For people in the early stages of recovery, issues of addiction are forefront in their minds. Everything they see might remind them of the drugs they once took, and even their dreams might be filled with visions and distant urges that can propel them into wakefulness and make resting nearly impossible. Finding someone to talk to can be difficult, and those who don’t have a history of addiction may simply not understand. Going to one of the estimated 61,000 Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings held throughout the world might be one of the best ways to get support and ensure that a long-term recovery really has the opportunity to take hold.
By now, anyone who has watched a television show or a movie about addiction is familiar with the 12-step model made famous by Alcoholics Anonymous. Narcotics Anonymous functions in much the same manner, although rather than focusing on one specific substance of abuse, NA remains open to anyone who has an addiction to any substance whatsoever.
No therapists or counselors are in charge of a Narcotics Anonymous meeting. Instead, it’s a group format in which all members interact as peers, all focused on the goal of a long-term recovery. While meeting formats can vary, most follow this schedule:
New members aren’t required to speak in their first meeting. In fact, they’re encouraged to listen closely and try to identify someone they think is similar. NA encourages newcomers to find elder members who can work as a sponsor, introduce them to the culture, and provide added support if needed.
Sitting in a room full of people in recovery can be amazing. There’s no need for people in recovery to hold back or edit their experiences, and they may not need to explain the terms they use or the choices they made. They can be free and open, and they may find a level of understanding that’s just not available to them in any other way. Meetings can also play a crucial role when a craving for drugs begins to grow within the mind of the user in recovery. Going to a meeting can help a person to wait out a craving and discuss it, rather than giving in to that need. Sponsors are also willing to step in and talk when there is no meeting available.
Going to NA meetings has been associated with success in sobriety. But the benefits go beyond mere chemical cleanliness. In fact, in a study in the British Journal of Clinical Psychology, higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety were also associated with NA membership. Just talking, listening and sharing can allow people to feel more secure, and they might be able to resist the lure of drugs and develop a more healthful life as a result.
Sober living homes often require residents to attend meetings in the Narcotics Anonymous model, ensuring that clients take advantage of the benefits this care can provide. If you’d like to find a sober living home that could help you to get on track, please call.