From the August 2010 magazine.

Alcoholism at Large: AA-related helping measured in study

With evidence of the salience of service work in sustaining sobriety, Maria Pagano, PhD, developed a method to quantify and gauge an alcoholic's participation level in Alcoholics Anonymous-related helping (AAH). In in-depth interviews with AA members with more than 20 years of sobriety, her continued research found AAH to be rated as very important during early recovery as well as in long-term recovery. As a result of the empirical work and qualitative interviews with recovering alcoholics, Pagano designed a tool that assesses AAH participation, the "Service to Others in Sobriety" (SOS) tool.

This study follows Pagano's 2004 study, "Helping others in Alcoholics Anonymous and drinking outcomes: Findings from Project MATCH," which involved 1,726 treatment-seeking alcoholics. In this study, she demonstrated that AAH cut the risk of relapse in half in the year following discharge.

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