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Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a global, nonprofit, community-based organisation modeled on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Members of NA speak of themselves as being in ‘recovery’ from alcohol and other drug addiction. Recovery is achieved through working the twelve steps of NA, which lead to a spiritual awakening. The ensuing ‘spiritual recovery narrative’ is inextricably linked to achieving self-transformation from working through the twelve steps, and is linked to intrapsychic processes derived from the installation of hope for a better life. The testimonials of three experienced NA members were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to examine the production of spiritual recovery narrative accounts. The three themes explored are (1) reconstitution the drug using self; (2) transforming self through forgiveness and action; and (3) transforming self through spiritual embodiment. The analysis found that while participants self-transformation is part of a social construction based on the circulation of meta-narratives of NA, they also have individualized interpretations of spiritual recovery.


School of Arts

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Open Access Conference Paper

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Open Access