What Are NA Meetings?
Narcotics Anonymous, or NA meetings, are 12 Step meetings for those who are struggling with an addiction to drugs and have the desire to quit. Essentially, NA is a support group based on certain steps and principles that are known for helping addicts get free from the compulsion to use or abuse drugs.
Who Attends NA Meetings?
Anyone who is abusing a drug or has become dependent on a drug is welcome to attend NA meetings. The drugs vary widely and include legal and illegal drugs, including prescriptions like pain pills or benzos, or illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, crack meth, and so on.
What Happens at an NA Meeting?
NA meetings are held in many cities across the world. You’ll find meetings in various types of buildings, like churches, recreation centers, or some other type of building. A group of people attends a meeting and that meeting will follow a particular structure. One person will lead or facilitate the meeting, oftentimes called the chair or facilitator of the meeting.
The beginning of a meeting usually starts with a big welcome and readings from NA literature. The 12 Steps and 12 Principles of Narcotics Anonymous will be read, as well as other literature deemed appropriate by each group. Once the readings are finished, the meeting is opened up for group discussion.
Do I Have to Talk at an NA Meeting?
Those at the meeting can share if they desire, but no one has to share. For those that are shy, this helps ease anxiety. People tend to share all sorts of things, but mainly people are encouraged to share their experiences, strength, and hope. If someone is having intense cravings to use, they are encouraged to share with the group, so they will be able to be encouraged.
Giving counsel or advice is not encouraged (crosstalk). People can share what they’ve experienced and their successes, but telling people what they should do or judging them is frowned upon.
What Is a Sponsor in NA?
A sponsor is a mentor in the 12 Step group. Newcomers are encouraged to find a sponsor/mentor to help them in their recovery. Newcomers are encouraged to work through the 12 Steps with a sponsor, as this ultimately helps them solidify their recovery foundation. Beginning with the very first step, coming to believe that they are powerless of their drug addiction, the newcomer begins recovery asking for help from others.
How Long Are NA Meetings?
NA meetings usually last about one hour. Occasionally, they may go over a little bit, but the person in charge tries to keep it right at an hour. Some people opt to visit for a few minutes afterward while people clean up.
Can I Go To NA If I’m an Alcoholic?
NA is primarily for those who have a drug addiction, as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is geared more for those who struggle with alcohol addiction. At the same time, alcohol is a drug, so if NA resonates with you more than AA, no one should give you a hard time if you choose to attend.
How Will Working the 12 Steps Help Me?
Each Step in NA helps the recovering addict to grow personally and/or spiritually in some way. The first few steps help the addict realize that they are powerless over their drug of choice and need to give up their will to their higher power and receive help. Steps four and five offer the recovering addict a chance to do a moral inventory and work through some emotional issues they may be struggling with. The latter steps help the recovering addict to become stronger in their recovery, begin re-building bridges with loved ones, growing a closer relationship with their higher power, making amends, and giving back.
Can NA Help Me Give Up Drugs?
NA has helped many people stop drugging and go on to live a great life. Attending meetings regularly, getting a sponsor, and working the program diligently can certainly help you give up drugs. It probably won’t be easy, but it will be well worth it. Though NA support groups aren’t for everyone, they certainly are one tool in a recovery toolbox that can bring hope and freedom.
If you’re struggling with an addiction to drugs, consider attending an NA support group. Check your local NA schedule to see what day and time works for you, and go!