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Drug and alcohol addicts can 'help themselves by helping each other'

Research by a university professor has found that young people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol may be able to improve their chances of recovery by getting involved in Alcoholics Anonymous-related service programmes.

In 2010, Maria Pagano found this process worked for adults as they were more likely to stay sober ten years following treatment. However, her new research has shown that young people in similar programmes responded in a similar way.

Having studied nearly 200 youngsters, she found that those who had participated in such a scheme were less likely to turn in positive tests for alcohol and drugs during their treatment plans and more likely to have a greater psychosocial improvement.

It is hoped that the findings - published in the January/February issue of The American Journal on Addictions - will help doctors to recognise young people who might benefit from the initiative in order to improve their chances of recovery.

Alcoholics Anonymous-related helping includes "good citizenship, formal service positions, public outreach and sharing personal experience to another fellow addict", according to the research.

Ms Pagano is continuing to monitor participants to ascertain longer-term benefits of the scheme.ADNFCR-438-ID-801550952-ADNFCR

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