What is the AA Success Rate?

What is the AA Success Rate – Alcoholics Anonymous

Assessing the success rate of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is complex due to its anonymous nature and the varied definitions of success in addiction recovery. This article aims to explore perspectives on AA’s success rates based on available information and insights.

Defining Success in AA:

AA defines success through continuous sobriety, sobriety milestones, and improvements in personal well-being. However, success in AA is highly individualized and doesn’t always conform to conventional success metrics.

Studies and Perspectives:

  1. Longitudinal Studies: Research, such as the Cochrane Review, suggests that AA participation correlates with increased abstinence rates and improved outcomes, though precise success rate percentages are challenging to quantify.
  2. Qualitative Success: Success in AA isn’t solely about sobriety but includes personal growth, improved relationships, and mental well-being, which are often unquantifiable but impactful aspects of recovery.

Challenges in Measuring Success:

  1. Self Selection Bias: The anonymous nature of AA makes it challenging to track participants, leading to potential bias in reported success rates.
  2. Diverse Definitions of Success: Success varies among individuals, making it challenging to quantify success uniformly across a diverse group.

Success Rate Perspectives:

AA doesn’t disclose or measure success rates officially. Success in AA is often self-reported and varies widely based on individual commitment, participation, and personal circumstances.


Quantifying the success rate of AA remains elusive due to its anonymous nature, diverse definitions of success, and the complex nature of addiction recovery. Success in AA extends beyond abstinence and encompasses personal growth and well-being.

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