AA May Alleviate Depression

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Attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous may reduce symptoms of depression, finds a new study on the effectiveness of AA.

The Study

Alcoholics Anonymous is an extremely effective program for many people with alcohol use disorders, and a new study attempted to provide some explanation for AA's positive effects. Researchers analyzed data on more than 1700 people who participated in Project MATCH, a federally funded trial that compared three alcohol treatment programs. The data, collected over a period of 15 months, found that more frequent attendance at AA meetings was associated with a significant reduction in depression symptoms.

What Does This Mean?

Depression and other mood disorders are a common problem among alcoholics. In some instances depression precedes problem alcohol use, which in turn is known to exacerbate symptoms of depression. The findings of this study suggest that Alcoholics Anonymous meetings may be a good choice for problem drinkers who are also suffering from depression - attendance results not only in less drinking, but in an improvement in mood as well.


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