Knowing what to expect at your first NA meeting will help you feel less nervous and understand the purpose of this recovery method.
What You MUST Know Before you Attend Your First Narcotics Anonymous Meeting
Going to your first Narcotics Anonymous meeting can be nerve-wracking, especially if you aren’t prepared. The experience of opening up to strangers about your deepest issues and mistakes isn’t exactly thrilling.
However, it’s a necessary part of your recovery. By learning more about what Narcotics Anonymous meetings are like, you can take away some of this fear and anxiety of going to the first meeting. Here are some things you need to know before attending.
Important Terms to Learn
When you walk into your first meeting, you’ll immediately start hearing certain lingo that might be confusing. While you’ll understand terms like “addict” and “relapse,” here are some of the lesser known terms you should know:
- Basic text – the name of the book that expresses the group’s main ideas
- Ips – informational pamphlets
- Trusted servants – members who hold service positions in the group
- Open meetings – a meeting open to all members of the community, including non-addicts
- Higher power – a non-denominational loving or spiritual force that helps you recover
Narcotics Anonymous Is Not Therapy
You might be going into your first Narcotics Anonymous meeting thinking it will be like therapy. Maybe you’re thinking you’ll be able to resolve your psychological issues at the same time.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Narcotics Anonymous does not focus on teaching lessons or providing counseling.
Instead, meetings mainly consist of sharing personal experiences with both addiction and recovery. Usually, people take turns sharing their stories during the meeting. However, sometimes there are sometimes speaker meetings where one person shares their stories for an extended period of time.
If you find that Narcotics Anonymous is not enough and you think real therapy is necessary, give our hotline a call at (800) 407-7195(Who Answers?). Our specialists can help you find a more in depth program in your area.
Narcotics Anonymous Is Open to Everyone
By definition, Narcotics Anonymous is a place where “anyone may join us regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion or lack of religion.” Additionally, the organization is open to both men and women, meaning there is truly no discrimination at all.
Narcotics Anonymous is also a non-profit organization. This means that they do not have to collect absurd dues or fees in order to stay in business. Instead, they rely only on donations so that people of all financial backgrounds can attend.
Many people think that Narcotics Anonymous is a religious organization because it is sometimes held in churches. However, the only reason this is the case is because these types of venues are usually the most affordable and convenient.
Lastly, the organization does not care what drugs you use. Maybe you just use one, or perhaps you are addicted to several. It simply doesn’t matter.
The only requirement for attending meetings is a desire to stop using and live drug-free.
Narcotics Anonymous Will Greet You Warmly
At your first meeting, you will be warmly greeted by your fellow addicts. Typically, most meetings will ask you to introduce yourself by your first name. You’ll even get a welcoming handshake, hug, and welcome keychain.
However, you won’t be expected to share the first time. Instead, you will be encouraged to listen in order to identify which members could make good sponsors or have similar experiences to yours.
With this information in mind, your first Narcotics Anonymous meeting won’t be awkward at all. There’s nothing to fear, as the group will welcome you with open arms.