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SAMHSA’s Award-Winning Newsletter
January/February 2009, Volume 17, Number 1 

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Self-Help Groups and Recovery

Five million people across the Nation attended a self-help group in the past year because of their use of alcohol or illicit drugs—and 45.1 percent of them did not use alcohol or illicit drugs in the past month.

In a report from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), Participation in Self-Help Groups for Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use: 2006 and 2007, data reveals characteristics of people who attended self-help groups like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.

Among people age 12 or older who attended a self-help group in the past year, 45.3 percent attended a group because of their alcohol use only, and 21.8 percent attended a group because of their illicit drug use only. One-third (33.0 percent) attended a group because of their use of both alcohol and illicit drugs.

Most attendees (80.2 percent) were over the age of 25 and a majority (55.6 percent) lived in a large metropolitan area.

Abstinence

While 45.1 percent abstained from substance use in the past month, the remaining 54.9 percent continued to use substances. Rates of abstinence differed depending on the substance(s) for which individuals attended self-help groups.

For example, past-month abstinence from alcohol and illicit drug use was reported by 33.3 percent of those who attended a self-help group for their illicit drug use only. This compares with 47.3 percent of those who attended a self-help group for their alcohol use only, and 52.5 percent of those who attended a self-help group for their use of both alcohol and illicit drugs.

All findings presented in this report are annual averages based on combined 2006 and 2007 NSDUH data.

Participation in Self-Help Groups for Alcohol and Illicit Drug Use: 2006 and 2007 is available on the SAMHSA Office of Applied Studies Web site.

For more on mutual support groups, read Mutual Support Groups: Fact Sheet for Providers in SAMHSA News online, September/October 2008.




  New Tools for the Field  
Drug-Free Workplaces: Cost-Effective Help

Drug-Free Workplaces: Cost-Effective Help

Fourteen new informational briefs can help employers address substance use problems.

Helping People with Mental Illness Live in the Community

Helping People with Mental Illness Live in the Community

Build and strengthen an Assertive Community Treatment team using a new toolkit.

TIP 48: Managing Depressive Symptoms

Managing Depressive Symptoms

Depressive symptoms can interfere with your clients’ recovery and ability to participate in treatment.


  Special Populations  
Older Adults & Substance Abuse

Older Adults & Substance Abuse

Think drug abuse is just a problem among adolescents and college kids? Many adults age 50 and older report substance abuse.


  Suicide Prevention  
Substance Abuse & Suicide: Connection Explored

Substance Abuse & Suicide: Connection Explored

Substance abuse is a major risk factor for suicide. Experts weigh in on how to address the problem.

Lifeline Partners with YouTube

Lifeline Partners with YouTube

What do you do if you think someone on YouTube may be at risk for suicide?

Dr. Phil Promotes Lifeline on YouTube

SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline took center stage when it was promoted as a resource on “Dr. Phil.”


  Recovery  
2009’s Recovery Month Web Site Launched

2009’s Recovery Month Web Site Launched

Recovery Month celebrates its 20th year in September!


  Trends and Data  
Youth & Substance Abuse: 5-Year Changes

Youth & Substance Abuse: 5-Year Changes

Youth show declines in cigarette, alcohol, and illicit drug use from 2002 to 2007.

Marijuana & Adolescents

Marijuana & Adolescents

There’s a connection between use of marijuana by young people and their perceptions of how risky that use may be.

Serious Psychological Distress

Serious Psychological Distress

In 2007, 24.3 million adults age 18 or older experienced past-year serious psychological distress.


  Also In This Issue  
Web 2.0 & Homelessness Resource Center

Web 2.0 & Homelessness Resource Center

Tune in to the new monthly Webcast series and share your opinions about things you read.

Introducing Our Print Redesign

Introducing Our Print Redesign

SAMHSA News in print has a whole new look! Find out what we changed and why.



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Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration – 1 Choke Cherry Road - Rockville, MD 20857
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