Helping Others Helping Others Hands Live Sober

Frequently Asked Questions

What is “Helping Others Live Sober”?

We are a non-profit federally-funded investigation that is dedicated to helping alcoholics and addicts stay sober.

What was the “Helping Others” research study?

The study is the corner stone of our website. Our groundbreaking research is one of the only studies in the U.S. investigating high-risk adolescents in residential treatment. The observational, longitudinal study is also the first to examine the relationship between adolescent 12-step participation during treatment and clinical outcomes. Our research helped to determine a better approach to obtaining and maintaining sobriety when medication is not an option.

What were the findings?

Our results show that helping others helps adolescent helpers reduce their craving for alcohol and drugs. Examples of this would be service-related tasks in AA such as making coffee or simply assisting someone with a task like carrying their heavy bags. More detailed information about our findings can be found in our Publications section.

What is unique about the study measure “Service to Others in Sobriety (SOS)”?

The “Service to Others in Sobriety (SOS)” scale is a brief assessment of AA-related helping (AAH). The scale was developed by the Principal Investigator Dr. Maria Pagano. Alcoholics Anonymous participation has been measured in addiction research, but few validated tools distinguish components of this multi-dimensional construct. Adequate psychometric properties of the SOS have been demonstrated, including convergent validity, internal consistency (alpha=0.92) and test-rest reliability (r=0.94). The "Service to Others in Sobriety" instrument can inform treatment planning, clinical decisions, group interventions, and ways in which alcoholics, clinicians, administrators, and researchers think about helping.

Pagano, M.E., Krentzman, A.R., Onder, C.C., Baryak, J.L., Murphy, J.L., Zywiak, W.H., Stout, R.L, et al. (2010). Service to Others in Sobriety (SOS). Alcoholism Treatment Quarterly, 28(2), 111-127. PMC3050518

Are you currently enrolling participants into your study?

No, we do not recruit study participants from our website. All of the information presented is from our longitudinal study that closed enrollment in September, 2010.

How can this website help me to stay sober?

We offer a variety of information to help visitors to our site to maintain sobriety:

  1. For those who are auditory learners (learn by hearing), we have recordings of various AA-conference speakers from all over the U.S. These speakers share their experiences of strength and hope by recounting their use of drugs and alcohol, how they overcame it, and how they are now.
  2. For those who are visual learners (learn by seeing), we have art created by those in recovery. Our hope is that you find a meaningful connection to the art, and you are free to submit your own art to inspire others.
  3. For those who are analytic learners (information driven learning), we have empirical research showing how helping others helps the helper, as well as many other articles on addiction from our lab and Co-Investigators.
  4. For those who are kinetic learners (learn by doing), we have an active forum in which you can read the stories of individuals living with sobriety and contribute your experiences of strength and hope.
  5. We provide helpful links to national and state organizations, research organizations, media, treatment facilities, and schools affiliated with recovery. We also offer a list of inspirational quotes spark a catalyst of change.

For a first time visitor to the “Helping Others Live Sober” website, what are some features that must be seen?

As you begin your navigation through our multi-faceted website we highly recommend you check out the hundreds of available AA-conference audio clips and our interactive forum, “Shared Experiences.”

  1. The audio files are a unique feature because they allow you to hear perspectives on sobriety from people from all over the United States. There are a wide variety of clips for you to listen to. It is our hope you find a story that “hits home”.
  2. The interactive forum will allow you to anonymously share your stories of recovery and sobriety with others, while staying in the comfort of your home. You may also submit your own recovery-inspirational art on the forum!

Can my website link with yours?

Yes! We love to do link exchanges, in which we will add you to our list of resources and you link to our webpage in return. This increases the amount of sharing someone in need can find, and ultimately helps to keep them sober. You may simply have our name “Helping Others Live Sober” and our link “”, or you may use one of our banners.