What Is The Na Program
NA is a non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop usingThere are no strings attached to NA. We are not affiliated with any other organizations. We have no initiation fees or dues, no pledges to sign, no promises to make to anyone. We are not connected with any political, religious, or law enforcement groups, and are under no surveillance at any time. Anyone may join us regardless of age, race, creed, religion, or lack of religion. -NA Basic Text
Na World Service Conference
The NA World Service Conference is a bi-annual service meeting made up of the Regional Delegates of the seated Regions of the world and the members of the NA World Board. This service conference has the executive right to make decisions for the entire NA Fellowship. This includes electing members to serve on the World Board, approving all new NA Literature, service material, and making policy decisions that affect the fellowship including the organizational structure. This responsibility has been executed as recently as the late 1990s when the World Service Conference voted to re-structure the NA Service structure including the removal of the Board of Trustees, Board of Directors, and several other World Service level committees replacing them with a single board elected by the conference.
Only You Can Answer This Question
This may not be an easy thing to do. All through our usage, we told ourselves, I can handle it. Even if this was true in the beginning, it is not so now. The drugs handled us. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a person whose life is controlled by drugs.
Perhaps you admit you have a problem with drugs, but you dont consider yourself an addict. All of us have preconceived ideas about what an addict is. There is nothing shameful about being an addict once you begin to take positive action. If you can identify with our problems, you may be able to identify with our solution. The following questions were written by recovering addicts in Narcotics Anonymous. If you have doubts about whether or not youre an addict, take a few moments to read the questions below and answer them as honestly as you can.
Do you ever use alone? Yes / No
Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem? Yes / No
Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs? Yes / No
Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs? Yes / No
Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed? Yes / No
Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another? Yes / No
Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs? Yes / No
Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you? Yes / No
Do you ever question your own sanity?
The Nature Of Addiction
According to the philosophy of the NA program, most addicts did not realize they had a problem with drugs until they had no one left. Even if other people pointed out they may have a drug problem they were convinced otherwise. But once an addict on his or her own tries to stop and realizes they cannot, they finally see that drugs have been controlling them. Addicts lived to use and used to live. NA helps show them a different way of life and helps them fight their disease. NA describes addiction as a progressive disease with no known cure, which affects every area of an addict’s life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. NA suggests that the disease of addiction can be arrested, and recovery is possible through the NA twelve-step program. The steps never mention drugs or drug use, rather they refer only to addiction, to indicate that addicts have a disease of which drug use is one symptom. In the NA program, all drugs are considered equal, and alcohol is also a drug. Other symptoms include obsession, compulsion, denial, and self-centeredness.
Future Event Times In This Repeating Event Series
Many of us attended our first meeting and, not being entirely sure that NA was for us, found much to criticize. Either we felt as though no one had suffered like we had or that we hadn’t suffered enough. But as we listened we started to hear something new, a wordless language with its roots in recognition, belief, and faith: the language of empathy. Desiring to belong, we kept listening.
We find all the identification we need as we learn to understand and speak the language of empathy. To understand this special language, we listen with our hearts. The language of empathy uses few words it feels more than it speaks. It doesn’t preach or lecture-it listens. It can reach out and touch the spirit of another addict without a single spoken word.
Fluency in the language of empathy comes to us through practice. The more we use it with other addicts and our Higher Power, the more we understand this language. It keeps us coming back.
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The Lawyer The Addict
A high-powered Silicon Valley attorney dies. His ex-wife investigates, and finds a web of drug abuse in his profession.
Dear Dad, we miss you. A snapshot from a 2006 family trip to Utah, along with a card sent by Peters son from another family trip one that Peter missed. Peters drug paraphernalia and handwritten records of drug use.Credit…Illustration by David Brandon Geeting for The New York Times
In July 2015, something was very wrong with my ex-husband, Peter. His behavior over the preceding 18 months had been erratic and odd. He could be angry and threatening one minute, remorseful and generous the next. His voice mail messages and texts had become meandering soliloquies that didnt make sense, veering from his work travails, to car repairs, to his pet mouse, Snowball.
