Study: AA Can Help Women Leaving Prison Cut Drinking

A new study indicates that regular attendance at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings appears to have a positive impact on reducing drinking among women released from incarceration, HealthDay reported Dec. 15.

The researchers, led by Yael Chatav Schonbrun, a research fellow in psychiatry at Brown University, provided brief AA interventions to over 200 women at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections Adult Correctional Institute before and after their release. Then they followed up with them at one month, three months, and six months.

According to the study abstract, the women were assessed with the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test. AA meetings were provided to women classified as “hazardous drinkers” — those who consumed “4 or more drinks at a time on at least 3 days in prior 3 months.”

Over half the women (54 percent) said they attended AA meetings during the follow-up period. Those who attended at least once a week reported that they drank less often and suffered fewer negative alcohol-related consequences. 

The study, “Alcoholics Anonymous and Hazardously Drinking Women Returning to the Community After Incarceration: Predictors of Attendance and Outcome,” appeared online Dec. 16 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. It will appear in print in the journal's March 2011 issue.

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