by Victoria Simpson
A recent study conducted by researchers at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., has determined that people trying to limit their alcohol consumption and obtain sobriety find it easier to achieve their goals by attending face-to-face meetings, than by being part of online support groups.
Researchers recruited 196 adults internationally via Facebook and other social media platforms, to participate in their study.
Participants completed a survey, answering questions on their opinions regarding in-person meetings held by associations such as Alcoholics Anonymous, and online sobriety groups, and how their behaviors related to each.
Lead researcher Don Grant says the survey found that those participants who attended more in-person meetings met with greater success when trying to achieve and maintain sobriety than those only meeting online.
That aside, online groups are growing in popularity.
“With more and more people engaging in online sobriety support,” Grant said, “the recovering community and professionals alike wonder what impact these modern platforms could have on both the future of Alcoholics Anonymous and its membership.”
“When comparing the short amount of time online sobriety support has even been accessible to the number of those participants currently engaging with it, the likelihood that its popularity will only grow seems probable.”
Alcoholics Anonymous holds regular face-to-face meetings in locations around the world, for those suffering from addiction.
The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence estimates that 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults in the United States suffers from alcohol abuse or dependence, with alcohol being the most commonly used addictive substance in the U.S.
Health Canada estimates that 4 to 5 million Canadians engage in high risk drinking.