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.
What Is The Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis is a complex public health issue. There are many factors that led us to the significant increase in opioid-related overdoses today. Some of these factors include:
- high rates of opioid prescribing
- the emergence of strong synthetic opioids in the illegal drug supply such as fentanyl and carfentanil
Find An Approach That Works
There are a number of different treatment options that can be effective, so it is important to consider the options. Think about which approach might be best suited to you and your loved one’s needs and goals.
Depending on the nature of the addiction, treatment might involve psychotherapy, medication, support groups, or a combination of all of these. A few options include:
Recommended Reading: How To Overcome Addiction Alone
Cookie And Privacy Settings
These cookies are strictly necessary to provide you with services available through our website and to use some of its features.
We provide you with a list of stored cookies on your computer in our domain so you can check what we stored. Due to security reasons we are not able to show or modify cookies from other domains. You can check these in your browser security settings.
These cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our website is being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customize our website and application for you in order to enhance your experience.
Narcotics Anonymous And Religion
NA meetings are not based in any religion, but are rather grounded in spirituality. This refers to a higher power without defining what that is, as it can be different for everyone. Parts of the NA meeting usually include references to God and a prayer at the closing of the meeting. However, some people replace God with higher power or good orderly direction. The higher power aspect is meant to be a set of guiding morality and strength and is not based on any religion.
Narcotics Anonymous, often referred to as NA, is a 12-step program where people with drug addictions can find support in recovery. It is a group where people recovering from drug addiction can help each other pursue healthy choices. The NA literature describes it as a program for addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle.
There are local NA meetings available every day throughout the United States and hundreds of countries around the world. Members often find the support they need to recover from addiction. Many people say it is a safe place to turn to when you need help getting and staying sober.
This article discusses how Narcotics Anonymous works and what to expect during NA meetings. It also covers the 12 steps of the recovery program
Also Check: How To Know Your Addicted To Something
What Happens In A Narcotics Anonymous Meeting
An Introduction to NA Meetings: An introduction, that explains practices unfamiliar to those at their first meetings, and provides tips for groups to preserve an atmosphere of recovery.
Welcome to NA: This pamphlet was written to answer some of your questions concerning the program of NA. Our message is very simple: We have found a way to live without using drugs, and we are happy to share it with anyone for whom drugs are a problem.
Dont Miss: How Do I Stop Food Addiction
What To Expect When A Loved One Receives Treatment
Once your loved one has decided to begin treatment, it can be helpful to know what to expect. The answer depends on a variety of factors including:
- The severity of your loved one’s condition
- The duration and frequency of their substance or alcohol use
- Past attempts at recovery
- Motivation and commitment to recovery
- Support and assistance available
Long-term treatment and recovery will last for months or even years. Overall progress and setbacks during recovery can extend the duration of treatment.
During this time, there are things that you can do to offer support. Learning more about the treatment process and offering help with immediate needssuch as driving them to appointments or attending support group meetings with themare all ways that you can support recovery.
You May Like: Meds To Treat Opioid Addiction
Terminology For Your First Meeting
Heres a quick glossary of terms used in NA meetings, as listed in the NA official Intro to NA material.
- Addict. The term we use to refer to ourselves because we see addiction itself as the problem, rather than the use of a specific drug.
- Basic Text. The book that contains our core ideas, titled Narcotics Anonymous.
- Group. Members who hold one or more regularly scheduled NA meetings.
- Higher Power. Any loving force that helps a member stay clean and seek recovery.
- IPs. Information pamphlets about NA.
- Newcomers. New NA members.
Many Of Us Have Had To Ask Ourselves: Am I An Addict
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Drug Addiction
What Is The Narcotics Anonymous Program
Rather than elaborate on our understanding of the N.A. program, we decided it would be best to let Narcotics Anonymous speak for itself. Here is an excerpt taken from the N.A. Basic Text, which is a book written by addicts for addicts:
N.A. is a nonprofit 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 using. We suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a break. Our program is a set of principles written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives. The most important thing about them is that they work.
There are no strings attached to N.A. 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, sexual identity, creed, religion, or lack of religion.
Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
Read Also: Benzo Addiction Treatment Los Angeles
Do 12 Step Programs Work
Research shows both inpatient and outpatient treatment are beneficial but vary based on individual circumstances.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, effective treatment programs acknowledge, among other things, the fact that individual needs vary and that successful programs blend behavioral and pharmaceutical methods of treatment. NA does not do these things.
Some criticize 12-step programs for failing to recognize emerging science-based approaches and, instead, offer a one-size-fits-all approach to a complex problem. There is also criticism of NAs approach of focusing on spirituality and requiring members to identify as addicts.
