95% First Year Dropout Myth
- The 95% dropout rate is inaccurate and based
on flawed statistics.
Rather than 5% of A.A. members remaining at
the end of one year a more accurate estimate
is that 36% remain attending A.A. at the end
of one year and 32% are still attending at
the end of 20 years.
The 1989 GSO internal memo "Comments on A.A.'s
Triennial Surveys" Appendix C: the First Year"
has been widely misquoted as a measure of
retention or dropouts. It is not a measure
of retention or dropout, it is a simple
frequency distribution of individuals by
months since first came to AA and is limited
to individuals with 12 or fewer months.
The limitations of the AA membership surveys
are well described in the GSO internal memo
on page 4. A major limitation is the signi-
ficant under counting of the AA membership
resulting from the many groups that where
The most recent "A.A. Fact File" that I
received from GSO shows the estimated A. A.
membership in the US as 1,168,990 members.
This is a significant undercount of members.
Using a national representative survey of the
US, the NIAAA 1991-1992 National Longitudinal
Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey (NLAES)I found
that in 1991-1992 2.4 million individuals
reported attending an A.A. meeting during
the last year.
I have posted a brief summary of my findings
on A.A. membership on my website Alcohol
Reports, www.alcoholreports.blogspot.com ,
as a Data Brief, dated July 29, 2007.
- - - -
Note from the moderator:
Loran Archer served in key positions at
NIAAA after being recruited from the
position of Director of the California
Office of Alcoholism. In the later 1980s,
for example, he was:
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
He has now started
"Bulletin Board - Alcohol Reports" at:
He is also one of the contributors to
ALOCOHOL REPORTS (an international website
dedicated to providing current information
on news, newsletters, reports,publications,
abstracts of peer-reviewed research articles
and data briefs concerning alcoholism and
alcohol-related problems throughout the
- Philippe Arvers
- Prasantha De Silva
FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDERS
- Peggy Seo Oba
EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
- Paul M Roman