Although Narcotics Anonymous has been around since the 1950’s, the NA program didn’t have any specific literature like Alcoholics Anonymous had until the 1980’s. There were pamphlets used in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but no literature was actually established and published until many years later. While this didn’t sway fellowship members for attending meetings, the literature did help shape the program by following in the steps of the “Big Book of AA” by providing a strong basis for addicts to use when entering the NA program. The “Basic Text,” or the book that explains everything about the NA program, was created in the same way that the Alcoholics Anonymous literature was and follows the same steps and traditions as the “Big Book of AA.”
The “Basic Text” is not just another book about addiction; it is a book about recovery. The literature thoroughly explains what the steps of the program are, how to work them, how to gain the most out of your own experiences in the program and allows other addicts to share their own experiences from their addiction to their recovery process. For those who are still new to the program, the book also helps those individuals identify whether or not they feel that they are an addict and how abstaining from using can impact their lives.
The only requirement for membership to NA is the desire to stop using and that is emphasized throughout the explanation of the program in the beginning chapters. The “Basic Text” encourages those suffering from addiction to work the steps and the program, because those who work the program and continuously attend meetings can recover and do stay clean and sober.
How does it work?
Similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, NA focuses on the twelve-step method to help individuals recover from their addiction, with emphasis on the idea that this is not something that happens overnight; it takes time, hard work and dedication. The “Basic Text” helps readers make their own decision on whether or not they are an addict, and if they identify as one, what their next step can be to begin the recovery process. One of the most important reminders that is expressed to readers in the book is that they are not alone and that the fellowship offers a community for people to grow and gain support in.
Once readers have identified themselves as addicts, they can begin the process of recovery. The book explains that working the program requires reading and understanding each step to comprehend why they are so important. One of the most crucial parts of the recovery process is obtaining a sponsor, someone who has worked the steps and has “time under their belt” in recovery, to help newcomers work the program properly. A sponsor can help individuals work each step correctly.
After understanding how the steps work and what needs to be done to complete them, members can begin the process of recovery. The program is intended for members to understand that they are not their addictions; beneath all of the chaos and wreckage is an individual who, if they work the steps and surrender themselves to a higher power, is capable of living a healthy, happy and sober life.
Why does it work?
One of the most important reasons that the program works is because it focuses on the fact that people can recover from the disease of addiction. Members of the fellowship have a place to confide in others and know that they are never alone. While their stories may be different in some ways, when it comes down to it, they are the same: they are all addicts seeking recovery.
The literature is intended for its members to understand that once the recovery process has begun, there is more to do than just stay sober. For many addicts, relationships were broken, self-esteem was shattered and mistakes were made – the twelve-step program allows members to right their wrongs, work on their own character flaws and gives individuals the opportunity to mend relationships. Before entering the program of NA, many addicts sought help and could not find it or they were afraid to confide in others who did not understand, so the program will offer the help that they could not find elsewhere.
Admitting they are powerless over their addiction is the first step for members of NA, but once they do, they can begin the recovery process to lead a better life. The other members of the fellowship can help newcomers in many ways, from discussing what works for them to stay clean and sober to ways to seek out solutions instead of problems. Those seeking recovery can begin to understand that there are many aspects in their life that need to change and the twelve steps of the program help identify all of the parts that help addicts recover successfully.
Where do you begin?
Those seeking the help of the NA program can begin by attending their first meeting in their local area. Once they have decided to take the first step and begin abstaining from using drugs or alcohol, getting the “Basic Text” is available through many options.
Where to get the NA Basic Text Book
Amazon offers several options for those wanting to purchase a copy of their own NA literature, with hardcovers, soft covers and digital versions of the material. The NA website also offers options to purchase the book, as well as other free literature that beginners can view to help begin the process of recovery.
For those truly seeking a solution to their problems today, the program does work. Knowing that those looking to recover from addiction are not alone is the biggest takeaway that members can gain from the NA program. It is more than just a method of staying sober; it is an introduction and opportunity to work on themselves as well as build the support system they need to successfully recover from their addiction.