Kelly, J. F., Humphreys, K. N., & Youngson, H. (2004). Mutual aid groups. In S. Harrison & V. Carver (Ed.), Alcohol and drug problems: A practical guide for counsellors (3rd ed. pp. 169-197) . Toronto: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
A confusing array of terms is used to describe alcohol-and other drug-related problems and individuals with such problems. The terms used to describe these phenomena should be explicit, precisely defined, and used consistently to aid unambiguous clinical and scientific communication and promote clearer appraisal of, and generalizations from, empirical findings. Furthermore, because our terminology has implications for patients (e.g., stigma), programs (e.g., treatment access), and policy (e.g., appropriation of healthcare funding), we should think more critically about our choice of terms and what may be communicated by their use. Specific language is suggested along with a simple algorithm to facilitate the consistent use of terms such as “misuse,” “abuse” and “dependence,” as well as “alcohol,” “drug,” and “substance use disorders.”
This study investigated client attitudes about AA participation and the use of medications for drinking and emotional problems. The sample (N = 133) was Project MATCH clients recruited in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who were interviewed 10 years after outpatient alcohol treatment. Three self-selected AA-exposed groups of clients were identified in the 10-year interviews, and perceptions of AA and medications were divided according to whether clients reported continuous AA participation for 10 years, limited AA attendance, or no AA attendance over 10 years. Planned comparisons showed that the three groups of AA-exposed clients did not differ in their perceptions about AA and the use of medications to prevent drinking, alcohol craving, and to alleviate emotional problems. In general, client perceptions were not favorable about the use of such medications. Secondary analyses, however, suggested that current AA members may be modestly more favorable about the use of such medications, but this finding requires replication.