Background/Aims: Twelve-step mutual self-help groups provide cost-effective support for recovery from substance misuse problems. Evidence suggests they are successful as an adjunct to formal treatment and that referral from clinicians is important in fostering engagement. Methods: This study surveyed substance misuse treatment professionals employed within two agencies in Birmingham (UK). Results: A total of 92 clinicians (79.3%) eligible to participate completed a questionnaire that explored their attitudes, knowledge and referral practices with regard to 12-step groups (TSGs). Most (74%) had a positive attitude, and almost 80% referred at least some of their clients to TSGs. However, 30% had not referred any clients in the past month, and multivariate analysis showed that referral was associated with greater objective knowledge about TSGs when other factors were controlled for. Conclusions: These results have implications for linking professional treatment to mutual self-help groups, and potential strategies to increase referral are discussed.

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