Twelve-Step Approaches


Kelly, J. F., Worley, M. J., & Yeterian, J. (2019). Twelve-Step Approaches. In S. A. Brown & R. Zucker (Ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Adolescent Substance Abuse (pp. 731-748) . Oxford University Press.


Twelve-step approaches to addressing substance use disorder (SUD) are unique in the treatment field in that they encompass professionally led, as well as peer-led, intervention methods. Also, in contrast to most professional treatments that have emerged from scientific theories and empirical data (e.g., cognitive-behavioral treatments), 12-step approaches have been derived, in large part, from the collective addiction and recovery experiences of laymen. Despite this, 12-step approaches have become influential in tackling SUD, with research demonstrating the clinical utility of employing such approaches among adults, and increasingly, among youth. Findings among adolescent samples indicate community 12-step mutual-help organizations, in particular, may provide a beneficial recovery-supportive social context during a life stage where such support is rare.