Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a large community where addicts take care of each other and work the 12 steps. NA meetings, whether in-person or through online meetings, encourage growth and the self-discipline needed for the emotional healing of their addiction. These groups aim to inspire and provide a path to recovery based on community support and spiritual transformation. Often, members have a sponsor to help them along, who has followed the 12 steps and achieved recovery.
Narcotics Anonymous meetings encourage members to share personal stories and support each other, much like the format used in Alcoholic Anonymous (AA). Following in the footsteps of Alcoholics Anonymous, NA shares the foundation of recovery, anonymity, and support through its members. However, NA focuses support on members who seek to overcome their addiction to other drugs, not just alcohol.
People in NA programs follow the same 12 step system as AA. As found on the Narcotics Anonymous official website, the traditional 12 steps are:
Narcotics Anonymous is not based on religion, although the original language in 12-steps used in AA and NA refers to “God” or “He.” Nowadays, the source of strength to its members is referred to as a “Higher Power,” whatever that may mean to each individual. Sharing personal stories is the inspirational basis where group members do not have to feel alone in their struggle.
Narcotics Anonymous and the success of the 12 steps are attributed to the way they can affect behavioral changes in the addict and offer a changed life of emotional renewal through steady discipline and honesty. No matter the type of substance abuse or particular drug, the whole of the behavior is referred to as addiction, including any type of drug. No matter what type of drug the addict is addicted to, as multiple substance abuse can be common, NA does not specify but refer to it as “the addiction.
Sharing wisdom and personal struggles forms the foundation of many types of 12 steps meetings, like NA, Overeaters Anonymous, Emotions Anonymous, etc. Hearing the testimonies of members and sharing in support of one another helps the addict feel like they’re not alone in their struggles with addiction. The structure of the meetings is flexible and autonomous and seeks always to communicate the value of the steps guiding their transformation. The message conveyed by its seasoned members is that proper recovery is truly possible. Mostly, everyone is invited to come, including family members, newcomers, and those who wish to study.
Here are just some of the groups you may be able to find in Southern California as well online meetings:
Big Book Meetings– a discussion about the Big Book, which is a large volume of literature that goes in-depth with the traditions and steps and the stories of addicts who have achieved recovery. Some consider it as one of the most important books ever written in the United States.
AA Literature groups– Similar to Big Book meetings, there is a discussion based on a readout of AA-approved literature.
Meditation Meeting– A support group for deeper reflection, followed by a readout, meditation, and a discussion.
Step Study– These meetings specifically focus on one or more of the particular steps of the 12 steps.
Traditions AA Meeting– These meetings focus on the 12 Traditions behind the way AA was formed. It is the way AA and NA maintain their integrity as groups.