The Spiritual Principles of Narcotics Anonymous

For many people who are fighting drug abuse or addiction, spirituality is a source of strength. It involves turning to something bigger than yourself for guidance and support. Whether or not you’re religious, you can develop greater resilience through following spiritual principles and forging a more meaningful path through life.

Narcotics Anonymous is one example of an effective program that’s rooted in spirituality. The principles of the program have helped many drug-addicted people resist relapse, overcome setbacks, and experience personal growth.

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What Is Narcotics Anonymous?

Founded in the 1950s, this nonprofit organization models itself after Alcoholics Anonymous. However, it offers support to people struggling with the misuse of any drug, not just alcohol.

People participating in Narcotics Anonymous attend peer-led support groups and work with a sponsor. They also follow the 12 Steps as a fundamental part of their recovery from drug addiction.

Although Narcotics Anonymous isn’t a religious organization, it does have a spiritual foundation. You’re asked to focus on a Higher Power, which you define for yourself. Spiritual principles are also woven into the program. These principles encourage reflection and help build strength and character.

Exploring the Spiritual Principles of Narcotics Anonymous

As part of Narcotics Anonymous, you can think about and act on a large number of spiritual principles. The program also focuses on 12 core principles that serve as a foundation for recovery and correspond to the 12 Steps. As you attend group meetings and work your way through the 12 Steps, you’re meant to apply these foundational principles to your life.

An in-depth discussion of each principle is beyond the scope of this article, and the following explanations are meant only as a quick introduction. Also, keep in mind that different groups may have some variations on the core principles.

Acceptance

With acceptance, you resist denying reality or being evasive. Even if you’re experiencing something painful, you don’t struggle against the fact that it’s happening or pretend it isn’t real. An accepting attitude also applies to joyful experiences that drug addiction may have blocked out.

Hope

Hope encourages you to look towards a future that’s more fulfilling. It helps give you motivation to continue working on yourself and supporting others in the recovery journey. Even if you’re facing setbacks, hope can keep you going through times of great stress and pain.

Faith

Regardless of which religion you practice, and even if you don’t practice any religion at all, you can direct faith at something larger than yourself. You can place trust in something that transcends you. Prayers and meditations help strengthen faith.

Courage

Fighting addiction is often a frightening process, and making changes in your life can provoke strong fear or anxiety. Cultivating courage helps you stick to healthier habits, set boundaries, and confront new situations.

Honesty

Honesty with yourself and with other people is a critical part of fighting addiction and building a more purposeful life. One aspect of living more honestly involves letting go of flimsy excuses and taking responsibility for your actions.

Patience

At the heart of patience, you’ll find the truth that you can’t control everything around you. Things won’t always move at the pace you want them to, and that includes your own healing process.

Humility

Humility doesn’t mean degrading or hating yourself. It means acknowledging your limitations as a human being, admitting when you’re at fault, and asking for help. It helps you curb arrogance or a tendency to cater too much to your ego.

Willingness

With willingness, you’re showing a commitment to stick to recovery and make a variety of helpful changes to your thoughts and behaviors. Willingness pushes you to follow through on promises you make to yourself and others.

Love

The kind of love emphasized in Narcotics Anonymous isn’t romantic. Instead, it’s a feeling of fellowship or brotherly love. It encourages you to help others and care about their well-being.

Integrity

When you live with integrity, you’re making efforts to ensure that your behavior aligns with your values. These values can include benevolence, honesty, and a strong work ethic. For example, even if you’re given the opportunity to sneak out of work early without anyone noticing, you choose to remain at your job and finish what you set out to do for the day.

Discipline

Discipline involves building better habits and holding yourself to higher standards, even when you’re feeling lazy or bored. It can also help you resist the temptation to use drugs again.

Service

Although spiritual growth involves introspection, it also pushes you to look outwards. There are many ways to perform acts of service in your community and for the people in your life. For example, as you progress in your recovery journey, you may want to help other drug-addicted people by offering them advice on staying sober.

How Do Spiritual Principles Help?

Spiritual principles remind you that you’re more than your impulses or temptations. You have higher ideals that you can reflect on and follow. You have the capacity to grow in ways that you may not even currently envision. And it’s a lifelong process, because you can keep revisiting these principles with fresh insights and newly gained wisdom.

These principles also remind you that you’re not alone. You’re connected to other people and to larger things. Your life has a greater purpose than just existing each day. Instead of drifting through your days or following whims, you develop greater awareness and a sense of direction.

Ultimately, these principles help guide you. When you reflect on them, and when you focus on them in daily life, they remind you about the best decisions to make in different situations. They remind you about who you want to be, and they help you live more meaningfully and with more respect for yourself and other people.

Contact Long Island Interventions

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information about treatments for drug addiction. There are a variety of effective approaches, and you’ll often find that combining more than one treatment method will help. For compassionate and personalized advice, contact us today by phone or email.

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