The Alcoholic Anonymous support group was formed in the UK years ago, and other groups have been established adopting the same model, Narcotics Anonymous is one of these. The achievements of the Alcoholics Anonymous led to the founding of the Narcotics Anonymous. While AA provides support for those addicted to alcohol, NA, on the other hand, focuses on those addicted to drugs. People who are trying to stop the dependence on different drugs are welcomed to the NA. Anyone who is trying to give up addiction to any substance including alcohol can join NA. They are aware that polysubstance dependence is common among people. As long as they are willing to get on the path to recovery, all addicts are allowed to join NA.
Officially NA was founded in 1953 in Los Angeles, and has spread all over the world, currently having thousands of groups in 129 countries.
What Happens In An Na Meeting
It is natural to be intimidated by the thought of going for a meeting with this group, but it is essential to understand that members were once at the same stage as you are. It can be said with a degree of certainty that Narcotics Anonymous members are all recovering addicts who are looking forward to helping others recover.
You can rest assured of receiving an environment from the group which will be caring, welcoming and non-judgmental.
Usually, meetings are either speaker or discussion ones.
During discussion meetings, members are required to share their personal stories of addiction and recovery as it relates to their lives. The speaker sessions involve one person sharing their experience with the whole group. One is allowed to share what he or she feels to in the discussion sessions. You can choose to share if it's your first time there but you will not be required to. The members are allowed to talk to each other during breaks and after the meetings but during discussions, only the person sharing is allowed to speak and people can only share their experiences and don't comment on others'.
NA meetings are grounded on spirituality and are not dependent on any religion. The reference is usually to a higher power without any definition being provided about what the power is because it can be different for every attendee. There are references to God during the meetings and in some cases a prayer is made at the end of the meeting. There are those who would rather refer to "God" as a "higher power" or "good orderly direction." No religion is forced on the members but they just have to appreciate the fact that the higher power is the one guiding them to recovery from addiction.
First Meeting Terms You Need To Know There are certain words that you're likely to encounter when you attend NA meetings and some of those you should know about include:
Addict (Addicted Person, Drug Addict)
The term which is used as a reference to ourselves because we view addiction itself as the problem rather than the use of a specific substance.
Narcotics Anonymous is the book that holds the main ideas on the need for the existence of the group.
NA Members who conduct one or more NA meetings on a scheduled basis.
Any stronger and loving force that assists the member overcome and remain clean from addiction.
IPs (Informational Pamphlets)
Information pamphlets about NA.
Newly Registered NA members.
A brief or long-lasting return to taking drugs due to a certain lapse in recovery.
This involves telling stories of what you've gone through during addiction and afterwards.
A member who has the experience to help you go through the 12 Steps.
These are the leaders and heads of NA.
Closed Vs Open Gatherings
"Open" and "Closed" are the different ways through which people assemble in NA which is similar to that of AA. People who want to show support to a loved one or people who just want to find out about the group can attend the open meetings. The addict members are the only ones allowed to attend the "closed" meeting.
You decide which kind of group you want to be involved with. This choice is best decided after you have experienced both forms of meetings.
12 Stages Of Recovery
Although originally used in the AA, the 12 steps are also utilized by NA to guide its meetings. Narcotics Anonymous doesn't focus on any particular drug and the terms used are the same as those used in AA except for the references to alcohol. You can get more information on the 12 Steps here.
There Is Strength In Numbers
The NA community is one of its strengths. NA is a congregation of recovering addicts who take care of their own meetings and provide a welcoming environment of help and healing for newcomers.
A newcomer can begin looking for a sponsor once he or she as an attendee is familiar with the structure of NA and has established a relationship within the group. This are people that are in the later stages of recovery and know more about the steps of effectively achieving that. Wisdom dictates it is best to have a sponsor who is themselves sponsored in order to have accountability on multi-levels.
Finding A Na Group
If you're trying to get on the path to recovery and planning to stay there, it's a good idea to find an NA group. There are many groups for you to choose from since in the whole world, there are at least 61,000 NA meetings each week. We are ready to assist you join one of the groups and start your recovery journey call 0800 772 3971.