Everyone knows about the famous 12- step program known Narcotics Anonymous. It’s an important step towards successful treatment for many drug addicts. In other words, it is incredibly effective when used to compliment or alongside other forms of treatments.
Regardless, its effectiveness has been found to be long term. Research and the many individuals that have gone through it have helped prove this fact.
One simple Google search and you can find yourself a suitable Narcotics Anonymous group. If you still want a fighting chance, don’t click out of this page. This post gives you a lending hand and helps guide you towards the help that you need.
Below we address any questions that you might have about Narcotics Anonymous. By the end of the post, we hope we’ll have helped in some way.
What is Narcotics Anonymous?
Narcotics Anonymous is a support group geared towards helping those suffering from drug addiction. Its main aim is to help drug addicts recover, learn how to avoid a relapse and experience a drug-free life.
How Did it Start?
This support group was inspired by the achievement experienced by the Alcoholics Anonymous Support Group. With that inspiration in mind, NA started in Los Angeles in the 1950s. More specifically, it was started in July 1953 in Los Angeles, California.
The group was founded by Jimmy Kinnon, who was and still is popularly referred to as Jimmy K. Since the year of its finding, it has also grown in leaps and bounds. Today, Narcotics Anonymous is present in at least 129 to 139 countries.
How Does it Work?
Meeting a bunch of strangers and spilling your secrets to them is no one’s cup of tea. It’s intimidating and downright scary. Yet, you have to remember that every member of the group is an addict trying to recover.
Everyone in that group shares a common problem and seeks a solution for all. This leaves a lot of room for bonding and very little for judgement. In other words, this fellowship group is the safe place that encourages trust, care and support for anyone that wishes to join.
Remember that everyone in this group is routing for everyone’s successful recovery. Because if you can do it, so can they.
During the meetings, it can be started by a leader to help kickstart the meeting or can be an open discussion. Where there’s a leader involved, the members will have to speak in turns. For open discussions, any member can speak at any time. As a newcomer, you will be made to feel welcome, loved and acknowledged.
During every meeting, members usually share their personal experience. As a new member still trying to learn the ropes, no one will expect you to share unless you want to. If you choose to, you can share as much or as little as you want. If you’re uncomfortable sharing something, do not feel guilty for keeping it to yourself until you’re ready.
What Should I Expect During Meetings?
One should know that this fellowship group offers two types of meetings. They include:
- Open Meetings: Open meetings are where they are open to the general public. Meaning that even people that are not addicted to drugs can attend. If you want your family or friends to attend and provide moral support, you should consider this one.
- Closed Meetings: This meeting means that only those struggling to recover from drug addiction can join. This is usually the preferred type for most newcomers trying to remain anonymous.
Is it A Religious Group?
Before we address the question, how about we take a look at the reasoning behind it? The NA fellowship is a lot like Alcoholics Anonymous. This means that they encourage people to surrender to a higher power, hence the question.
The answer is no, it is not a religious group. It only encourages people to believe in a higher power but does not try to dictate exactly what to subscribe to. It welcomes Christians, Muslims, Buddhist, Hindus and every other religion.
What are the 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous?
- Admit powerlessness
- Believe that a greater power can help
- Surrender to God
- Perform moral inventory
- Confess our wrongs
- Willingness to have God get rid of our vices
- We ask God to eradicate our shortcomings
- Acknowledge those we’ve wrong and be willing to make amends
- Make amends only without the risk of harm or injury
- Continue to perform personal inventory
- Pray and meditate to communicate with God
- Experience a spiritual awakening and communicate these principles to addicts
Do They Use Any Special Terminology?
In the same way, certain professions have their terminology, so does this group. If you’ve already joined one, you’ve already heard the below terminologies being used. What do they mean?
As a newcomer, knowing what they mean can help you understand and communicate well with the members. Below are some of the terms you should know:
Addict: This is the term used by the members. This term refers to themselves since addiction is what is considered the problem and not the drug itself.
Newcomer: This is what the members of the group will call you when you initially join.
Higher Power: This is the force that each member puts their trust and faith in. This higher power is supposed to motivate and encourage them towards recovery.
Relapse: This is when an addict starts using drugs again
Sharing: This is when the group members share their stories and experiences
Sponsor: This is a seasoned member who can offer help to new members by drawing from his/her own experience
Trusted Servants: These members serve with the group
Ips: These are pamphlets containing important information
Group: A group is comprised of the members
Basic Text: This book contains and provides core values of the NA fellowship