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A new study reveals that young addicts who are motivated to stay clean and sober fare better in the long term drug treatment centers than by attending twelve step programs alone. If young addicts attend a residential drug treatment program they are more likely to receive help with issues that prevent them from maintaining sobriety through group support such as AA or NA.
Researchers from the Center for Addictive Medicine and the Butler Center at Hazelden analyzed data from 303 participating young addicts (ages 18-24) who attended multidisciplinary 12 step based drug treatment centers. They found that these young people were motivated to stay clean, but lacked the necessary confidence and coping skills to attend mutual support groups, such as AA or NA. The combination of drug treatment programs with psychological counseling increased the odds that these young addicts would stay clean and sober.
Drug treatment centers that focus on helping these young people with psychological distress factors, such as coping skills and self-efficacy boost their chances of staying clean and sober for longer than three months, according to the study.
Valerie Slaymaker of Hazelden says, "The young people in our study were quite motivated to do well in treatment but lacked the confidence, coping skills, and commitment to AA that are critical to longer-term success. Treatment appears to work by increasing their confidence and ability to make and sustain healthy, recovery-related efforts."
These findings appear to show that young people who attend drug treatment programs that also offer life and coping skills assistance gain the valuable tools necessary to help them stay motivated and integrated in a group recovery support program, such as NA or AA.