Narcotics Anonymous is a global organization that brings together members of the community who are either in recovery for various types of narcotics addiction or who wish to be in recovery from this devastating condition. The organization was founded in 1953 and has seen significant growth over the past 60 years to include community-organization meetings in more than 129 countries around the world offering peer support in almost every language.
The Narcotics Anonymous program is a twelve-step program that was benchmarked off of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and has evolved to provide detailed assistance to those in recovery from various types of addiction. Members of Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups work through the twelve-step program and attend regular group meetings at one of the more than 61,000 weekly meetings that are held around the world.
The group atmosphere of NA provides peer to peer support thought a network of others who are either in similar stages of recovery, in earlier stages of recovery or already in the later stages of recovery. Regardless of what stage an individual is in, the NA approach to peer support helps those who wish to pursue a drug-free lifestyle to build bonds and develop healthy relationships with others who are also in recovery.
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
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- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Who is NA for?
You may be wondering if NA is the right support group for you. The question that every potential Narcotics Anonymous member must first ask themselves is whether they are ready to live a drug-free lifestyle? If you are ready to make choices and changes in the right direction to live drug free, and you’re ready to receive peer support and guidance from others who are also making these same choices, then NA is for you!
If you’re an addict, Narcotics Anonymous can help you. The support provided by people just like you who are also suffering from the wrath of addiction can be very enlightening and helpful. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is not a focus on any single drug in the NA meetings so whether you are addicted to alcohol, painkillers, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine or any other substance you can find support and care in NA.
What is an NA Meeting Like?
If you’re thinking about going to an NA meeting for your first time, you probably want to know what you are getting yourself into. Fear of the unknown is one of the primary reasons for people not to attend meetings, support groups or other similar means of treatment for narcotics addiction initially.
Here’s what you can expect at your Narcotics Anonymous meeting:
- Opening discussion usually starts with a prayer and an introduction
- During introduction, members will state their names and if comfortable, may also state a little something about themselves such as their addiction or the number of days they have in sobriety
- Try to get to the meeting early so that you can meet with some of the members of the group early on. You might even find a sponsor during this time.
- Make the most out of the meeting by asking as many questions as you have and being open and honest
- If you can spend additional time to talk and mingle with other members of the group after the meeting, that will be good too
- If you are an addict who is in recovery, you can attend closed sessions but if you are not an addict and simply want to take some time to experience a meeting, attending an open meeting is the best option
- For the best results and the greatest support, NA recommends that new members attend one meeting every day for the first 90 days—90 meetings in 90 days
- Most meetings will have a single speaker and moderator and will focus on one of the twelve-steps of recovery, some include excerpts from the bible too
- Attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings regularly can help you to build bonds with other members of the group and you may progress through the twelve-steps with a better understanding of each
- The end goal is to be in recovery and to become a sponsor who can help others who are in their early stages of the NA program
Narcotics Anonymous meetings are often an accompaniment to inpatient programs or outpatient treatment for narcotics addiction. While twelve-step treatment programs and support groups such as NA are not for everyone, they can be a great addition to a recovery program that includes medical intervention, counseling & therapy in addition to the social support provided at NA.
If you believe that you or someone you know has a problem with drugs or alcohol, a Narcotics Anonymous meeting is an excellent place to begin to receive social support and guidance that can steer you into the direction of living a drug-free lifestyle.