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Alcoholics Anonymous-Narcotics Anonymous Model Inpatient Treatment of Chemically Dependent Adolescents: A 2-Year Outcome Study

Geary S. Alford, Roger A. Koehler, James Leonard

Many hospital and residential chemical dependency treatment facilities utilize Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) principles and practices in therapeutic programming. Although well-known and broadly endorsed and supported, such AA/NA approaches have received little research attention especially in regard to chemically dependent adolescents. The present study examined chemical usage and social-civil-productive functioning in 157 male and female chemically dependent adolescents at 6, 12 and 24 months after leaving an AA/NA-based treatment program. Results revealed that both treatment completers and noncompleters (those who left treatment prematurely against professional/medical advice) demonstrated less chemical use after their respective hospitalizations than before. Although significantly higher percentages of both male and female treatment completers were found abstinent/essentially abstinent at 6 months post discharge in contrast to noncompleters, abstinance rates, particularly for male subjects, declined sharply by 1 and 2 years after treatment. Results indicated that the AA/NA model is a promising approach in treating chemically dependent adolescents, but that much attention to relapse prevention methods is necessary. (J. Stud. Alcohol 52: 118-126, 1991)