How safe are adolescents at Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings? A prospective investigation with outpatient youth

Citation:

Kelly, J. F., Dow, S. J., Yeterian, J. D., & Myers, M. (2011). How safe are adolescents at Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings? A prospective investigation with outpatient youth. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment , 40 (4), 419-425 . Elsevier.

Abstract:

 

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) have proven to be cost-effective recovery resources for adults and also appear helpful for youth. However, anecdotal concerns about adolescents’ safety at meetings have dampened enthusiasm regarding youth participation. Unfortunately, little information exists to evaluate such concerns. Outpatients (N = 127; 24% female) were assessed at intake, and 3, 6, and 12-months regarding perceived safety at AA/NA, experience of negative incidents, and reasons for non-attendance/discontinuation. By 12-month follow-up, 57.5% reported some AA/NA attendance with a combined lifetime exposure of 5,340 meetings. Of these, 21.9% reportedat least one negative experience, which was more common among NA than AA attendees. Overall, youthreported feeling very safe at meetings and ratings did not differ by age or gender. Reasons for discontinuation or non-attendance were unrelated to safety or negative incidents. Weighing risks against documented benefits, these preliminary findings suggest referral to AA/NA should not be discouraged, but, similar to adults, youth experiences at meetings should be monitored.

 

Publisher's Version

Last updated on 02/15/2017