An initial imprinting of the self-help groups of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous in Greece: the demographic facts
Although the self-help groups of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) in Greece count more than twenty years of life, the researching activity in the field in Greece is limited. This study is the first in Greece in the field of AA and NA. The study was conducted in a 16 months period (September 2004-January 2006) in the following towns: Athens, Thessaloniki, Serres, Nafplio, Iraklio and Katerini. This research was carried out in the frame of a diplomatic study in the postgraduate program of Social and Clinical Psychology of Addictions and Psychosocial Problems of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki under the supervision of the Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology Mr. Phoebus Zafiridis. Aim: The research aims to give a general picture of the groups of AA and NA in Greece in the present point of time. Our purpose is to give the profile of the people who approach the groups of NA and AA. Specifically, this article presents an analysis of the answers of the 18 first items of the questionnaire that concern the demographic characteristics of the members of AA and NA. Also, there is an effort of comparison of these findings with the data provided by the central organizations of AA and NA as well as by official therapeutic programs in Greece and by other researchers who have studied the same subject. Method: Our final sample in this study was 22 members of the groups of AA and 60 members of NA. The approach of the members was proved the most difficult and important part of the research. The participants filled a questionnaire with 55 questions voluntarily and unnamely.The statistical analysis conducted with the help of statistical tool SPSS-12 and in some cases we made a qualitative Thematic Analysis. Results: The findings, which are presented and analyzed, are the characteristics of the main demographic features of our sample and specifically the following: sex, age, nationality/citizenship, denomination, marital situation, educational, the professional and socioeconomic level of the participants. Conclusion: The demographic facts can indicate that the profile of the people that participate in the groups of AA and NA is quite different from the profile of individuals who attend official programs, although there are some similarities because of the experience of addiction and the same cultural background. The self-help groups in Greece are in a initial stage of their development. The future research will demonstrate further results.