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The Indianization of Alcoholics Anonymous: an examination of Native American Recovery Movements

The experience and history of American Indians with alcoholism and alcohol abuse has been well documented. Much of the available literature is pathologically oriented and focuses on possible root causes and theoretical solutions. What is lacking is documentation of current, Indian-run solutions that are available throughout Indian Country. This work chooses to examine one such phenomenon: the growing movement of "indianized" Twelve Step recovery programs. In examining and defining Indian modifications of AA, the author demonstrates the fundamerital differences between these relatively new Twelve Step movements and the general AA population. These differences speak to the cultural needs of many Indian alcoholics. Acknowledging the cultural focus of Indian AA leads to a clearer understanding of what Indians themselves believe to be the etiology and effective treatment of alcohol abuse in their communities. This information is presented to further educate those working in the field of Indian alcohol abuse.


Lisette Austin (Womack)


Jennie Joe





Arizona State Museum: 

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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences