CTN-0085: Selection Bias-Free Estimation of the Impact of Drug-focused Twelve Step Mutual Help Groups Using the VA Database

Keith Humphreys, PhD
Lead Investigator
Stanford University School of Medicine

Using a meta-analytic approach, this study analyzes existing data sets of individuals with drug use disorders to determine impact of drug-focused 12-step mutual help groups, free of selection bias, in reducing opioid consumption and opioid-related problems. These data will be used to predict how augmentation of 12-step mutual help groups, added to medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), may be used to improve retention in OUD treatment.

Funded by the NIH HEAL InitiativeSM.

Primary Findings

The ability of 12 step facilitation to increase mutual help group participation among drug use disorder patients was minimal, limiting ability to employ two-stage instrumental variable models that correct for selection bias. However, traditional fixed and random effect regression models found that greater 12 step mutual help group attendance by drug use disorder patients predicted reduced use of and problems with illicit drugs and also with alcohol.

Primary Outcomes Article: Humphreys K, et al. Impact of 12 Step Mutual Help Groups on Drug Use Disorder Patients Across Six Clinical Trials. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 2020; 215:108213. [get article]

    Node Involvement

    Lead Node(s):

  • Western States Node

  • All Participating Nodes:

  • Western States Node