Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sonia Zimmerman


Alcoholism -- therapy; Occupational Therapy -- methods


A 2016 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 15.1 million people ages 12 and older had alcohol use disorder. An estimated 2.2 million people 12 years old or older in 2016 received specialized treatment in the past year, which represents about 10.6 percent of the people in need of treatment (SAMHSA, 2016). Occupational therapy offers a unique role that can be utilized in the treatment of individuals with alcohol use disorder. Wasmuth, Crabtree, and Scott (2014) suggest that occupational therapy can be unique in substance use rehabilitation as real-life activities in natural settings are used to address occupations, roles, and routines that have become dysfunctional through addiction.

An extensive literature review was conducted to obtain information to create evidence-based strategies for occupational therapists use in treating individuals with alcohol use disorder. Research articles, textbooks, and resources from the American Occupational Therapy Association were utilized for this project. Based on the literature results, the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: A Guide for Occupational Therapists was created for occupational therapists to foster treatment for individuals in a 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous program. The Model of Human Occupation was used to direct the development of the guide.

The purpose of this scholarly project and the occupational therapy guide is to provide recommendations for occupational therapists to use when working with individuals in the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step program. Recommendations for the occupational therapy process include assessments, group and individual interventions for each of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, re-evaluation, and discharge planning. The guide understands that individuals may complete the 12 steps in different timeframes and may require the development of more sessions depending upon the individual client’s progress.