Religious Dilemmas and Spiritual Solutions
At first glance, it would seem that gay men with substance use disorder would be ideally matched to AA for post-treatment recovery maintenance or aftercare. As previously noted, gay men are especially vulnerable to the development of a narcissistic personality structure. The philosophy of the AA program is that addiction is essentially a “disorder of the self” characterized by narcissistic traits. The AA program is unique in that it addresses both the underlying pathological personality structure, and the substance use disorder, by way of spiritual transformation. However, when spirituality gives way to overt religiosity – as it often does in AA – the program becomes inaccessible and exclusive, and more foreboding than welcoming.