The Varieties of Recovery Experience

Thomas Lyons

in AIDS, Culture, and Gay Men

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780813034317
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813039312 | DOI:
The Varieties of Recovery Experience

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One of the problems faced by many gay and bisexual men is HIV infection, either because they have the virus or must confront the possibility of contracting it. To the degree that it leads to abstinence from drugs, twelve-step involvement has an impact on HIV risk through injection drug use. Although use of methamphetamine (meth) by gay and bisexual men has reached epidemic proportions and meth use is highly associated with unsafe sex, no study has been done of people addicted to crystal meth in the newly formed Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) twelve-step program. This chapter looks at a sample of gay men who attended CMA meetings, which functioned in the general tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, using the twelve-step program. It examines the program components of honesty, facing reality, taking one's “inventory” (or personal assessment), taking it “one day at a time,” group fellowship, and spirituality to focus on changes in sobriety and sexual behavior. It appears that attendance in CMA meetings does lead to changed behavior among program participants.

Keywords: Crystal Meth Anonymous; twelve-step program; HIV infection; drug use; methamphetamine; sexual behavior; gay men; bisexual men; sobriety; spirituality

Chapter.  7995 words. 

Subjects: Sociology

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