Narcotics Anonymous is one of the biggest fellowships next to the original 12 step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. AA was founded to help alcoholics recover from alcoholism and is based around working the 12 steps of recovery that the founders found to be highly successful. Fellowships like Narcotics Anonymous were created to help those who may not identify as alcoholics, but are addicts. Alcoholics Anonymous found that one alcoholic helping another is extremely beneficial, and NA works the same way. No matter what your drug of choice is or was, attending NA meetings is one of the best ways to prevent relapse in the future.
What Goes on in NA meetings?
Sometimes there are many misconceptions about what happens in NA meetings and you’ll need to attend a variety of them to get a full understanding of what happens. TV and movies sometimes depict these meetings as support groups, or sometimes they have one person who stands at a podium and shares their story while other people in the audience listen. While some meetings are like this, it’s definitely not what all NA meetings are like.
At a typical NA meeting there is a secretary that sets the meeting up by making coffee and getting the meeting started. They’ll start the meeting by explaining what Narcotics Anonymous is about and then they may ask if there are any newcomers within their first 30 days of sobriety. When asking if there are any newcomers, they make it very clear that it is only so that they can get to know you better. The fellowship understands that being new in the rooms of NA can often be difficult and scary, so by letting them know if you’re new to the program they can reach out and possibly help you through the difficult time you’re having.
After the initial introduction, the secretary will start the meeting. There are many different formats at these meetings, but this lets you find the format you like and find out whether or not attending will be beneficial to your sobriety .
In most cities, birthday meetings happen at the end of the month and these are to celebrate years of sobriety. These NA meetings usually have the people who are celebrating sit at the front and briefly share their experience, strength and hope about what their life used to be like while they were indulging and where they are now. These meetings are great to attend if you’re a newcomer because you’ll hear stories of people who were in seemingly hopeless situations and are now celebrating years of sobriety.
Topic meetings are the most standard meetings that you’ll find in NA. Whether the meeting begins by reading a passage from the NA literature, or the chairperson chooses the topic, this helps keep people’s sharing centered on a specific subject. At some of these NA meetings you will be called on to share, and in other meetings people simply share when they would like to. You’ll also find that at most meetings they request that there is no “cross talk,” and this is when someone voices their opinion about what someone else has shared. While you’re more than welcome to have discussions outside of the meeting, having no cross talk in the meeting helps limit interruptions and can keep the meeting on track.
These are only some of the ways that NA meetings are run, but there are an endless amount of formats that you will find when scouting out different meetings. If you’d like to learn more about NA meetings, call our hotline today at 800-890-3586.