“Doctors, unfortunately, are as unaware of this as members of the general public. We know that doctors fall short in referring patients in need of 12 step community based peer support to go to meetings. One problem that limits doctors’ understanding of this road to recovery is that very little research has been carried out with people who have successfully turned their lives around in the rooms. And doctors, even more so these days, are influenced by research findings. How can we turn this situation around? We need to support research that demonstrates just how successful Twelve-Step recovery is, and we need to do this in line with the high standards maintained by medical researchers. Here are some examples of areas that need to be addressed:
These are just a few questions for which we need answers…
This research will help to get through to the medical community that they should encourage patients to start out on the path toward fellowship. A small number of physicians have worked tirelessly to get this issue across to their colleagues, and the Committees established in the two lending medical addiction organizations, the American Society of Addiction Medicine and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, illustrate this.
Dr. Marc Galanter, who chairs those Committees, and is also a Professor of Psychiatry at New York University, points out:
“We need more support for research on what NA and AA can do for people suffering from addiction. One way to do this is to turn to people in addiction recovery and to their families for support. With proper support we can now apply contemporary research techniques to show the changes that take place in people who have achieved long term abstinence through working the Steps.”