The Drug Class Blog

Nov 12

Helping Helps

Helping Helps.

Self-centeredness is a big problem that feeds addiction and addictive behavior, here is an interesting study that illustrates the value of getting invloved in helping others.


Adolescent Addiction - New Finding by Sheela Philomena on November 11, 2011 at 2:31 PM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News

Teens undergoing substance abuse treatment find helping others help them to stay on the road to addiction recovery, reveals study. Results of this large investigation involving 195 substance dependent juvenile offenders reveal that helping others in 12-step programs significantly improves adolescent treatment response.

Featured in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, this study also shows that youth service participation mediates the influence of lifetime religious practices on treatment outcomes. "Our findings indicate that service participation in 12-step programs can reduce the craving symptoms experienced by adolescents in treatment for alcohol and or drug addiction," Dr. Pagano says. "Similarly, we found that substance-dependent adolescents with greater religious backgrounds participate more during treatment in 12-step programs of recovery, which leads to better health outcomes."

This observational, longitudinal study is the first to examine the relationship between adolescent 12-step participation during treatment, lifetime religiosity, and clinical outcomes, replicating findings shown among adults in Dr. Pagano''s prior collaborative research. Funded by the John Templeton Foundation, the investigation comprised 93 boys and 102 girls, ages 14-18, court-referred for residential treatment at New Directions, the largest adolescent residential treatment facility in Northeast Ohio.

The majority were marijuana dependent (92%) with comorbid[at the same time] alcohol dependence (60%). Participants were interviewed within the first 10 days of treatment and two months later at treatment discharge. Outcomes assessed included urine toxicology screens, alcohol/drug craving symptoms, clinical characteristics, and global psychosocial functioning. Controlling for background characteristics and clinical severity, Dr. Pagano and colleagues found that Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous-related helping, as part of treatment, improved four of seven outcomes.

These included reductions in two types of craving symptoms, reduced narcissistic entitlement, and improved psychosocial functioning. Higher lifetime religious practices, such as prayer, worship, and meditation, were associated with higher service participation during treatment, which in turn, led to better outcomes.

What do you think?

Show All Blog Posts