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Palgrave Macmillan

Women in Narcotics Anonymous

Overcoming Stigma and Shame

ISBN 9781137440693
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Pivot

Women in Narcotics Anonymous looks at a sample of women in Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and surveys the stigma they perceive and shame they harbor as active and recovering addicts. Past abuse, mental illness, and criminal involvement are just a few of the causes and effects associated with their drug addiction. Moreover, these conditions sever their abilities to properly ascribe to and live up to traditional gender expectations. Therefore, their recovery must confront the causes and conditions of addiction as well as the double standard that they are held to. Once members of NA, these women begin to let go of the shame they feel by working the Twelve Steps. This process is further facilitated by attending women-only groups of NA and identifying with other women like themselves. Even those women who are thought to be most socially marginalized - poor, minority heroin and crack addicts - are able to rid themselves of both the stigma and shame that plagues them once in recovery.

Jolene Sanders is Associate Professor of Sociology at Hood College, Frederick, MD, USA.

1. Introduction: Women, Addiction, and the Double Standard
2. Women and their Drugs
3. Uncovering Stigma
4. Internalizing Shame
5. Women's Rap
6. Working the Twelve Steps
7. Conclusion: Recovery as Feminism of the Everyday


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