PURPOSE: This study examined concurrent and longitudinal associations between two dimensions of affiliation in Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)-attendance and spiritual awakening-and drinking outcomes among adult patients who were in treatment for alcohol dependence in Warsaw, Poland. In a study conducted at four addiction treatment centers, male and female patients (n = 118) with a DSM-IV diagnosis of alcohol dependence were assessed at baseline (Time 1 or T1), 1 month (T2), and 6-12 months postbaseline (T3) for AA meeting attendance, various aspects of AA affiliation, and alcohol use. Alcoholics Anonymous meeting attendance and alcohol consumption were measured using the Timeline Followback interview. Self-report of having had a spiritual awakening was measured using a modified version of the Alcoholics Anonymous Involvement Scale.
RESULTS: There were no cross-sectional or longitudinal associations between AA meeting attendance and improved drinking outcomes. In contrast, self-report of a spiritual awakening between T2 and T3 was significantly associated with abstinence (OR = 2.4, p < .05) and the absence of any heavy drinking (OR = 3.0, p < .05) at T3, even when demographic and clinical characteristics were statistically controlled.
CONCLUSIONS: Self-reports of spiritual awakening predicted improved drinking outcomes in a Polish treatment sample.