Cadernos de Saúde Pública
versão impressa ISSN 0102-311X
CAMPOS, Edemilson Antunes de. Representations of alcoholism in a former alcoholics' association: Alcoholics Anonymous. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2004, vol.20, n.5, pp. 1379-1387. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2004000500033.
This article is designed to review the representations of alcoholism provided by members of an association of former alcoholics, namely Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), based on partial results from a qualitative survey conducted in the Sapopemba group of AA in a neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of São Paulo, Brazil. The article thus analyzes alcoholism from an emic perspective, i.e., how it is conceived and managed by those who acknowledge themselves as being "sick as alcoholics", how they explain the sickness, how they experience it, and how they endeavor to overcome it. The purpose is to present AA and its treatment strategy and to highlight the link made by the association by conceiving of alcoholism as a physical, moral, and spiritual illness.
Palavras-chave : Alcoholic Anonymous; Alcoholism; Self-Help Groups.