Sept. 7, 2022 – AA was founded in 1935 by two white men who were members of a Christian revivalist group, Bill Wilson and Bob Smith – a Wall Street analyst and a surgeon, respectively – and boasts an estimated 1.5 million members in North America. The efficacy of the program has long been the subject of debate among researchers, with the first critical research starting in the 1980s. There are many different ways to measure the success of sobriety: how long a person remains abstinent, how much they manage to cut back on drinking by volume, how much less likely they are to suffer from health-related consequences like high blood pressure or liver disease. In 2020, a review of 27 clinical studies suggested that AA is effective by one of these measures (rate of continuous abstinence) – but not others.


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