Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a worldwide non-profit organisation for recovering drug addicts.
Although it has no affiliation to any other institution, NA follows a framework similar to other addiction support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, like the 12-Steps Programme for example, and, likewise, its success is founded on peer-to-peer support.
Narcotics Anonymous’s membership is free to its members, the only pre-requisite being a desire to stop using drugs – whether you have already had some success or are still using- and to attend meetings. Like with AA, confidentiality is paramount. While alcoholism can certainly devastate life as surely as drugs, drug possession and consumption are illegal to various degrees depending on the country and the drug used, and it is therefore all the more important that members can come without fear, not only of social consequences, but also of being arrested.
How Narcotics Anonymous Works
NA is a support network by members for members. They follow the 12-Step Programme, which is a set of practical actions for sustainable recovery. Members are also usually paired with a sponsor, another member who has been “clean” for a certain amount of time and can “mentor” them, as it were. They are a dedicated port of call for those times when you are about to fall off the wagon and you need encouragement.
Drug addiction afflicts people from all walks of like, young and older, men and women, across all spectrum of society, and it is in this equality that members can help each other: no matter where you are coming from, other members know what you are going through as they have experienced it first-hand too, and you can talk with them without having to worry about being judged.
Drug addiction affects many more people than the addict only. It will damage your finances, your relationships, your career and may have had some legal repercussions. One thing that all addicts have in common is that, in order to continue with their addiction, they will have gradually come to lie more and more. To themselves, by refusing to admit that they had a problem and weren’t in control; and to people around them, to justify where they had disappeared to for hours, why they looked unwell, and possibly why money went missing.
This is why Narcotics Anonymous values honesty and open-mindedness above all, as there can be no real progress without looking at the facts in the cold day of light, and following the programme encourages members to do so and make amends to those they may have hurt.
Although you will probably have to face some unpleasant truths along the way, acknowledging what you may have done when under the influence and taking responsibility for it is a necessary step to recovery.
Going to an NA Meeting
NA meetings are held weekly at the same time and place, and you can find your nearest meeting on their website.
They usually take place in a venue rented by the organisation and are led by members in an informal way. Their format varies from group to group, but there can be a talk by a speaker, members sharing their experiences, questions and answers, specific themes discussed, as well as celebrating members being clean for a specific amount of time, and “chips” and other tokens being given out to mark their achievement.
You may feel nervous at the thought of going to a meeting for the first time, but you should know that you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to. All members have had a “first meeting” too, and they will remember what it feels like, so nobody will put any pressure on you.
NA and drug rehab in Auckland
If you have decided to stop using drugs, joining an organisation like Narcotics Anonymous will be a tremendous support network. It is one thing to make a decision to turn your life around, quite another to live it day after day when withdrawal symptoms kick in or you have to go through challenges without using. Being able to share with people who have been in your shoes and lead a drug-free life has been what has helped drug addicts to overcome their own dependence.
However, drug addiction is a complex issue and joining NA alone is unlikely to be enough. This is why seeking drug help in the form of counselling is often recommended. Both “structures” will reinforce your progress, as both encourage you to understand yourself better and be honest with yourself and others.
The Robert Street Clinic is a private clinic with practitioners specialised in drug addiction, including psychiatrists who can prescribe medication. With us, you will be able to explore your addiction in a safe environment.
If you are looking for addiction treatment centres in Auckland, contact us or call us on 09 973 5950 for professional and sympathetic advice.