One Size Doesn’t Fit All: A Thematic Analysis of Interviews with People who Have Stopped Participating in Narcotics Anonymous in Norway


For persons with substance use disorders (SUDs), 12-step groups (TSGs) are the most available and used peer-based recovery resource, worldwide. However, disengagement is common, and attrition may partly be due to practices and procedures within these groups that are unacceptable to a portion of the population with SUDs. Our overall aim was to identify problematic issues related to Narcotics Anonymous (NA) participation in Norway, to inform addiction professionals’ strategies when referring persons to addiction-related self-help groups (SHGs).


Addiction professionals should recognize possible problems related to TSG participation, to help prevent negative experiences and possible harms to individuals. Professionals should also inform individuals about alternative support groups, to help them find the recovery resource best suited to them.

Vederhus, J., Høie, M. & Birkeland, B. One size doesn’t fit all: a thematic analysis of interviews with people who have stopped participating in Narcotics Anonymous in Norway. Addict Sci Clin Pract 15, 18 (2020).
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