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Disparities in Alcoholics Anonymous Participation from 2000-2020 among U.S. Residents with an Alcohol Use Disorder in the National Alcohol Survey.

Zemore SE, Mericle AA, Martinez P, Bergman BG, Karriker-Jaffe KJ, Patterson D, Timko C. Disparities in Alcoholics Anonymous Participation from 2000-2020 among U.S. Residents with an Alcohol Use Disorder in the National Alcohol Survey. Journal of studies on alcohol and drugs. 2023 Aug 30.

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OBJECTIVE: Mutual-help groups (MHGs) like Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) are effective for resolving alcohol use disorders (AUDs), but few studies have examined disparities in MHG participation, particularly recently. We used five waves of National Alcohol Survey data to investigate whether prevalence of AA attendance among those with a lifetime AUD differed by race/ethnicity, age, and sex, directly testing whether these associations varied with time. METHOD: Analyses pooled weighted data from 2000-2020, including only participants with a lifetime AUD and identifying as non-Hispanic White, Latinx/Hispanic, or non-Hispanic Black/African American (N = 8,876). Logistic regression models examined associations between lifetime AA attendance and survey year, race/ethnicity, age, and sex; models also tested for differences in demographic effects across survey year using interaction terms. RESULTS: In bivariate models, AA attendance was significantly less prevalent among participants identifying as Latinx/Hispanic (vs. White); aged 18-29 (vs. 30-64); and female (vs. male). Survey year was unrelated to AA attendance, and all interactions involving survey year were nonsignificant. In the final multivariate model (which controlled for severity and other help-seeking), disparities persisted for those identifying as Latinx/Hispanic (vs. White; aOR = 0.63) and aged 18-29 (vs. 30-64; aOR = 0.35); AA attendance was also less prevalent among Black/African American (vs. White) participants (aOR = 0.59), but sex became nonsignificant. CONCLUSIONS: Results replicate and extend sparse findings regarding disparities in MHG attendance, and suggest a stagnation in AA''s growth and reach to underserved populations. Findings highlight the need to more effectively facilitate MHG attendance (and perhaps broader social network change) among racial/ethnic minorities and emerging adults.

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