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Volenik, Antun (2021) Spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. Psychiatria Danubina, 33, (Suppl 4), pp. 974-980.

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Alcoholics Anonymous is, according to the Program's basic documents, a spiritual program - especially regarding Steps 2-3, 5-7, and 11-12. This paper reviews the history of the Program with emphasis on its spiritual background, as well as on the roots of the spiritual side of the program, and showing the spiritual accents in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. The paper also considers the Christian background of the movement and, more broadly, explores the connection of AA founders William (Bill) Wilson and Dr. Robert (Bob) Smith with several Catholic people, such as Edward (Ed) Dowling, SJ, and John C. Ford, SJ, and indicates some points of contact between the Program and Ignatian spirituality.

The paper illustrates the pioneering role of the Alcoholics Anonymous program in integrating spirituality into the process of recovery from and treatment of addictions, an integration that just recently has been embraced by modern psychotherapy and psychiatry. The paper shows the theoretical and spiritual underpinnings of the Program in the religious context. The paper illustrates the orientation of the Program in assisting addicts to integrate into their recovery their own spirituality, a clearer image of God, and personal spiritual and religious progress.

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