Thursday, November 21, 2013

Collaborative Research with Narcotics Anonymous- ISAM 2013, Kuala Lumpur

Marc Gallanter MD
Professor of Psychiatry
Director. Division of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse
New York Univeristy, School of Medicine

IMG 1627
(following are my rough notes which I hope will give an overview, helping those interested to find appropriate resources as well and be aware of the breadth and depth of research and presentations at ISAM)
AA is not structured for collaborative work but NA is
Cooperation with NA
IMG 1632
2010 - Introduced at ISAM (Milan)
planning format and board approval
2011 Survey CA, FL , PA - 10 groups, 527 respondents
2012 -Focus Group - Spiritual Awakening -
Noted people who reported having had a spiritual awakening were in longer term recovery and had no craving, some sort of transformative experience
2013   published research in J Alcohol Drug Studeins
 Published J. Addiction Medicine
Now doing work with Veterans
-Veterans noted a transformative experience
58000 NA groups worldwide
Most in USA but also in Iran
1940's USPHS, adapting AA for narcotics
NA began in 50's in New York
Cocaine epidemic brought a lot of people into NA.
study n396
Predominant people in AA and NA groups are long term - in NA groups the average drug use was last 5 years or plus because members continue to go for long time.
27% had psychiatric problem other than substance abuse
Average number of meetings was 200 a year, had sponsor, 35% referred by sponsor,
God's presence most days NA 71%
US sample 57%
They are more likely to feel God's presence but less likely to be church goers
Presented sample items from research - Belief scoring and Social Affiliation scores. - did multiple linear regression predicting craving scores - Spiritual Awakening and Depression associations
When did spiritual awakening occur, for most when they bottomed out, for some when they helped another member, others when they were help -
Subjective status which reflects a transformative experience

Role of Long term members
-very important to social structure of the organization
group support
Broader identification
Governance - District/Area/GSC
Cognitive- control over communication context, transmission of step instruction, schema modelling, defining traditions, anonymity,
Next we plan to do fMRI's of individuals in NA

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