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NA BETTER KNOWN AS NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS

Narcotics Anonymous is a twelve step program modeled after Alcoholic Anonymous describing itself as a "fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem." and it is the second largest 12 step organization. The program is group-oriented, and is based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions, adapted from AA. As of May 2010 there were more than 58,000 meetings in 131 countries.

The only requirement for membership is "a desire to stop using," and members meet regularly to help each other stay clean, where "clean" is defined a complete abstinence fromall mood and mind altering substances (Including alcohol and marijuana.) Membership in the program is free, and there are no dues or fees. The foundation of the program is the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.

The program "has no opinion on outside issues," including those of politics, science, or medicine, and does not endorse any outside organization or institution. The fellowship does not promote itself, but rather attracts new members through public information and outreach. The program, and individual members may carry the message to hospitals, and institutions, such as treatment centers and jails.

It describes addiction as a progressive disease with no known cure, which affects every area of an addict's life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. They suggest that the disease of addiction can be arrested, and recovery is possible through the NA twelve-step program. The steps never mention drugs or drug use, rather they refer only to addiction, to indicate that addicts have a disease of which drug use is one symptom. Other symptoms include obsession, compulsion, denial, and self centeredness.

Addicts often first enter NA after reaching a "bottom" in their life, a point at which life feels completely unmanageable, characterized by "unemployability, dereliction and destruction" and centered around the getting and using and finding ways and means to get more drugs. Every member reaches a different bottom, which can be wherever the addict chooses to stop using. In practice, it is drug use and the extreme consequences associated with its abuse that bring most addicts to their bottom many of them sliding along 'this bottom' for many years often never finding a way out

There are two basic types of meetings, "open" and "closed". Anyone is welcome to attend an open meeting, while closed meetings are limited to addicts and to people who think they may have a problem with drugs. Meeting formats vary, but often include time devoted to the reading aloud of literature regarding the issues involved in living life clean which is written by and for members. Many meetings also include an "open sharing" component, where anyone attending has the opportunity to share. There is usually no direct feedback during the 'share', thus only one person ever speaks at any given time during this portion of the meeting. Some groups choose to host a single speaker (such meetings are usually denoted "speaker meetings") to share for the majority of the meeting time.

There are two basic types of meetings, "open" and "closed". Anyone is welcome to attend an open meeting, while closed meetings are limited to addicts and to people who think they may have a problem with drugs

Meeting formats vary, but often include time devoted to the reading aloud of NA literature regarding the issues involved in living life clean which is written by and for members of NA Many meetings also include an "open sharing" component, where anyone attending has the opportunity to share. There is usually no direct feedback during the 'share', thus only one person ever speaks at any given time during this portion of the meeting. Some groups choose to host a single speaker (such meetings are usually denoted "speaker meetings") to share for the majority of the meeting time

During the meeting, some groups allot time for NA-related announcements, and many meetings set aside time to recognize "anniversaries" or "birthdays" of clean time. Individuals are sometimes given an opportunity to announce their clean time to the group. In some meetings, and for certain anniversaries, key tags, and medallions, which denote various amounts of clean time, are distributed to those who have achieved those milestones. In some areas, the addict who is celebrating a "clean anniversary" will be able to have support group members read the readings for the meeting and he or she will have a speaker carry the message. Then the addict celebrating will have his or her sponsor or a friend or family member, give them a medallion at which time the friend will share some of the celebrating addict's achievements during the last year, or from during the entire course of his or her recovery. Then the addict celebrating can share his or her experience, strength, and hope with the group on how they did it

Each group has but one primary purpose--to carry the message to the addict who still suffers" ( Fifth Tradition). Therefore, the newcomer is considered to be the most important person in any meeting. The message is hope: that there is another way to live. The one promise of NA is that "an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and learn a new way of life" (Basic Text). According to the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text, the "Twelve Steps" are the source of this hope and freedom when worked to the best of one's ability

1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselvescould restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. We made a searching and fealess moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

copyright Narcotics Anonymous as so adapted

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A VIEW FROM AN ADDICT WHO ATTENDS NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS

Home-Page Of Narcotics Anonymous