Psychiatry Grand Rounds – Mutual Help Organizations for Substance Use Disorders: What is the Evidence?

Presented by:
Dr. Keith Humphreys, Ph.D.
Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry
Stanford University School of Medicine
Director, Mental Health Policy Section, Division of Public Mental Health & Population Sciences, Stanford University


Faculty Disclosure:

Dr. Humphreys has disclosed that he has no relevant financial relationships. No one else in a position to control content has any financial relationships to disclose.

Conflict of interest information for the CME Advisory Committee members can be found on the following website: All relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.

Release Date: January 21, 2023
Expiration Date:  January 20, 2025

Target Audience: All physicians

Learning Objectives:

As a result of participation in this activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Appraise the research base behind 12-step interventions.
  2. Acquire practical clinical strategies for facilitation of 12-step group involvement.
  3. Analyze the cost and care implications of 12-step fellowships.


Requirements for successful completion: Certificates are awarded upon successful completion (80% proficiency) of the post-test.


Accreditation: The University of Florida College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Credit: The University of Florida College of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Resource(s) for further study:

  1. Humphreys K. Circles of Recovery: Self-Help Organizations for Addictions. Psychological Medicine. Cambridge University Press, UK. 2005, 35, 143-148. Doi: 10.1017/S0033291704214076.
  2. Timko, C. (2006). Intensive referral to 12-step self-help groups and 6-month substance use disorder outcomes.  Addiction, 101, 678-688.
  3. Mark D. Litt, Ronald M. Kadden, Elise Kabela-Cormier, and Nancy Petry (2007). Changing Network Support for Drinking: Initial Findings From the Network Support Project. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71, 118-128.
  4. Humphreys, K., Blodgett, J. & Wagner, T. (2014). Alcoholism Clinical and Experimental Research, 38, 2688-2694.
  5. Humphreys, et al. Impact of 12-step mutual help groups on drug use disorder patients across six clinical trials. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2020 Oct 1;215:108213. Doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2020.108213. Epub 2020 Aug 4. PMID: 32801112.
  6. Humphreys, K., & Moos, R. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 25, 711-716.
  7. Humphreys, K., & Moos, R. (2007). Encouraging posttreatment self-help group involvement to reduce demand for continuing care services: Two-year clinical and utilization. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 31, 64-68.
  8. Kelly JF, Humphreys K, Ferri M. Alcoholics Anonymous and other 12-step programs for alcohol use disorder. Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2020, Issue 3. Art. No.: CD012880. Doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD012880.pub2.
  9. Humphreys, K., & Noke, J. (1997). The influence of posttreatment mutual help group participation on the friendship networks of substance abuse patients. American J of Community Psychology, 25, 1-16.
  10. Kaskutas, L.A., et al. (2009). Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 37, 228-239.
  11. Sisson, P.W., & Mallams, J.H. (1981). The use of systematic encouragement and community access procedures to increase attendance at AA meetings.  Am J Drug Alc Abuse, 8, 371-376.
  12. Blondell R, et al. Can Recovering Alcoholics Help Hospitalized Patients with Alcohol Problems? Journal of Family Practice 2001; 50:44 7.
  13. Kaskutas LA, et al. A Road Less Traveled: Choosing the “Women for Sobriety” Program. Journal of Drug Issues 1996;26:1.
  14. Humphreys K, Klaw E. Can targeting nondependent problem drinkers and providing internet-based services expand access to assistance for alcohol problems? A study of the moderation management self-help/mutual aid organization. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. 2001;62(4):528-532.
  15. Zemore S, et al. A longitudinal study of the comparative efficacy of Women for Sobriety, LifeRing, SMART Recovery, and 12-step groups for those with AUD. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment 88 (2018) 18-26.
  16. Macgregor, S., & Herring, R. (2010). The Alcohol Concern SMART Recovery pilot project final evaluation report.  Middlesex University.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Nancy Boyd at (352) 594-4298 or at