Narcotics Anonymous and Overcoming Addiction

Narcotics Anonymous and Overcoming Addiction


If you are struggling with either drug or alcohol addiction then you might consider attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting.  This is a fellowship that was spawned from AA and is based on the same exact 12 steps.  They borrowed the 12 steps and apply them to addiction as a whole, and believe that you need to avoid all mood and mind altering substances in order to truly be clean and sober.

So does the 12 step program apply equally well to other drugs as it does to alcohol?  Yes it does.  However, this is not necessarily going to be the best solution for everyone.  In general, 12 step programs offer a very low rate of success, with approximately 80 percent of newcomers leaving the fellowship within the first year and never coming back.  Of those who stay, not all of them stay clean and sober the entire time.  Many are chronic relapsers who stay in the program anyway, even in spite of the fact that it seems to fail repeatedly for them.

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But there are huge advantages to the program as well.  For one thing, the meetings are completely free, and they are also very widespread. Unless you live in an extremely remote area, you probably have access to at least a few meetings each week.  People who live in large cities probably have access to 12 step meetings at any given hour of the day.  In terms of the support you are getting, and the out of pocket cost to you, this is really phenomenal.  Anyone can take advantage of this established support system to help them in their recovery.

As far as the 12 steps and their function as a guide to recovery, most would agree that they work very well if they are actually applied in your life.  That of course is the key; that you actually study the program and actively work to incorporate the steps into your everyday living. Most will not do this, or only do a surface level job of this at best.  Thus the results that most people get with a 12 step program are not good.

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There is nothing wrong with the Narcotics Anonymous program, just as there is no fatal flaw in the 12 step philosophy itself.  If anything, the only real problem is a lack of motivation from the individual. If a program could be designed that inspired more action, then it would easily eclipse the 12 step program in effectiveness.  But that is a tall order, and probably is not likely to happen.

The key, then, is to actually apply a recovery program (any program) and take massive action in early recovery.  The rest is just details.


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