Is There An AA Success Rate?

Addressing the frequently asked questions dealing with addiction.

Question:

What is the success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous?  I have never seen it published.

Answer:

Every few years Alcoholics Anonymous does a survey of its members.  In 1992, a random survey of 6,500 A.A. members in both the United States and Canada revealed that 35 percent were sober for more than five years; 34 percent were sober from between one and five years; and 31 percent were sober for less than one year.  The average time sobriety of members is more than five years.  According to A.A. World Services, the survey is designed to provide information to the professional community and the general public as part of its purpose to carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer from alcoholism.  For more information about Alcoholics Anonymous, write to A.A. World Services, Grand Central Station, Box 459, New York, NY 10163. 

"Sober Days" ran in the Palm Springs daily newspaper, the Desert Sun, for several years in the 1990s-2000s. The popular Q&A column was written by Dr. James West, the Betty Ford Center’s first medical director. He remained with the Betty Ford Center until 2007, when he retired at age 93.

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