"Sobriety's kind of like freedom:" Integrating ideals of leisure into the ideology of Alcoholics Anonymous


  • Bryan McCormick
  • John Dattilo


Leisure, Sobriety, Alcoholics Anonymous, Freedom


A substantial number of adults in the United States experience problems of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. In addition to primary problems with alcohol, people with alcohol problems also demonstrate secondary problems as well. As a result, therapeutic recreation specialists working in a variety of settings are likely to work with clients with alcohol problems. Clients with alcohol problems have been found to have relatively negative attitudes towards leisure and demonstrate some resistance to treatment generally. This resistance may be reduced if services can be linked to factors perceived as important to clients such as Alcoholics Anonymous. This paper presents a conceptual integration of concepts of leisure and the ideology of Alcoholics Anonymous. The social world of AA was selected as the research site and data were collected and analyzed from within an interpretive perspective. Parallels between the concept of sobriety in A A and philosophical ideals of leisure were found. Implications of these findings are presented in terms of how they may be integrated into therapeutic recreation intervention.





Research Papers