Alcoholics Anonymous Groups for people of Asian descent in the USA?
April 30, 2012 7:35 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone tell me about Narcotics Anonymous/Alcoholics Anonymous Groups for people of Asian descent in the USA? I'm not finding anything on google. If anyone can give me information about groups in the Boston area, that would be particularly helpful. Also, if anyone who has actual helpful experience (as opposed to people who just want to speculate) can give me the straight dope as to why I'm not finding AA groups for people of Asian descent, I'd be grateful.
posted by shushufindi to Society & Culture (11 answers total)
Without speculating, my experience in helping a family member was that there weren't any ethnically-focused AA groups. This was in a very diverse part of the country. AA was just AA. I have been to AA meetings.
posted by cnc at 7:44 PM on April 30, 2012

I have never heard of deliberately segregated AA meetings. One of the traditions is that as a group, an AA group have no other affiliation. Another way of thinking about it the tradition that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. That rules out Asian AA meetings.

There are special interest meetings for doctors which are not publicly listed, and therefore are (in some sense) not really AA meetings and there may be something similar for different racial groups but, again, I have never heard of one and I have been in AA for 22 years.

Your best bet would be to find a church in an asian majority neighborhood, just like if you wanted college kids your best bet would be to go to a meeting on a college campus.
posted by shothotbot at 7:45 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree with both of you. I've been to a bunch of meetings myself. Thing is, meetings do seperate themselves. Black meetings are in Black neighborhoods, Latino meetings are in Spanish or in Latino neighborhoods. White meetings are everywhere. I'm not saying meetings should be "segregated," but they often are unintentionally divided by race. I'm sure this has been dealt with by Asian Americans over time. My question is where can I find out more about this? I'll shut up now.
posted by shushufindi at 7:51 PM on April 30, 2012

Per your response...

...check the asian dominated parts of town?
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:53 PM on April 30, 2012

I've never really heard of any AA meetings that expressly cater to a specific ethnic or racial group, although there are meetings specifically for men, women, young people, gay people, and a couple other niches. The preamble, which is usually read at every meeting, says that "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. ...AA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution." As an extension of that, most groups tend to avoid self-segregation along racial lines. I think the reasoning behind that is that you don't want a newcomer showing up to a meeting and feeling that they are somehow different or unwelcome. I don't think I've ever heard of someone, especially someone newly sober, getting turned away from a women's meeting, a young people's meeting, etc. when they didn't fit the criterion.
posted by Vic Morrow's Personal Vietnam at 7:56 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

THere are also queer/gay/lesbian meetings, women's meetings, and youth meetings, that are specifically advertised as such, for whatever this is worth.
posted by latkes at 8:01 PM on April 30, 2012

Oops, stated above.
posted by latkes at 8:02 PM on April 30, 2012

When you say "unintentionally divided by race," yes, that may happen. But the point is that you're certainly not going to find many results googling for "Asian AA meetings," because they won't be described that way. I'd imagine that a meeting in, say, the basement of a church founded by and catering to Korean immigrants, might have more Korean-Americans than average. But you asked "why I'm not finding AA groups for people of Asian descent" and what mefites are telling you is that you aren't having luck because AA meetings don't describe/advertise themselves that way. That's your answer.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:05 PM on April 30, 2012

Have you called the AA Service Committee of Eastern Massachusetts to ask? 617-426-9444.

I looked through their online list of meetings and didn't see any in Chinatown, in the East Asian -majority areas of Dorchester, or hosted at a Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, or Japanese-language Christian church, so it doesn't seem like there are any obvious leads online (my apologies if this has simply reduplicated your efforts).

Contacting the South Cove Community Health Center might also be productive, as they provide clinical addiction services and focus on the Asian community. Again, my apologies if this is redundant. Best of luck to you.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:06 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]

Contact AA's Central Service Committee of Boston. There may be Asian meetings and materials printed in Asian languages. (In Los Angeles we have Spanish-speaking meetings. In theory they're open to everyone, however. Anyone who might be interested in a meeting in Spanish.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:07 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Although we have Native American spiritual, atheist based, LGBT,youth, women's,men's and Spanish language meetings here, all AA meetings are always open to anyone who wants to quit drinking. I have been in women's meetings that gladly took in a man who needed a meeting.

I would be very surprised to see any meeting anywhere that specified a particular descent as a basis for a group membership. I wish you the best in finding a meeting that will prove helpful.
posted by Isadorady at 10:25 PM on April 30, 2012

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