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The Cochrane Review on the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous – published June 2020

Updated: Mar 27

June 2020 saw a milestone event in the qualification and acceptance of Alcoholics Anonymous in the world of medicine. For the first time ever, a full 'gold standard' Cochrane review was carried out on the effectiveness of AA. This review, led by top scientists from Stanford and Harvard universities, carried out a comprehensive analysis of the results of 36 independent studies. The assessment applied all the critical standards of the Cochrane System to accurately assess the findings and remove any bias.

The results are significant – with the review concluding that AA is very effective at achieving recovery effects. The review compares AA with all other types of interventions, treatments and therapies and states that right across the board AA is either equally or more effective than any of the alternatives. Indeed the review states that AA is 20% – 60% more likely to help people achieve long-term recovery than any other type of intervention.

The review documentation itself is very comprehensive and very detailed. You can see the full study on the Cochrane Library website here:

Fortunately Stanford University also had the good sense to release a professionally produced YouTube video that covers all the important points in a much more understandable way. I really do urge everyone in recovery, or working in support of others seeking recovery, to watch it.

Keep safe

Steve E.

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