Substance Use Related Behavior of the Members of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous in Greece
The aim of this research project is to provide basic information regarding the use of substances and its behavioral consequences such as health problems and criminal offences. It is the first survey in Greece in the field of self-help groups. The main research instrument was a 55-item questionnaire that was administered to members of NA and AA in the Greek cities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Serres, Nafplio, Iraklio, and Katerini. This article presents an analysis of the answers given by the respondents to 12 of the 55 items of the questionnaire. It also includes a comparison of the relevant findings with 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. More specifically, this article presents, examines and analyzes data which focuses on: (a) the age at which a substance was first used, (b) the time it took the individual respondents to acknowledge such use as a problem, (c) the main substance abused at the onset, (d) the main substance in use when the individuals approached the self-help group, (e) the existence or not of another individual with a substance abuse disorder in the immediate family, (f) possible health problems and (g) the entanglement or not with the penal justice system.