I thought maybe the stress of his job as a lawyer had finally gotten to him, or that he was bipolar. He had been working more than 60 hours a week for 20 years, ever since he started law school and worked his way into a partnership in the intellectual property practice of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a prominent law firm based in Silicon Valley.
Then, for two days, Peter couldnt be reached. So I drove the 20 minutes or so to his house, to look in on him. Although we were divorced, we had known each other by then for nearly 30 years. We were family.
Peter? I called out.
Rewarded For Being Hostile
According to some reports, lawyers also have the highest rate of depression of any occupational group in the country. A 1990 study of more than 100 professions indicated that lawyers are 3.6 times as likely to be depressed as people with other jobs. The Hazelden study found that 28 percent of lawyers suffer depression.
Yes, there are other stressful professions, said Wil Miller, who practices family law in the offices of Molly B. Kenny in Bellevue, Wash. He spent 10 years as a sex crimes prosecutor, the last six months of which he was addicted to methamphetamines. Being a surgeon is stressful, for instance but not in the same way. It would be like having another surgeon across the table from you trying to undo your operation. In law, you are financially rewarded for being hostile.
Peter battled his own brand of melancholy, something I found attractive in a tragically poetic, still-waters-run-deep kind of way. He used to tell me he wasnt someone who ever really felt happy. He had moments of being not unhappy, he said, but his emotional range was narrow.
When something great happened, he didnt jump for joy. When something sad happened, he didnt break down and cry. The only times I ever saw tears in his eyes were in the hospital, right after each of our children was born.
And he was. In law school he was editor of the law review and No. 1 in his class. He gave the speech at graduation.
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Social And Health Consequences
- Have you ever overdosed or needed emergency medical treatment as a result of substance abuse?
Addiction to drugs or alcohol often leaves individuals unable to take care of themselves and can lead to a number of health issues. Answering yes to any of these questions can signal that you have a substance addiction.
The Law School Effect
Some research shows that before they start law school, law students are actually healthier than the general population, both physically and mentally. Theres good data showing that, said Andy Benjamin, a psychologist and lawyer who teaches law and psychology at the University of Washington. They drink less than other young people, use less substances, have less depression and are less hostile.
In addition, he said, law students generally start school with their sense of self and their values intact. But, in his research, he said, he has found that the formal structure of law school starts to change that.
Rather than hew to their internal self, students begin to focus on external values, he said, like status, comparative worth and competition. We have seven very strong studies that show this twists peoples psyches and they come out of law school significantly impaired, with depression, anxiety and hostility, he said.
Academics often study law students because students are considered a bellwether for the profession. They are the canaries in the coal mine, Dr. Benjamin said.
Wil Miller, the lawyer and former methamphetamine addict, said that in his experience, law school encouraged students to take emotion out of their decisions. When you start reinforcing that with grades and money, you arent just suppressing your emotions, he said. Youre fundamentally changing who you are.
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The Development Of Na Literature
From the beginnings of NA, the need for official NA literature was evident. Unfortunately, the process of creating and approving official NA literature has seen some of the most contentious periods of debate within the fellowship. Although the Yellow Booklet, Little White Booklet, and Little White Book were used in the 1960s and 1970s, many people desired to have a more detailed book on recovery, paralleling the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous. Some meetings offered AA literature at meetings, while others considered writing their own books on recovery. One group even planned to print a bootlegged version of AA’s Big Book with every instance of the word “alcohol” replaced with “drugs”. The need for a unified text approved by the fellowship’s “group conscience” was recognized, and in October 1979 the first NA World Literature Conference was held in Wichita, Kansas.
While previous literature had been written by just a few addicts , the NA Basic Text was written as a massive collaboration between hundreds of people. There were a total of seven World Literature Conferences within three years, all of them open to any addict who wished to help. It was decided that the book would use the Little White Book as its outline, filling in and expanding on the subjects discussed in that text.
