Some commentators perceive Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) as a white, middle-class organization that is unlikely to appeal to blacks.
This study considers prior attendance and engagement in AA among 791 black and white men and women entering treatment in public, private and HMO substance abuse programs.
Black clients dominate public detoxification programs and report more drug and employment problems than whites (who report more family problems).
Those with prior treatment experiences and those reporting they had gone to AA as part of treatment reported overall higher rates of AA affiliation, with blacks more likely to say they felt like a member of AA (64% vs 54% of whites), had a spiritual awakening as a result of AA (38% vs 27%) and had done service at AA meetings in the last year (48% vs 37%); whites were more likely to have had a sponsor (23% vs 14%) and to have read program literature (77% vs 67%). Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to report having attended AA as part of treatment.
From; Kaskutas LA, Weisner C, Lee M, Humphreys K. Alcoholics anonymous affiliation at treatment intake among white and black Americans. J Stud Alcohol. 1999 Nov;60(6):810-6.
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