Do Adolescents Benefit From Attending 12-Step Meetings?

Studies Say 12-Step Meetings Can Help Adolescents


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This news brief describes some of the key outcomes of an empirical study of the effects of 12-step program activities on abstinence outcomes for adolescents in early recovery. Results show that roughly 25% of adolescents sampled attended 12-step meetings during a year-long follow-up period after being discharged from an outpatient treatment program. Meeting attendance, verbal participation at meetings, and work with a sponsor were all positively related to the percentage of days during follow-up that an adolescent remained sober. Treatment providers will find this information useful in determining how to help young patients transition from heavily structured recovery programs through 12-step programs that emphasize balanced integration of recovery principles into daily affairs.

Daily attendance of 12-step or other recovery meetings is required for all Bluefield students. We also encourage our students to get a sponsor and get started on working the 12 steps, which increases the likelihood of prolonged abstinence. In addition, we coordinate “fellowship” nights, where our students enjoy a meal with members of the local 12 step community. These fellowship events allow our students to make strong, healthy connections outside of our University Recovery Community and allow them to feel a part of the 12 step community. We also introduce them to other recovering students in the area, who can share their experience, strength and hope, on recovering on campus.

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