What Is Narcotics Anonymous, and How Can It Help You or a Loved One Recover?
Narcotics Anonymous is a 12-step recovery program for people who struggle with addiction to narcotics. It’s based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and offers a path to recovery for people who want to break free from the cycle of addiction.
NA helps people recover from addiction by providing support and fellowship and by teaching them how to live drug-free lives. The 12 steps of NA provide a framework for recovery, and members work through them at their own pace.
In addition to working through the steps, NA members also attend weekly meetings and participate in service projects. NA is a worldwide fellowship, and there are local chapters in many cities and towns.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Effective Is Narcotics Anonymous?
- 2 Who Is Narcotics Anonymous Designed For?
- 3 Narcotics Anonymous History and Purpose
- 4 What Are the 12 Steps?
- 5 How Does Narcotics Anonymous Help People Recover?
- 6 Is Narcotics Anonymous the Same as Rehab?
- 7 Do You Have to “Hit Bottom” Before You Can Join Narcotics Anonymous?
- 8 What Is the Relapse Rate for Narcotics Anonymous Members?
- 9 Get on the 12-Step Path Today
How Effective Is Narcotics Anonymous?
NA provides a supportive community for its members, and it helps them recover by providing space to share their experiences and strength with each other. NA meetings are available in most communities, and they’re open to anyone who wishes to attend.
There’s no charge to attend meetings, and members aren’t required to share their personal information. The only requirement is a desire to stop using drugs. NA helps its members recover by providing a safe and supportive environment as well as the tools and resources to help people overcome addiction.
NA encourages its members to live drug-free lives and to become productive members of society. The program has helped countless individuals overcome addiction and lead happy and fulfilling lives.
Who Is Narcotics Anonymous Designed For?
NA is open to anyone who wishes to join, and there’s no membership fee. To join the program, you simply need to attend a meeting and share your desire to stop using drugs. There are no other requirements for membership, and you can leave the program at any time.
NA is designed to be a lifelong journey. Members are encouraged to attend meetings on a regular basis. The program offers support and guidance as well as resources for finding a sponsor who can provide additional encouragement.
Narcotics Anonymous History and Purpose
NA began in Los Angeles in 1953 with 12 original members. Jimmy K., one of the founding participants, is considered the primary founder of NA. The mission of NA is threefold:
- To provide an environment for recovery from addiction
- To share experience, strength and hope to help one another recover
- To carry the message of recovery to addicts who are still suffering
NA’s primary purpose is to encourage members to stay clean and help other addicts achieve sobriety. Members get sober by working through the 12 steps with a sponsor who’s already achieved sobriety. In doing so, the member will also come to work through the underlying issues and emotions that led them to drug abuse in the first place.
What Are the 12 Steps?
The 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous provide a framework for recovery from addiction. The steps are designed to be sequential, and each one builds on the previous step. At your first NA meeting, you’ll begin to learn the 12 steps by heart. You may notice that many steps have distinctly spiritual overtones.
NA is based on the principle of shared experience, and members are encouraged to openly share their stories of recovery with one another. As a result, NA has helped countless individuals achieve sobriety and rebuild their lives. Here are a few NA success stories:
- Bill W. is one of the co-founders of AA and NA. He struggled with alcoholism for many years before finding sobriety through the 12-step program. Today, he’s sober and helping others to achieve recovery.
- Jill S. is a mother of two who has been sober for over 10 years thanks to NA. She credits the program with giving her the strength to overcome her addiction and build a better life for herself and her children.
- John D. is an Iraq War veteran who battled addiction after returning home from combat. He found NA while searching for help, and the program has allowed him to start fresh and build a new life for himself.
For many people, the journey through NA is lifelong. There’s no set length of time that it takes to “complete” the program as everyone’s journey is unique. However, there are some general milestones that individuals usually reach as they progress through NA.
The first step is usually admitting that you have a problem with drugs and need help to overcome it. From there, you’ll likely begin attending NA meetings on a regular basis. As you progress, you may find yourself taking on more responsibility within the group, such as leading discussions or sharing your story with others.
How Does Narcotics Anonymous Help People Recover?
NA provides a supportive environment where addicts can share their experiences and learn from one another. It also offers a variety of resources to help addicts stay on track, including meetings, literature and online interactions.
Moreover, NA encourages its members to get involved in their communities and give back to those who are still struggling with addiction. By providing addicts with the tools they need to recover, NA is helping save lives and build healthier communities.
In addition to attending regular meetings, NA members may volunteer at local schools or recovery centers or participate in public awareness campaigns. By giving back to their communities, NA members help to break the stigma surrounding addiction.
Is Narcotics Anonymous the Same as Rehab?
NA isn’t the same as rehab, but it does offer rehabilitation retreats for members. The main difference is that NA is a 12-step program while rehab is a treatment program that can last for weeks or months. Rehab programs typically involve detoxification, therapy and group counseling. NA also offers these services, but they’re not required for membership.
NA is typically offered as an alternative to treatment or as a complement to traditional rehab programs. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for addiction, NA can be an effective tool for many people in their recovery journey.
For some members, the structure and support of the program are essential for staying sober. For others, the sense of community and camaraderie is what keeps them coming back.
Do You Have to “Hit Bottom” Before You Can Join Narcotics Anonymous?
“Hitting bottom” is a phrase often used in the 12-step recovery community. It refers to the point at which an individual realizes that they’re powerless over their addiction and that their life has become unmanageable. This can be a sudden experience of rock bottom, when things seem hopeless, or it can be a slow realization that things have to change.
For some people, hitting bottom may mean losing their job, relationship or home. For others, it may be a moment of realization that they’re putting their life at risk. Regardless of how it’s experienced, hitting bottom is often a necessary step in seeking help for addiction.
It can be difficult to attend a 12-step meeting if you haven’t yet hit bottom as the focus will be on admitting powerlessness and working toward recovery. However, there’s no right or wrong way to seek help for addiction. If you’re struggling with addiction, reach out for help in whatever way feels right for you.
What Is the Relapse Rate for Narcotics Anonymous Members?
The relapse rate is difficult to determine as there’s no formal monitoring of members’ sobriety. However, based on anecdotal evidence and observations from AA, it’s estimated that the relapse rate for NA is between 30 and 50 percent.
While that rate may seem high, bear in mind that recovery from addiction is a long and difficult process. Those in the lengthy process of recovery will often celebrate even one year of sobriety as a success. For many people, relapsing is part of recovery, and they’ll eventually be able to achieve long-term sobriety.
If someone does relapse, there are no consequences within the NA program. Members are encouraged to reach out for help if they start using again. There’s never any shame or judgment associated with relapse as everyone in the program knows how difficult recovery can be. Ultimately, the goal of NA is to help people achieve sobriety even if it takes multiple attempts.
Get on the 12-Step Path Today
If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, you’re not alone. We at Long Island Interventions can help you find the resources you need to start the recovery journey today. We understand that addiction is a complex disease, and we’re here to offer support and resources every step of the way. We’ll connect you with treatment centers that specialize in your specific needs.
Addiction is a difficult disease to overcome, but with the right resources, it’s certainly possible. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you or your loved one start the recovery journey.
Long Island Interventions do not directly offer Addiction Treatment. If you or a loved one require services we do not offer, we would gladly refer you to one of our trusted affiliate providers.