ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS (AA) IN ROMANIA: AA’S BEGINNINGS IN ROMANIA, A QUALITATIVE STUDY
Keywords:Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Romania, Communist Regime, Disease Concept of Alcoholism, Perceptions on Alcoholism.
This paper aimed to trace the evolution of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) in Romania from its establishment there in 1991, focusing on the experiences and efforts of early members to develop the fellowship, disseminate the AA message and create relationships of cooperation and trust with existing religious and healthcare institutions. A qualitative ethnographic study was conducted between March and April 2021 and included 7 participants from the first two AA groups founded in Romania. Data were collected using ethnographic interviews and content analysis was used to obtain a comprehensive synthesis of the data. In addition, archival research was used. Four research categories emerged: AA’s founding moments in Romania, AA’s development in Romania, AA’s relationship with professionals, and perceptions of the disease of alcoholism, then and now. Results suggest that AA's development in Romania was slow due to the political context, lack of information and professionals’ reluctance to support AA. In addition, there is a need to build strong relationships with professionals in the area of substance abuse, social work and religious institutions to facilitate recovery for those who suffer from alcoholism.
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