WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Attending Alcoholics
Anonymous meetings at least once a week increases the likelihood
that jailed women and those recently released from jail can recover
from alcohol abuse, researchers have found.
The new study included 223 women at the Rhode Island Department
of Corrections Adult Correctional Institute who were considered
hazardous drinkers, meaning that when they drank, they consumed 12
drinks a day. The researchers ran two AA sessions, one while the
women were in jail and one after their release. Follow-up was
conducted after one, three and six months.
Among those who attended AA meetings at least once a week, the
investigators noted that levels of alcohol-related consequences
were significantly decreased. In addition, there was also an
overall drop in the number of days spent drinking, according to
Yael Chatav Schonbrun, a research fellow in psychiatry Brown
University's Butler Hospital.
The study is published online and in the March 2011 print issue
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
"We hope that this study will call further attention to the needs of incarcerated women and that this research will help to arouse increased interest in addressing the needs of this underserved population," Schonbrun said in a journal news release.
Because "AA is so widely available and is a familiar resource
among incarcerated women," Schonbrun noted, "finding a method to
increase utilization of AA might have great utility for improving
alcohol and alcohol-related outcomes for incarcerated women."
The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has
women and alcohol.