Does Alcoholics Anonymous Work?


The Atlantic investigates the scientific evidence — and lack thereof — for Alcoholics Anonymous and other types of addiction treatment.

“Alcoholics Anonymous is famously difficult to study,” reports The Atlantic. “By necessity, it keeps no records of who attends meetings; members come and go and are, of course, anonymous. No conclusive data exist on how well it works. In 2006, the Cochrane Collaboration, a health-care research group, reviewed studies going back to the 1960s and found that ‘no experimental studies unequivocally demonstrated the effectiveness of AA or [12-step] approaches for reducing alcohol dependence or problems.'”

The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous (The Atlantic, April 2015)

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  1. Maybe there are some things one cannot study on a population level. It seems to help some people, whether it is cause, effect or circumstance it’s an open question. Problems start when one tries to push t on people who don’t want it.