Community uniform

Because 12-step programs (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous, Marijuana Anonymous, Methadone Anonymous, etc.) and other support groups (SMART Recovery, Women for Sobriety) can be vitally important as a resource for people struggling with substance issues students benefit from familiarity with their functioning. Each student will be asked to submit a brief paper on attendance at a substance support group.

You will be attending Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). You can find the meeting times for the Fredericksburg area at Please note the specific types of meetings that you may attend. (Some are closed to non-members or are geared to a specific area of interest). Attend only groups that are “open” “Open” Meetings of A.A. are meetings which anyone may attend to observe how A.A. works. (“Closed” meetings are reserved for those with a substance issue.) It is best to attend a meeting outside of your local geographical area to protect the anonymity of participants. You can call first to make sure there will be a meeting and that you can attend. 1-2 students may attend together. Check in with the group leader prior to the meeting (the one making coffee or working in some way) and request permission to attend. During the meeting you may identify yourself as a nursing student if called upon. State you are attending to better know how to care for future patients or “you want to learn more about AA.” Do not wear your clinical or community uniform, street clothes are acceptable but must be appropriate.

It is expected that you will complete readings prior to selecting and attending the meeting. Professional conduct and confidentiality are essential. It is expected that you will be respectful, sensitive, objective and discreet in accomplishing this assignment. Do not bring a tape recorder or take notes during the meeting.

You must attend an AA meeting in this class. This must be done in the current semester. Attendance at earlier meetings is not acceptable. If you are in recovery personally or anticipate difficulty with this assignment meet with me individually to discuss options.

  1. Please complete the following reading prior to completing the written assignment:
    • Textbook: Giddens, Concept 37.
    Kaplan Chapter 15, Unit 7 (Social Interactions)
    • Choose and read one of the following:
    o The 12 Steps: How it Works. Taken from The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Chapter 5. Available by visiting:
    o Current journal article about substance abuse
  2. Prior to attending the meeting- Post on the Discussion Board the name, location, and time of the meeting you will attend. If something happens and you can’t attend, just repost the info for the meeting you will be attending. Sometimes meetings are cancelled or moved.
  3. Written Paper Format

The AA papers will be graded according to the grading rubric. The body text for this paper is approximately 1-3 pages double spaced. This must include the date, time, and place and name of the group attended. Relate the concept of addiction and the exemplar of alcoholism or prenatal substance abuse throughout the paper as appropriate. The reference (Big Book or journal article) must be included in the body of the paper. It must be cited on a separate reference page. No title page or abstract is needed. This will be largely written from the first-person perspective as personal observations are crucial.

  1. Discuss overall observations and thoughts about issues such as effectiveness, candidness, spirituality, interactions, leadership, openness and theoretical orientation of the group. Please be honest in your reactions in this paper and attempt to reflect an accurate portrayal of the general feeling of the group.
  2. Discuss one Step from the 12-step list that you observed or heard discussed. Describe both the step itself and the way it was discussed or considered met. Consider what it would be like to complete this step on a personal level. Do you consider this to be a valid step? What are the pros and cons?
  3. Discuss the relative strengths and obstacles/barriers of the 12-step approach used in the group you visited. Please include client populations for whom this approach would be best or least suited.
  4. Based on your observation of the speaker or someone else in the meeting you attended, identify 3 nursing diagnoses/concerns (biological, psychological, socio-cultural, spiritual, etc.) related to addictions and identify an appropriate nursing intervention for each identified diagnosis. This means you will identify a total of six items. Relate the concept of addiction and the exemplar of alcoholism or prenatal substance abuse.
  5. Detail what you have learned from this project, how the visit affected you personally, how it changed or confirmed your view of substance use disorders and treatment of those disorders. Did you find the group effective and valued? Would you advocate this in the future? Remember personal reflections are a large percentage of the paper’s grade.

Sample Solution