Social Support Mediates the Effects of Dual-Focus Mutual Aid Groups on Abstinence from Substance Use

National Development and Research Institutes, NYC, NY 10010, USA.
American Journal of Community Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.74). 01/2005; 34(3-4):175-85. DOI: 10.1007/s10464-004-7413-5
Source: PubMed


Specialized 12-step based groups have emerged to address the needs of persons recovering from both substance abuse and psychiatric illness.
This study investigates the role of social support in mediating the association between mutual aid participation and subsequent substance use for dually diagnosed persons.
A cohort of Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR) members in New York City were studied prospectively over a two-year period.
Longer DTR participation during the first year of the study was associated with lower substance use in the second year; that effect was partially explained by the maintenance of high level of social support.
These findings speak of the enduring influence of 12-step attendance on reducing substance use, and underline the importance of both 12-step attendance and supportive networks for dually diagnosed persons.

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    • "This value of perceived congruency in therapy was mentioned by Rogers (1957) as one of the most essential and necessary for change, and it was also adopted by positive criminology (Ronel & Segev, 2014). Laudet et al. (2004) described the loneliness experienced by most attendees of the self-help groups and mentioned that in the group these feelings are relieved. Spending time with a group of people who cope with similar problems provides a sense of security and diminishes loneliness. "
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    • "Understanding the relationship between social support and QOL is important, since the social domain is especially critical to the recovery process. Studies have documented the enhanced need for and usefulness of social support, especially early on in posttreatment recovery (Humphreys et al., 1997; Laudet et al., 2004, 2006) in the context of a potential erosion of social networks as the individual pulls away from substance involved associates but has not yet established a sober network of friends (Ribisl, 1997; Tracy and Johnson, 2007; Tracy et al., 2010). Women may enter treatment with less social resources as compared to men; fewer social supports among women have been shown to negatively influence both treatment access and retention (Greenfield et al., 2007). "
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