Results of Activity of Anonymous Alcoholic Association in Iran

Document Type : Original Article(s)


PhD Student, Addiction Research Center AND Department of Addiction Studies, School of Medicine, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran


Background: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is the largest non-governmental organization (NGO) for alcoholics in the world. During the recent decades, Iran has suffered from alcohol abuse and its consequences. Alcoholism is a taboo subject in Iran and there are few studies in this area. This is the first study in Iran to investigate the results of the activity of anonymous alcoholics.Methods: Data were collected from the improved members of the AA in Iran (n = 6197).Findings: The obtained results included members’ demographic characteristics, age of sobriety, average attendance in weekly meetings, status of the sponsor, status of relapse, and the way of entering each member into AA groups.Conclusion: The activity of the AA in Iran is facing limitations and obstacles. The number of individuals with sobriety age above 20 years is not available because of the short-age activity of the AA in Iran. The number of men using this program is higher compared to women. Most members are individuals aging 31 to 40 years who are considered active members of the society.


  1. World Health Organization. Global status report on alcohol and health [Online]. [cited 2014]; Available from: URL:
  3. Hasin DS, Grant BF. The national epidemiologic survey on alcohol and related conditions (NESARC) Waves 1 and 2: Review and summary of findings. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2015; 50(11): 1609-40.
  4. Shahraz S, Forouzanfar MH, Sepanlou SG, Dicker D, Naghavi P, Pourmalek F, et al. Population health and burden of disease profile of Iran among 20 countries in the region: From Afghanistan to Qatar and Lebanon. Arch Iran Med 2014; 17(5): 336-42.
  5. Amin-Esmaeili M, Rahimi-Movaghar A, Sharifi V, Hajebi A, Mojtabai R, Radgoodarzi R, et al. Alcohol use disorders in Iran: Prevalence, symptoms, correlates, and comorbidity. Drug Alcohol Depend 2017; 176: 48-54.
  6. Moazen B, Shokoohi M, Noori A, Rahimzadeh S, Saeedi Moghaddam S, Rezaei F, et al. Burden of drug and alcohol use disorders in Iran: Findings from the global burden of disease study 2010. Arch Iran Med 2015; 18(8): 480-5.
  7. Huebner RB, Kantor LW. Advances in alcoholism treatment. Alcohol Res Health 2011; 33(4): 295-9.
  8. Tonigan JS, Connors GJ, Miller WR. Participation and involvement in alcoholics anonymous. In: Babor TF, Del Boca FK, Editors. International research monographs in the addictions. Treatment matching in alcoholism. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; 2003. p. 184-204.
  9. Montes KS, Tonigan JS. Does age moderate the effect of spirituality/religiousness in accounting for alcoholics anonymous benefit? Alcohol Treat Q 2017; 35(2): 96-112.
  10. Wiechelt SA. Alcoholics anonymous: Warts and all. Subst Use Misuse 2015; 50(8-9): 1011-4.
  11. Best D, Beckwith M, Haslam C, Haslam SA, Jetten J, Mawson E, et al. Overcoming alcohol and other drug addiction as a process of social identity transition: The social identity model of recovery (SIMOR). Journal Addiction Research & Theory 2016; 24(2): 111-23.
  12. Kaskutas LA. Alcoholics anonymous effectiveness: Faith meets science. J Addict Dis 2009; 28(2): 145-57.
  13. Emrick CD, Beresford TP. Contemporary negative assessments of alcoholics anonymous: A response. Alcohol Treat Q 2016; 34(4): 463-71.
  14. Pagano ME, Post SG, Johnson SM. Alcoholics anonymous-related helping and the helper therapy principle. Alcohol Treat Q 2010; 29(1): 23-34.
  15. Kingston S, Knight E, Williams J, Gordon H. How do young adults view 12-step programs? A Qualitative Study. J Addict Dis 2015; 34(4): 311-22.
  16. Arfken CL, Ahmed S. Ten years of substance use research in Muslim populations: Where do we go from here? J Muslim Ment Health 2016; 10(1).
  17. Nikfarjam A, Hajimaghsoudi S, Rastegari A, Haghdoost AA, Nasehi AA, Memaryan N, et al. The frequency of alcohol use in Iranian urban population: The results of a national network scale up survey. Int J Health Policy Manag 2016; 6(2): 97-102.
  18. Moghadami M, Masoumpoor M, Tabei SM, Tabaei SM, Sadeghi H, Gholami K, et al. Therapeutic response to folinic acid in methanol poisoning epidemic in Shiraz. Iran J Med Sci 2008; 33(1): 22-6.
  19. Hassanian-Moghaddam H, Nikfarjam A, Mirafzal A, Saberinia A, Nasehi AA, Masoumi AH, et al. Methanol mass poisoning in Iran: Role of case finding in outbreak management. J Public Health (Oxf) 2015; 37(2): 354-9.
  20. Mokri A. Brief overview of the status of drug abuse in Iran. Arch Iran Med 2002; 5(3): 184-90.
  21. Graham RA. Perceived barriers to health promotion behavior of women in early recovery from alcohol use disorder [MSc Thesis]. Providence, RI: Rhode Island College; 2015.