Alcoholics Anonymous was the first successful addiction group in the UK after which others like the Narcotics Anonymous followed suit. NA (Narcotics Anonymous) came into existence after the great success of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous). People who are recovering from drugs that aren't alcohol are the main target for these groups. A desire to overcome an addiction is the only requirement to become a member of NA. NA admits as members anyone involved in any drug problem including alcohol. NA recognizes that people do get addicted to multiple drugs at once. Any addict is welcome if he or she wants to recover.
This movement is now available in 129 countries across the world since it started in 1953 in Los Angeles.
What Goes On In An Na Meeting
The first time doing anything is always unsettling, but be encouraged, everyone you'll meet at an NA meeting has been or is where you are right now. All NA members are all recovering addicts who seek to help others on their recovery journey.
You can rest assured of receiving an environment from the group which will be caring, welcoming and non-judgmental.
In some of the meetings, there may be a speaker while in others people will be having open discussions.
During discussion meetings, members are required to share their personal stories of addiction and recovery as it relates to their lives. In speaker meetings, one or more member within the group is asked to share their experience for the majority of the meeting. Meetings are designed so members can share their experiences but they need to remain courteous. New members are not required to share their experiences, although they are welcome to do so if they wish. Members share one at a time; everyone is asked to share only their own experiences and never comment on the others' - time for conversations is during breaks or when the meeting is over.
NA meetings are underpinned by spirituality rather than based on any kind of religion. It refers to a higher power but no definition is given, because this notion can be understood differently by everyone. There are references to God during the meetings and in some cases a prayer is made at the end of the meeting. Some people though, will replace God with "Good orderly direction" or "higher power". The recognition of a higher power is supposed to enable a form of moral ground and strength and not necessarily religion.
Words Used in the Meetings Here is a brief vocabulary of terms routinely used in NA meetings, taken from the NA official "Intro to NA" booklet:
Addict (Addicted Person, Drug Addict)
It is used to refer to the person who is dependent on any kind of drug.
The NA has a document that has all the ideas and objectives of the group.
Members who are holding one or more NA meetings scheduled regularly are identified as a group.
A force that transcends the recovering user that can help them to abstain.
These are pamphlets that provide information on NA.
New NA members.
This is a short or long return to drug use after a certain period of abstinence.
Offering other members one's personal experience related to one's addiction and recovery.
An experienced NA member who provides guidance and support to those going through the 12 Steps.
Group Trusted Servants (Trusted Servants)
Members who have service positions in NA.
Closed Vs Open Gatherings
The differences between the meetings of Narcotics Anonymous & Alcoholics Anonymous are similar and can either be "open" or "closed." Open meetings are open for everyone, including those who want to support a loved one or is just interested in how the group works. The addict members are the only ones allowed to attend the "closed" meeting.
You can choose the sort of meeting you'd like to attend depending on what makes you more comfortable. This choice is best decided after you have experienced both forms of meetings.
12 Stages Of Recovery
The treatment and support provided by Narcotics Anonymous is based on the well-known 12 steps, established by AA. The terminology used by NA replaces any references to "alcohol' simply with 'Addiction" because NA does not distinguish between addictions. You can get more information on the 12 Steps here.
Strength And Responsibility In Numbers
The community is one of the most powerful aspects of NA. 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.
After the new member is settled and can find their way around the group, it is time to look for a sponsor. A sponsor is an individual who is already established in NA and can also act as a mentor because he or she is well-versed with the 12 steps. To ensure that accountability isn't just on a single level, it's usually a good idea to get a sponsor who also has a sponsor.
Get In Touch With A Na Group Near You
Do you need to find an NA group to join for help with your drug addiction? You will have no difficulties in making a choice from the many options suitable for your needs and lifestyle from one of the 61,000 meetings, which are held every week throughout the world. If you need to find an NA group, get in touch with us call 0800 772 3971.