What is Narcotics Anonymous?
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was founded in 1953 in Los Angeles, California, following the established success of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). NA, structured similarly to AA, provides support for individuals seeking recovery from addiction to drugs other than just alcohol.
The only requirement for membership to Narcotics Anonymous is a desire to stop using. NA does not make a distinction between any type of drug, including alcohol. Anyone who is seeking recovery from drug addiction is welcome to attend.
What to Expect from an NA Meeting
The decision to go to an NA meeting can feel intimidating and extremely uncomfortable. Some individuals wait to attend an NA meeting until they feel they have no other options left, and others attend full of doubt to whether they’re really an addict or not. People from all walks of life can share a room with one common goal: a desire to stop using.
Every NA member knows what it is like to attend their first meeting and the common feelings of unease, illness, and despair that can bring someone there. Narcotics Anonymous was founded by recovering addicts, and this model remains. Groups are fully financially self-supporting, meaning they run completely on donations from group members for costs such as coffee supplies, meeting space rental, and literature.
Narcotics Anonymous welcomes newcomers. Discussion among new attendees to the meeting is encouraged, but not required. Topics and discussions at NA meetings are often centered around readings from NA text or experiences in working the steps, and members will share their experience, strength and hope for several minutes on the chosen topic. Members often share what their life was like when they were using, in contrast to what their life is like now that they are not.
NA groups understand the many sentiments that can be present for a person at their first meeting—anger, despair, contempt, skepticism, desperation, fear, and even excitement, comfort, or relief. Many of these, and more, may be present simultaneously. Often, as time goes on, people find a great deal of healing, community, and connectedness through the open and honest discussions these meetings provide.
Finding A Narcotics Anonymous Meeting
Narcotics Anonymous meetings nearby are generally easy to find regardless of where you live. Most groups meet at least once a week, some more frequently, and range from very small groups of just a few individuals, to groups that boast hundreds of regular attendees. Meetings are often held in community spaces such as churches or recreation centers. To find an NA meeting near you, you may use the resources available at www.na.org.
At Oasis Recovery, we believe recovery is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and we support clients in exploring many different modalities of recovery, including 12-step meetings, to find their path of greatest freedom. For more information, download our free e-book to get started on a journey of mindful recovery today.