Narcotics Anonymous (NA) provides support for individuals who are attempting to recover from drug abuse. This support group was founded in 1953 in Los Angeles and it has spread out to cover about 129 countries. It is not specific to which type of drug the person is abusing. As long as they want to recover from substance abuse, they are more than welcome to join NA. You do not require any other qualification to be a member. Also, there is no limit on age. The society is benefiting from the efforts of NA across the globe.
NA Meeting Expectations
Even when it is your first time, you will receive a warm welcome. All NA members are all recovering addicts and this helps them to understand the needs of the individual once they join the group. You should not be afraid of others passing judgment.
Either the meetings can involve the presence of a speaker who will motivate and encourage the process or they may involve group discussions. During group discussions, you will share a personal experience with others that are relevant to addiction and recovery.
Discussions are very popular. The individuals will share as they wish without interrupting one another. How much a person shares is irrelevant as they can chip in very little or as much as they want. However, it is important to note that you can only share what you are comfortable with. If you are new, there is no pressure to share. Also, you can only share according to your personal experience and during the meeting, the addicts cannot comment on another’s experience. You can only carry out conversations during the group breaks. The participants must be time conscious so that many people have some time to share.
Common Terminologies for New Members (First Meeting)
As a new member, you will come across some very common terms from the rest. These terminologies include
- Addict: This term the individuals use to refer to themselves as opposed to meaning that it is the use of a drug.
- Basic Text refers to the book that provides the group’s core ideas (Narcotics Anonymous).
- Sponsor refers to an experienced member who can offer guidance to the newer addicts.
- Relapse: This is the brief or extended return to drug abuse.
- IPS: These are initials for Information Pamphlets
- Newcomer is a new NA member.
- Higher Power refers to a loving force that will help addicts remain clean and motivate them to seek recovery.
- Sharing is about offering personal experience relevant to addiction and recovery
- Trusted Servants are persons who have service positions in Narcotics Anonymous
NA and Religion
Religion is not the basis of the NA program but it helps individuals to have faith in a higher being. It is not specific to a given religion or denomination. The program accommodates Muslims, Christians, and other religious beliefs alike. When talking about a higher power under the Narcotics Anonymous program, you will be referring to a set of guiding rules that govern morality and an individual’s strength. The individuals’ beliefs are not altered to suit a specific preference.
NA meetings can either be open or closed. Open meetings are not limiting to who can attend them. This means that it may comprise addicts as well as non-addicts as long as they are in support of the efforts of the group. You can be present to support a loved one. On the other hand, a closed group is strictly for addicts. As an addict, especially if you are new, you are not locked to one group. You can move from one group to another until you find what you want or what works for you.
12-steps Narcotics Anonymous
The Narcotics Anonymous 12 step plan is similar to that of Alcoholics Anonymous. The difference comes in with the use of terminologies, as they have to be relevant to drug recovery.
- We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- We 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 a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Guided by these rules, it becomes easier for groups to customize the way they do things while at the same time remain in sync with the other groups. This ensures that all NA groups remain as one unit despite distance or that they have different people.
Narcotics Anonymous is a support group that aims to help people with a drug abuse problem into recovery as well as long-term sobriety. The groups remain independent to ensure they stick to the traditions and guidelines of the group.