Narcotics Anonymous and other 12-step programs are based on the belief that the individuals life is unmanageable. And that unmanageability arose because of a lack of choice or determination within the mind of the addict concerning whether to use the substance again.
Read Also: How To Conquer Sugar Addiction
What Is Fentanyl
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is prescribed to treat severe pain.
Canadas illegal drug supply is being contaminated with illegal fentanyl. Fentanyl is a cheap way for drug dealers to make street drugs more powerful.
Without drug checking equipment, there is no way to know how much fentanyl has been mixed into illegal drugs because you cant see, taste or smell it. Consuming as little as a few grains of fentanyl can kill you. Drug checking equipment, such as fentanyl test strips, can help people know whats in their drugs but there are important limitations.
Read Also: Where Can Addicts Go For Help
Why Are We Here
Before coming to the Fellowship of NA, we could not manage our own lives. We could not live and enjoy life as other people do. We had to have something different and we thought we had found it in drugs. We placed their use ahead of the welfare of our families, our wives, husbands, and our children. We had to have drugs at all costs. We did many people great harm, but most of all we harmed ourselves. Through our inability to accept personal responsibilities we were actually creating our own problems. We seemed to be incapable of facing life on its own terms.
Most of us realized that in our addiction we were slowly committing suicide, but addiction is such a cunning enemy of life that we had lost the power to do anything about it. Many of us ended up in jail, or sought help through medicine, religion, and psychiatry. None of these methods was sufficient for us. Our disease always resurfaced or continued to progress until, in desperation, we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.
After coming to NA we realized we were sick people. We suffered from a disease from which there is no known cure. It can, however, be arrested at some point, and recovery is then possible.
How To Get Help
Getting help can mean different things for different people and it can take many different forms. For some people it may mean complete abstinence or continued treatment using opioid replacement therapies such as methadone or buprenorphine.
There are also many health and social services available across Canada including non-medical therapies, such as counselling, or support from people with lived and living experience.
How you can help. A small change can help reduce the cycle of stigma
Stigma around substance use can prevent people from getting the help that they need. You can help by:
Listening with compassion and without judgment, so a person who uses drugs feels heard and understood
Speaking up when someone is being treated disrespectfully because of their substance use and
Being kind with the words you use. Words Matter. Use people first language.
- Instead of junkie use a person who uses drugs
- Instead of addict use people who have used drugs
- Instead of drug abuse use substance use
Don’t Miss: Why Are Pain Pills Addictive
What About God And Prayers
When youre new to NA, the talk about God and the inclusion of prayers at some meetings can be surprising and even uncomfortable, particularly if you are not religious. NA is not specifically a Christian organization and it is not affiliated with any religion, government, or other organization, even if the meeting is held in a church or other religious space.
Within the 12 steps of NA, members are asked to admit they are powerless over their addiction and that their recovery relies on a higher power. This phrase can mean a variety of things and up to personal interpretation. Some people choose God as theirs, and others do not. NA says that ours is a spiritual, not a religious program.
Try not to let this aspect deter you from meetings. If you have questions, consider asking a member about it personally, and they can explain further.
What To Expect At Na Meetings
Because all Narcotics Anonymous groups act autonomously, types of members at meetings may vary from group to group. Some 12-Step NA meetings are closed, accepting only recovering addicts. Other meetings may be open or welcoming of non-addicts who wish to attend in support of a loved one or gain knowledge and understanding.
If you are seeking recovery only from alcohol addiction, you may find greater understanding in NA groups with larger numbers of recovering alcoholics alternatively, Alcoholics Anonymous is also open to you and may provide some more specific help for your needs.
Recommended Reading: How To Stop Eating Ice Addiction
When Someone You Love Has An Addiction
The fallout from an addiction, for addicts and the people who love them, is devastating the manipulations, the guilt, the destruction of relationships and the breakage of people. When addicts know they are loved by someone who is invested in them, they immediately have fuel for their addiction. Your love and your need to bring them safely through their addiction might see you giving money you cant afford, saying yes when that yes will destroy you, lying to protect them, and having your body turn cold with fear from the midnight ring of the phone. You dread seeing them and you need to see them, all at once.
You might stop liking them, but you dont stop loving them. If youre waiting for the addict to stop the insanity the guilt trips, the lying, the manipulation its not going to happen. If you cant say no to the manipulations of their addiction in your unaddicted state, know that they wont say no from their addicted one. Not because they wont, but because they cant.
If you love an addict, it will be a long and excruciating road before you realise that there is absolutely nothing you can do. It will come when youre exhausted, heartbroken, and when you feel the pain of their self-destruction pressing relentlessly and permanently against you. The relationships and the world around you will start to break, and youll cut yourself on the jagged pieces. Thats when youll know, from the deepest and purest part of you, that you just cant live like this any more.