Elton John, who recently celebrated 30 years of sobriety, praised virtual Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings for helping him stay sober through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With the pandemic, AA meetings had to adapt quickly to online conferencing facilities to ensure people keep receiving support and encouragement with their recovery process and maintaining sobriety. According to Mr. John he has been attending virtual AA meetings every Sunday from his home via Zoom. Speaking at Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s new podcast, Archewell Audio, he called the meetings a “life saver” over the last nine months during the pandemic.
The efficacy of AA
The AA is a an international mutual aid fellowship of men and women who have had an alcohol problem and is available almost everywhere for everyone, free of charge. AA helps members to stay in touch with each other, building and maintaining that much needed connection for recovery.
A 2020 Cochrane review assessed the effectiveness and cost-benefits of AA and clinically delivered 12-Step Facilitation (TSF) interventions for alcohol use disorder (AUD). A subsequent scientific analysis summarizes key findings and discusses implications for practice and policy.
- AA/TSF interventions produce similar benefits to other treatments on all alcohol consumption-related outcomes except for continuous abstinence and remission, where AA/TSF is superior.
- AA/TSF also reduces healthcare costs.
- Clinically implementing one of these proven manualized AA/TSF interventions is likely to enhance outcomes for individuals with AUD while producing health economic benefits.