Many people want to know whether 12 Step programs are successful. The problem is there are many recovering alcoholics and addicts who relapse. It isn’t the programs that are faulty, though.

These programs help alcoholics and addicts to be effective in their recovery. In fact, there are some credible 12 Step statistics that show just how helpful these programs are for recovering alcoholics and addicts. 

Crystal Meth Anonymous:

There was a study done regarding Crystal Meth Anonymous and the effectiveness of this group. It showed there was a decrease in sexual partners, along with unprotected intercourse declined, by around ⅔. 

Gamblers Anonymous:

There was a study done for the effectiveness of Gamblers Anonymous, as well. This showed there were fewer than 8% of those who attended GA, stayed in the program and stopped gambling for more than 1 year. If they were to stay in the program longer, they would have a higher chance to stay abstinent from gambling. 

Critics and Other Information:

There are critics of these types of programs. One such critic, Stanton Peele, often referred to the success rates for these programs topping out around 5%. Most AA organizations refute this statistic. Statistics and articles from 1941 put the statistics around 50% for the success rates and 25% success rates after one or two relapses. The same statistics have been found years later in the American Journal of Psychiatry. 

AA Assessments:

Recent assessments done regarding AA, called “Alcoholics Anonymous Recovery Outcome Rates: Contemporary Myth and Misinterpretation” (January 1, 2008) offers the AA statistics mentioned here:

(1) For the people doing their 1st month of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, 26% of them will keep going to the end of the 1st year or longer

(2) For the people in the 4th month of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, 56% will keep going until the end of the 1st year or longer

(3) A survey done in 2004 showed increases in sobriety lengths when compared to the survey done in 2001 (so has every triennial survey done since 1983).

(4) According to the survey done in 2004, longer-term sobriety for AA members was so common that the more than 5 years range of prior surveys was put to 5 to 10 years (14%) and greater than 10 years (36%), and greater than 5 years (50%).

(5) A survey done in 1983 shows 25% of Alcoholics Anonymous members stayed sober for more than 5 years and a study done in 2004 shows 50% of Alcoholics Anonymous members remained sober for more than 5 years.

(6) During the survey of 1983, average Alcoholics Anonymous members stayed sober for 4 years, while the 2004 survey showed average Alcoholics Anonymous members stayed sober for over 8 years.

Since the numbers mentioned here came directly from AA, it is reasonable they should be taken under caution. However, with that being said, knocking out the exact numbers of 12 Step program success rates is nearly impossible. It depends on who is doing the study, who is being studied, the areas being studied, age ranges being studied, and some other factors, as well. 

Do you have an addiction to alcohol or drugs? If so, AA may be the right course of action for you. There are many different types of treatment programs that alcoholics and addicts can attend. If you are looking into AA meetings, there are many local 12 Step meetings. There are also 12 Step meetings available online if you wish to attend those, too. Make the choice to start overcoming your addiction beginning today. You can change your entire world, lifestyle, and daily choices. You can make a difference in your own life and 12 Step rehab information may be able to help you do that. 

Author's Bio: 

Charles Watson is the current health and addiction writer for Sunshine Behavioral Health. Sunshine Behavioral Health is an addiction and mental health rehab center based out of California. A lifelong health advocate, when not in California you can find Charles in his hometown of Detroit at a Detroit Tigers game. He can be reached directly on Twitter at @charleswatson00, or at