The investigation of the applicability of Alcoholics Anonymous/Narcotics Anonymous (AA/NA) for teens has only been a subject of empirical research investigation since the early 1990s. In the present review, the author describes teen involvement in AA/NA programming, provides an exhaustive review of the outcomes of 19 studies that used an AA/NA model as part of their formal teen substance abuse treatment programs, and provides data on the effects of AA/NA attendance on abstinence at follow-up, on which youth tend to become involved in AA/NA, and on mediation of the benefits of AA/NA participation. In addition, the author suggests the reasons for somewhat limited participation by teens in more informal, community-based 12-step meetings, and makes suggestions for maximizing participation at meetings in the community. The author concludes that AA/NA participation is a valuable modality of substance abuse treatment for teens and that much can be done to increase teen participation, though more research is needed.
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