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Beyond Abstinence: An Examination of Psychological Well-Being in Members of Narcotics Anonymous

Abstract

While a growing body of literature supports the role of mutual help organizations in helping members achieve abstinence, fellowships other than Alcoholics Anonymous and outcomes beyond abstinence have been studied far less often. The current study examined recovery-related correlates of psychological well-being in a sample of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) members. Participants (N = 128) were self-identified NA members from across the United States who completed an online survey assessing an array of psychosocial outcomes. Hierarchical regression models assessed whether abstinence duration and other recovery-related variables accounted for significant incremental variance in psychological well-being, over and above several covariates. As a block, abstinence duration and the recovery predictors accounted for significant incremental variance in three of four psychological well-being domains. As a complement to studies on short-term benefits of mutual help organizations, these data suggest ongoing recovery involvement may be positively associated with subjective psychological well-being in NA members.

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Correspondence to Christian DeLucia.

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DeLucia, C., Bergman, B.G., Beitra, D. et al. Beyond Abstinence: An Examination of Psychological Well-Being in Members of Narcotics Anonymous. J Happiness Stud 17, 817–832 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-014-9609-1

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Keywords

  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • 12-Step recovery
  • Mutual help
  • Self-help
  • Recovery practices
  • Psychological well-being