Narcotics Anonymous, or NA, was established for people who want to leave their addictions behind. All NA organizations operate independently, but they all have meetings and programs to help members overcome their issues. NA has a set of rules to provide a sense of purpose and responsibility to those who are taking part of the rehabilitation process.
Narcotics Anonymous meetings are gatherings of recovering addicts who meet regularly in order to help each other. The meetings value anonymity, which lets people freely express their ideas and opinions. Every addict, regardless of the substances they used, is welcome. NA is beneficial for those who want to change and become better members of society. If you know a teenager that is struggling with drugs in Los Angeles, learn more about Los Angeles teen drug treatment programs.
General Information About NA Meetings
It should be noted that what Narcotics Anonymous provides is not a treatment for substance use disorder, but a “spiritual way of life.”
Narcotics Anonymous associations have certain doctrinal beliefs, usually religious, called the 12 Steps. It starts with the admission of defeat over the problem, and ends up with a deep desire to change and help others.
NA has worked out how to assist addicts in staying away from drugs and alcohol by utilizing various techniques. They conduct classes about addiction, therapies to overcome it, and sharing experiences and lessons about substance or alcohol abuse. Furthermore, some churches also send missionaries to boost the spiritual health of the attendants.
It is an affordable alternative where addicts can gain support, companionship, and advice on how to stop or avoid relapsing. The meetings are voluntary, so one can attend whenever they feel like it. NA also offers medical sponsorship to some individuals willing to change their unhealthy lifestyles.
What Goes On In An NA Meeting And How Long Is It?
Narcotics Anonymous can be intimidating for first-timers. But as the meeting progresses, that tension decreases. The first thing people do when a newcomer arrives is to welcome them. They will ask the newcomer to introduce themselves and pledge that they shall change together. All the members are recovering addicts with the same goal: to live a drug-free life. So, they often share confessions and regrets. In addition, they also conduct an “open forum” with information on drugs.
NA meetings can last from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the topic of discussion. They exchange questions and answers, and discuss their next steps to improve themselves. Newcomers are encouraged to share their experiences with the group. Active participation drives everyone’s desire to change. These meetings can help people that suffer from all different types of drug use, and they’ve been very common for teen marijuana abuse treatment.
Meetings have various activities such as Participation, Speakers, Topic Discussion, Book Study, Newcomers, Question and Answer. In addition, NA Meetings typically follow one of the two formats: Speakers sessions or open discussions. In a speaker session, one individual is allowed to speak to share their personal story. An open discussion is where everyone can share their own experiences and ideas in a short amount of time. Usually, a specific topic or a reading from a religious book or passage serves as the foundation for discussion. There, information on books, pamphlets, and flyers are discussed.
12 Steps to Recovery
A common misconception regarding the 12-steps is that they must be followed in a specific order. They are designed to work in any sequence, so some might be able to get to the tenth step before the second. In any case, this program can give someone the focus they need to overcome addiction.
- Deal with the truth of your addiction
This stage is about embracing the facts. You accept that your life has spiraled out of control, and that you are prepared to receive the assistance you require.
- Surrender your fate to a Higher Power
In a 12-step program, many people believe that a Higher Power might give them peace of mind. Entrusting your fate to said Higher Power could let you find balance in your life.
- Give yourself over to the God of your choice
Asking for His help is a noble act that might provide you with the strength you need to succeed.
- Understand how your addiction has changed you for the worse
You have to comprehend how your addiction has altered your behavior and prompted you to act in harmful ways. It is important to seek ways to improve your positive qualities.
- Confess to God, to yourself, and to others about your wrongdoings
You might wonder about the origins of your shortcomings. Were you using drugs to cause yourself harm? Did you lose your belief in God? Whatever the case may be, you are now working to eliminate this issue from your life. Be honest with yourself and others.
- Let God help you find your way
Invite God to cleanse your life and assist you in making the necessary changes to live a drug-free existence.
- Ask God to remove your imperfections
Your faith will let you ask God to remove your flaws and give you strength.
- Apologize to everyone that you have offended
You might have hurt people as a result of your addiction. Make a list of them. Consider the discomfort you might have caused, and be willing to put things right.
- Make peace with the loved ones you might have let down
Some might accept you back right away, while others might turn you down. Make amends with sincerity, humility, and the knowledge that you may need assistance from your sponsor or God.
- Take personal inventory and admit when you are wrong
Once you have identified the negative habits and behaviors that contributed to your addiction, make a lifelong commitment to eliminate them from your routine.
- Pray and meditate
This allows you to understand God and communicate with Him for guidance and support through this difficult time.
- Have a spiritual awakening
After you have gained the confidence and skills to live a drug-free life, you can help spread the word by sharing your recovery journey with other people who are struggling with addiction. Since addiction is a chronic and degenerative disease, there is no guaranteed way to stay sober for the rest of your life. If you or a teenager you know is struggling with addiction, and would like help, learn more about this teen treatment program. That said, a Narcotics Anonymous group could assist you in overcoming your addiction and avoiding a relapse. Over 61,000 meetings are held every week worldwide, so there are plenty of possibilities out there that can suit your needs and lifestyle.