- West Indies
The Map Of Peters Descent
None of this made sense. Not only was Peter one of the smartest people in my life, he had also been a chemist before becoming a lawyer and most likely understood how the drugs he was taking would affect his neurochemistry.
In my attempt to fathom what happened to him and how I and everyone else in his world missed it, I set out to create a map of Peters life the year before he died.
I studied his texts to drug dealers, and I compared the timing of those with dates and times of A.T.M. withdrawals he made. I needed to see the signs I hadnt known were signs. The nonsensical conversations. The crazy hours he kept. The nights he told our children he was running out to get a soda, only to disappear.
Human beings are physically and emotionally complex, so there is no simple answer as to why Peter began abusing drugs. But as a picture of his struggle took shape before my eyes, so did another one: The further I probed, the more apparent it became that drug abuse among Americas lawyers is on the rise and deeply hidden.
One of the first things I learned is that there is little research on lawyers and drug abuse. Nor is there much data on drug use among lawyers compared with the general population or white-collar workers specifically.
In Mr. Krills opinion, they were afraid to answer.
Nearly 21 percent of the lawyers that said they had used drugs in the previous year reported intermediate concern about their drug use. Three percent had severe concerns.
Treating A Gabapentin Addiction
Frequent and excessive use of Gabapentin can lead to a physical and psychological dependence on the drug. This is when someone becomes so accustomed to taking a drug that they need it to feel and function normally. Quitting a drug like Gabapentin cold turkey can be dangerous and induce several withdrawal symptoms of varying severity. These include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, pain, and sweating. Quitting also increases ones likelihood of having a seizure which can lead to personal injury or the development of medical problems and life-threatening emergencies. Trying to quit should be done at a rehab facility or with the guidance and supervision of a professional during a medical detox.
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If I Drink Every Night Am I An Alcoholic
Kicking back with a cold beer or a glass of wine after work can be a relaxing way to end the day. But if you are “relaxing” seven days a week, you may be asking yourself, “am I an alcoholic?”
The answer is not necessarily, but it may be something to keep an eye on, as it could be one of the early signs of alcoholism or alcohol dependence, according to experts.
“While there are a number of variables, typically having a drink every night does not necessarily equate to alcohol use disorder, but it can increase the risk of developing alcohol-related health problems,” Lawrence Weinstein, MD, Chief Medical Officer at American Addiction Centers tells WebMD Connect to Care.
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Work Or School Performance Suffering
- Has your performance at work or school suffered as a result of your substance use?
- Have you been unable to finish projects or assignments as a result your substance use?
- Have you been fired from your job or expelled or suspended from school because of your substance use?
Individuals with drug and alcohol addictions often find it difficult to complete school or work responsibilities. Those struggling with addictions may have issues keeping a job or may find themselves in trouble at school, resulting in suspension or expulsion. If substance abuse has affected your work or school habits and hindered your performance at either, addiction may be the cause.
Are You An Addict
Northern New England Region
The following questions were written by recovering addicts in Narcotics Anonymous and published in NAs Information Pamphlet named Am I an Addict? If you have doubts about whether or not youre an addict, take a few moments to read the questions below and answer them as honestly as you can.
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Crime And Deviant Behavior
- Have you ever manipulated a doctor to attain prescription drugs?
- Have you ever used substances without knowing what they were or what they would do to you?
- Have you ever stolen substances or stolen something to pay for substances?
- Have you acted erratically or felt not in control of your actions?
Addiction often drives reasonable individuals to uncharacteristic behavior and, in many cases, even crime. Faking a health condition to obtain prescription drugs, stealing from friends or family, and taking unknown substances are common among individuals struggling with addiction. If you find yourself acting out of character, committing crimes or doing things that hurt loved ones to satisfy your substance use habits, you likely have an addiction.