Why does Alcoholics Anonymous work?

first_img Positive psychology exercises boost moods of those struggling with addiction says MGH study Clues to addiction Related Research showing how neurons interact could lead to new treatments The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Psychology’s new openness to religioncenter_img AA produces this effect through its ability to engage people over the long term. “When you’re treating an illness like AUD, which is susceptible to relapse over the early months and years of recovery, having an engaging, widely available, and free recovery-specific support option like AA can help sustain behavioral changes,” noted Kelly.Additionally, the finding that AA worked as well as other treatments on several outcomes and was far better at supporting long-term continuous abstinence at a lower cost has important clinical and economic implications.“When you consider that AUD accounts for the majority of addiction cases in both the U.S. and globally, conferring a huge economic burden on society, AA may be the closest thing in public health we have to a free lunch,” Kelly said. The review also noted elements of AA — such as having a recovery mentor, or sponsor — may be particularly helpful, in that sponsors act like recovery coaches in the early period of sobriety, providing monitoring, accountability, and continuous, flexible support.The review’s co-authors are Keith Humphreys, Stanford School of Medicine, and Marica Ferri, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. McLean program blends spirituality with counseling, once an unthinkable pairing When compared with other active treatment approaches — such as cognitive behavioral therapy — Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)-based interventions performed just as well at reducing drinking intensity, negative alcohol-related consequences, and addiction severity, according to a study released today.The research team, led by an investigator from the Massachusetts General Hospital’s (MGH) Recovery Research Institute, completed a comprehensive review of the relevant scientific literature, and additionally found that AA and related 12-step treatments better increased abstinence and remission rates, while substantially reducing health care costs.The review is published within the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.AA has been a popular intervention for alcohol use disorder (AUD) for decades, but much debate has persisted within both the scientific and lay communities about whether it and related 12-step clinical treatments designed to increase AA participation are effective. In the past 25 years, many scientific investigations have been conducted to help answer this question and determine whether, to what degree, and in what ways AA may be helpful for individuals suffering from AUD. Investigators analyzed data from 27 primary studies subjected to rigorous selection criteria. The final analysis included work from 150 scientists at 67 institutions, and more than 10,000 research subjects.“We conducted this review because, while AA is popular, it remained unclear how helpful it actually is when we subject it to the same scientific evaluation standards as we would any other clinical intervention,” said John Kelly, founder and director of the MGH Recovery Research Institute and lead author of the review. “Surprisingly, we found that AA and related 12-step clinical treatments demonstrated the ability to produce higher abstinence and remission rates at a much-reduced health care cost as compared to other well-established clinical treatments.” The review found those with AUD who participate in AA do not utilize costly other options such as emergency room visits, hospital stays, or traditional mental health or addiction clinical services. Summoning happiness to aid recoverylast_img read more

It’s past 2.75%; Do you know where your risk is?

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The good news is I thought the ten-year Treasury was going to get to 2.75% sometime in 2018. The bad news is I didn’t think it would get there the first month of the year! We are at the rate levels where many wise market prognosticators, such as Jeff Gundlach at Doubleline and Ray Dalio of Bridgewater, have said the wheels will start coming off the risk-asset cart. With regard to where we are in rates, when you look at economic performance, both global and domestic, economic assessments from the world’s major central banks with regard to projected growth and inflation, fiscal stimulus, and the potential for a large increase in the government budget deficit, suddenly a 2.75% to 3% ten-year Treasury rate looks just about right. Moreover, as we have just seen with the employment numbers this morning, wage inflation is picking up as average hourly earnings (year over year) increased 2.9%. To me, it just does not make sense that we are near what would be considered “full-employment,” our $18 trillion economy is growing at a robust 3%, labor productivity is reported to be weak, and inflation is not yet upon us. If I had given that answer in my college macroeconomics 101 exam I would have gotten an F!The good news is that right now we are heading higher in rates because the economy is firing on all cylinders. Consumer spending is up, as are wages (which could offset higher consumer borrowing rates). Corporate earnings continue to be strong, important asset values like housing are solid, and the 2017 tax reform hasn’t even kicked in yet. Therefore, the question is, do higher rates and perhaps a more aggressive Fed wallop stocks and other risk assets (as respected market participants predict) to the point where we have a financial market disruption that ends up reversing the course of rates? I think that is a decent probability due to what I would call the excesses of the Fed’s Quantitative Easing program.The problem is, in my opinion, we have too many people invested in bond funds that have probably more interest rate duration and more credit spread duration than they realize. In January, even as underlying Treasury rates rose, the stock market soared and high-yield spreads continued to tighten. Therefore, when investors look at their statements, even as rates increased, corporate spreads (both investment grade and high yield) tightened, offsetting the rise in underlying rates, keeping prices relatively firm. In February, however, investment grade and high-yield spreads have increased, along with underlying yields. That creates a situation where investors, who were essentially funneled by the Fed into relatively high-risk bond funds, are going to see some pretty sizeable losses in February. That could be a problem as these investors look at that statement and realize that they have done really well for a long time, but perhaps it is time that they look toward safer investments, especially now that the yield on those safer investments has increased. continue reading »last_img read more