Good news for people who prefer to get help through online resources rather than in-person resources (e.g., support groups)! Here is a link to the overcoming addictions web course.
This course is based on SMART Recovery which is a peer organization that teaches evidence-based skills for overcoming addiction. What’s really cool is that this website has some research on how this using this specific website compares to in-person meetings.
Below are the main take-aways on their study:
- All participants were new to SMART Recovery
- There were 3 groups in the study: the SMART Recovery based online resource only, the in-person SMART Recovery groups, and in-person SMART Recovery groups + the online resource (i.e., people attended groups and used the resource);
- All of the groups helped people reduce their drinking, improve their abstinence, and reduce drinking/drug-related problems (e.g., relationship problems due to drinking/using);
- There were no differences among the 3 groups in the amount of drinking, amount of abstinence, or problems related to drinking. This means that all 3 groups were about equally effective in reducing drinking, increasing abstinence, and decreasing alcohol/drug-related problems! The biggest drawbacks of the study are that there was no control group (i.e., a group where there is no intervention), and there was no comparison to 12-step or other commonly used addiction treatments.
For an initial study on an innovative way to help people with addictions receive evidence-based skills it is very exciting to find out that it succeeded in helping many of them and that it worked as well as attending in-person meetings!