in community service activities and helping others is not just good for the soul; it has a healing effect that helps alcoholics and other addicts become and stay sober, a researcher from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reports.
Despite the existence of effective programs for treating alcohol dependencies and disorders, less than a quarter of people who are diagnosed actually seek treatment. In a study by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health researchers report that people diagnosed with alcoholism at some point in their lifetime were more than 60% less likely to seek treatment if they believed they would be stigmatized once their status is known.