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P02: addictions




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Addict Anonymous Twelve Steps

Basic Olicognograph: AA Step 1

Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other so forth will solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

History (most after Alexandre B. Laudet)

Alcoholics Anonymous, the original 12step organization, was founded in 1935 to aid recovery from alcoholism. The acceptance of open discussion of drug abuse in AA meetings has grown, but still varies greatly from group to group.

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, AA's Basic Text laying out the 12-step program of recovery (Alcoholics Anonymous World Services Inc., 1939-2001) has been translated in some 30 languages, spreading worldwide the message of this ”design for living that works.” The AA recovery program has also been widely adapted to other behaviors (e.g., drug use, gambling, overeating. eating, sex), cultures and belief systems (e.g., Christianity)

AA meetings, however, may not have been suited for those dependent on substances other than alcohol and the 12-step recovery program started to be adapted to provide support for persons wishing to address dependence on substances other than alcohol.

While many drug users may also have used alcohol, those who do not identify alcohol as their primary problem substance may not be able to maximally benefit from support groups where alcohol is the primary topic of conversation. Moreover, a second key aspect of the 12-step program that necessitated specialized fellowships for dependence on substances other than alcohol is the importance of identification with peers who seek a solution to a shared problem.

Individuals dependent on drugs, particularly illicit drugs, are often forced into a lifestyle that differs significantly from alcohol-dependent persons because of the criminalized aspect of drug use (acquiring, possessing and using drugs). While alcohol users need only a few dollars to buy a bottle legally at the corner store, drug dependent persons by definition are engaging in illegal activities in the process of obtaining the substance of dependence.

The advent of these specialized fellowships is likely multi-determined. First, one of the key principles of AA is “singleness of purpose,” most evidently expressed by a statement frequently made at the opening of AA meetings: “in keeping with AA's singleness of purpose, please limit your sharing to alcohol.”

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is the largest and best known of the 12-step fellowships addressing recovery from drug addiction. Officially founded in 1953, NA started in the Los Angeles area in the late 1940s. The idea for creating a 12-step program specifically to help drug addicts had emerged several times. In early 1947, a group of drug addicts began to meet as part of a treatment center in Lexington Federal Prison in Lexington, Kentucky. This group, based on the 12 steps of A.A., called itself NARCO and continued to meet weekly for over twenty years. In 1948, one of the graduates from the NARCO program moved to New York City and started a similar group in the New York Prison System.

The first “H&I” (Hospitals and Institutions) group was formed in 1963. It was an NA sub-committee that carries the recovery message into institutions where people cannot get to an outside meeting such as hospitals and prisons (AA operates a similar service).

In 1970, there were few regular, NA weekly meetings nationwide. Within two years, the movement spread to Europe and Australia. IAn important moment of expension has been end of 1970s, start of 1980s. The first N.A. World Conference was held in 1971, and others have followed every two years. A World Service Office was officially opened in 1977. The first edition of the NA Basic Text was published in 1983.

In 2007, there are over 25,000 groups holding over 44,000 weekly meetings in 127 countries including Western and more recently, Eastern Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East. The 6th edition of the NA Basic Text is being released in 2008.

12-step organizations have developed specifically to offer recovery support to persons who are dually-diagnosed with a substance use disorders and a mental illness, as well as for individuals who are maintained on methadone to treat opiate dependence. Dually-diagnosed persons who are newcomers to 12-step meetings often find them alienating and unempathetic and 12-step groups are generally underutilized by persons with a comorbid mental health disorder. There is a growing body of research suggests that such individuals can and do benefit from participation in self-help. Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR) started in New York State in 1989


The Core activity is sharing of experience, strength and hope: Honesty, Open-mindedness, and a Willingness to change. Relevant tasks are: 1) Choosing A Home Group; 2) Choosing A Sponsor; 3) Working the Steps.

In the same frames, there are: 1) the 12 steps (adapted to registers and memberships); 2) 12 traditions (mostly practical) and 3) 12 promises. Progression of 12-Steps comes by series: Steps 1-3: Admission and acceptance of powerlessness over alcohol, unmanageability of life, surrender of Will. Steps 4-10: Self-examination, amends and restitution. Steps 11-12: Service.

Many meetings to choose from Open, Closed, Beginners, Step Study, Big Book Study, Speaker, Discussion etc. Twelve-step meetings are held throughout the community and are available 7 days a week, virtually 24 hours a day in large metropolitan areas.The 12-step recovery program is predicated on abstinence from the problem substance of abuse and to a lesser extent, from all substances of abuse. The program encourages members to look outside themselves for strength (Highest Power) and to embrace spiritual values and practices that are outlined in the 12-step themselves.

Activities include reading 12-step recovery literature, having between-meeting contact with other 12-step members, working the steps, having a sponsor, sponsoring other members, doing service, ‘bringing’ meetings to hospitals and jails, carry the message to others.

Twelve-step membership is informal. The only requirement is a desire to stop using the addictive substance (s); a member becomes a member simply by expressing this desire.

Out ‘passing the basket’ there are no costs associated with 12 Step membership. No attendance records are kept at 12-step meetings.

Get into Minnesota's model derived olicognographic tools through 1st Step (below title - olicognograph of entry). You have thereafter many possible series and specific support. Otherwise there are no specific AA frame and information. But in groups' meetings there is anonymity and dynamic of the group. The am is be simple, sincere, authentic in common practice before preserving the logic of some sequence, discuss some points be them life's real one or, in a lesser proportion, theoretical).

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