Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a 12-step support group modeled after Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). The founders of NA had found recovery from addiction through AA and wanted to take a broader view of recovery from substance use disorders. NA adopted the Twelve Steps to include all forms of chemical dependency, not just alcoholism. NA is currently the second-largest 12-step recovery program. There are many meetings provided at different times and on different days and NA is offered in over 135 countries.
NA’s approach to recovery is finding value in addicts helping each other through support, strength, and hope. NA does not concern itself with an addict’s substance of choice and those recovering from alcohol use disorders are also welcome to attend NA meetings. Groups are formatted like AA including the idea that anyone is welcome regardless of age, race, or ethnicity. The only requirement is a desire to stop using. NA meetings provide a safe environment where addicts can share their stories and receive support from other members.
Recovery is possible through the NA 12-step program. The steps do not mention “drugs” or “drug use” but rather refer only to addiction. The focus is however on the idea that recovery is possible through working the 12-steps.
There are a few issues with NA, particularly whether alcoholics should attend NA meetings and whether drug addicts should attend AA meetings. Some people argue that drugs and alcohol are different substances and should be treated as such. NA teaches that alcohol is a drug but this thought is not universal. There are many in AA who take prescription medications that an individual in NA would not take. There are those in NA who still drink. The premise though of NA is that an addict is not sober if they use alcohol. Conversely, AA does not consider an individual sober if they use mood-altering drugs.
Another issue is that some view addiction to drugs as a pervasive problem. Drug addicts are seen as criminals who engage in violent acts to support their addiction. This view is not shared with some alcoholics unless the alcoholic has a co-occurring substance use disorder. Some believe that 12-step is 12-step regardless of which group you attend although others disagree.
Twelve-step meetings were designed to help individuals and there are all different types of 12-step meetings. Whichever meeting an individual attend, should be the choice of the person in recovery.
12 step meetings are part of an overarching recovery program. Hired Power is a family of dynamic recovery professionals offering experience and excellence in planning your recovery. We’re here to support you every step of the way. Call us for more information: 800.910.9299.