Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a 12-step program that allows drug addicts to find recovery assistance. It is a group for people recovering from drug addiction to help each other make healthy choices. NA literature describes it as a program “for addicts seeking and maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.”If you.
There are daily local NA meetings in the United States and hundreds of countries around the world. Members often find the support they need to stop using their preferred drug. Lots of people say it’s a good, safe place to turn to if you need help and want to get clean.
What is anonymous narcotics?
Narcotics Anonymous was founded in 1953 and is often referred to simply as “NA”. It is a global drug addict recovery organization with 67,000 weekly locally organized meetings in 139 countries.If youIf you
There is no focus on any particular drug. Instead, the purpose of NA is to share the trials and successes that come with addiction and recovery.
NA is a 12-step program that is similar to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and shares many of the same principles, practices, and philosophies.If youThe goal of NA is to create a community in which people with drug problems help each other on their way to recovery. Meetings include people of all walks of life and at various levels of recovery, from many years to just a few days of being clean.
Like the AA “Big Book”, NA uses a primary text called “Basic Text”. Members use this book as a guide to recovery along with the fellowship, experiences, and advice of other members. It is common for a new member to develop a relationship with a “sponsor”. This person is often more sober and comfortable helping other members complete the 12 Steps.
No part of the NA is mandatory or required. Meetings are either “open” to members and non-members or “closed” to members and potential members only.If youVisitors who are not addicts themselves are invited to open meetings.
There is also no cost to attend a meeting, and non-members are asked not to contribute to voluntary collection of funds that keep things going. This enables the organization to remain “self-sustaining”.If youNon-members can, however, purchase a “basic text” at the group’s expense.
Anonymity is key to NA’s success. Members understand and agree that what is said in the meetings and who they see there remains in the meeting. They do not discuss these details publicly. This creates an environment of security in which everyone feels comfortable opening up and exchanging their experiences and feelings.
The only requirement to become a member of Narcotics Anonymous is “the desire to discontinue use”.If youIf you
Does NA work?
For many NA members, the only thing they found that actually worked is the program. Anyone who has dealt with addiction knows that it is a struggle that can sometimes seem hopeless. Treatment centers and rehab, therapy and counseling as well as working alone do not work for everyone.If youFor some, NA is a continuation of rehab in everyday life.
Community support and the 12 steps found at NA meetings seem to be the missing link for many people addicted to substances who want to stay sober. Of course, there is never a guarantee that you will never use it again. However, NA states, “We can do together what we cannot do alone.”If youIf you
What to Expect at Your First NA Meeting
Everyone is nervous about attending their first meeting. You can be sure that everyone in the room was in the same place and that the majority is very welcoming to newcomers. The meetings vary somewhat as they are led by the local members. However, there are some general things that you can expect.If youIf you
You will hear the word “addict” often in NA meetings. This is how NA members relate to themselves. Addicts include those who use everything from heroin and cocaine to prescription drugs and a variety of other mind-altering substances.
Meetings usually take one of two formats: speaker or open discussion. One person at a time is allowed to speak in a speaking session to share their personal story. An open discussion is like a round table at which everyone can exchange their own experiences within a limited time. Often there is a specific topic or a reading from the “basic text” that serves as a basis for discussion.
As a newbie, you may be asked to introduce yourself. Use only your first name as this is part of the anonymous aspect of the group. Also, you don’t have to say “I’m an addict” unless you are comfortable with it.
The only rules in a meeting are that drugs and paraphernalia are not allowed. Cross-talk is also discouraged, and members, especially new participants, are encouraged to listen openly while others speak. It is also advisable to turn off the phone and not make side calls.
What about God and prayers?
If you’re new to NA, talking about God and including prayer in some meetings can be alarming, especially if you’re not religious. NA is not a Christian or affiliated with any religion, government, or other organization, even if the meeting is in a church.If youIf you
Within the NA twelve steps, members are asked to admit that they are powerless over their addiction and that their recovery depends on a “higher power”. This can mean a variety of things and is a very personal choice.If youSome people choose God (in whatever form or belief) as theirs and others do not. NA says that “our program is a spiritual and not a religious program”.
Don’t let this stop you from meeting. Instead, ask a member personally and they can explain it further.
How to Find NA Meetings
When you’re ready to attend your first meeting, visit the Narcotics Anonymous website to find a local meeting. (Some local meetings may be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Meetings take place at different times of the day and almost every day of the week. Depending on where you live, there should be more than enough options to choose from.
If you’re in a meeting and you’re not sure, switch to another. Each meeting has its own atmosphere and you may be more comfortable in one group than in another.
That said, at first it’s hard to be comfortable because you feel like an outsider or a newbie when everyone else seems to have it all together. This is not necessarily true, and as NA says, if you keep coming back – it works.If youIf you