Narcotics Anonymous is a 12 step program that helps people overcome addiction through mutual support and other elements. It could help you, too.
Are Narcotics Anonymous Meetings Right for Me?
Narcotics Anonymous meetings take their cues from the wisdom of the 12-step, peer supported programs offered in meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. The groups are not focused on any specific drug, but, rather the disease of addiction and how they can be of help to others while sustaining their own recoveries.
Alcoholics Anonymous was established in 1933 as the original 12-step recovery program which was based on 12 spiritual and moral steps to alcohol addiction recovery. Building on these principles, Narcotics Anonymous, established in 1953, relies on 12 traditions to run parallel with the 12 recovery steps.
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Understanding Support Groups
According to a report from the Great Lakes Addiction Technology Transfer Center, “For more than 275 years, individuals and families recovering from severe alcohol and other drug problems have provided peer-based recovery support (P-BRS) to sustain one another and to help those still suffering.”
Bringing people together who share common interests and concerns regarding their addictions, so they can empower and be empowered by others and in the ability to overcome obstacles and sustain recovery is highly advocated in and outside of traditional addiction treatment programs. Accordingly, a Narcotics Anonymous pamphlet states “Our message is broad enough to attract addicts from any social class or nationality. When new members come to meetings, our sole interest is in their desire for freedom from active addiction and how we can be of help.”
Perhaps, you will not gain anywhere else as much true insight into the consequential harms and healing of addicted individuals as in a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.
Are Narcotics Anonymous Meetings Right For You?
No pressure to join, no pressure to give money, just a sincere willingness to accept your addiction and work toward accountability. It doesn’t even matter if you are still using. In fact, the Narcotics Anonymous meetings are a great place to find the right addiction treatment resources from people you can trust to know where to go, what to do, and how to get there.
Narcotics Anonymous meetings may not be right for you if you have an aversion to God or the emphasis they place on spirituality and reliance on complete abstinence, but, be honest with yourself, if you think you are addicted, you just might be; and need all the help you can get to live the life you deserve.
Take a look at the 12 steps and 12 traditions. If you are still unsure of whether a Narcotics Anonymous meeting is right for you, perhaps you can explore their informational pamphlets on line through the Narcotics Anonymous World Services or find a meeting @ the NA Meeting Search page.
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The 12 Steps to Recovery at Narcotics Anonymous
The following 12 steps to recovery are meant to be taken in order, but, many are repeated or revisited in recovery:
- We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives had become unmanageable
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs
- We’re entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others
- Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, we promptly admitted it
- Sought, through prayer and meditation, to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
The 12 Traditions of Narcotics Anonymous
Mutual respect requires adherence to the 12 traditions, following:
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon NA unity
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern
- The only requirement for NA membership is a desire to stop using
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or NA as a whole
- Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the addict who still suffers
- An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose
- Every NA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions
- Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers
- NA, as such, ought never be organized – but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve
- Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues – the NA name ought never be drawn into public controversy
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion – we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities
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