In most 12 step programs including Narcotics Anonymous, prayers and mottos are a big part. Below, you’ll find the most common prayers and mottos used in the Narcotics Anonymous program.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are the two oldest and largest 12-step programs out there. Two alcoholics formed AA in 1935 in Akron, Ohio. The founders created it to help those who have developed an unhealthy dependence on alcohol. It remained the only 12-step program in existence until Narcotics Anonymous was founded in California 18 years later.
The two deal with a similar problem, namely the debilitating effect of substance addiction. However, the two organizations deal with distinct forms of dependence. AA focuses on alcohol, while NA is an organization dealing with controlled substances we commonly refer to as ‘drugs.’
When it comes to the disease of addiction, finding a 12-step program is crucial to one’s physical, spiritual and emotional health. In many cases, it is a matter of life or death. For struggling addicts, 12-step programs are commonly used in order to help one arrest their addiction because there is no cure for this disease. Although there may not be a cure for drug addiction, recovery is possible within the rooms of 12-step meetings.
While there is no cure for drug addiction, it has proven to be a treatable and manageable disorder. 12-step programs are usually non profit organizations that come together in order to help individuals recover from their addiction. While Alcoholics Anonymous was the first 12-step program, many groups began forming after its founding in the 1930s and started addressing other problems, such as substance abuse and behavioral compulsions. Because there are so many different problematic areas, it is important to find a group that can specialize in the addiction that one is suffering from.
For addicts still struggling in active addiction, searching for the answer to their problems today is never easy. Even after hearing about Narcotics Anonymous, they may still be reluctant to attend meetings, whether it is because they do not have the desire to stop using or they just don’t believe they are effective. The program of Narcotics Anonymous has proven effective for many of its members. The only requirement for those who want to attend meetings is the desire to stop using.
Recovery Rates in NA
Although recovery rates cannot always be measured, the NA program conducted a survey back in 2013 to try and demonstrate the effectiveness of the Narcotics Anonymous program. The success rates were shown in itself after more than 16,000 members participated in the online survey, which was posted for several months to allow all individuals to try and respond.
The responses not only indicated that the program worked, but it also showed the diversity and variety of members in the program. The survey showed that members were attending because they had a desire to stop using – with over 45% of newcomers attending because of influence from another member and only 11% attending because they were court mandated.
Over 30% of the respondents were sober for one to five years, 17% were sober for six to ten years and 19% had over 20 years of sobriety under their belts. Another important part of the survey explained that over 90% of the members reported improvement in their personal relationship and family areas. The answers were in the numbers.
Narcotics Anonymous has so blatantly been explained as a fellowship for those who struggle with substance abuse addiction. It is intended for addicts who are seeking out recovery or the desire to stop using. When the average person hears the words “Narcotics Anonymous,” their first thought is that the individuals who attend these support groups are there to stop using drugs, which leads to the bold and confusing question – are you allowed to drink if you are in Narcotics Anonymous?
Alcohol for Addicts
Many addicts may try to justify what alcohol is to them. In fact, for many addicts in recovery, their drug of choice was never alcohol. Alcohol is generally one of the first and initial substances put into their bodies, which is what usually leads them down the road of addiction.
For most addicts, it doesn’t matter what substance is being used; what matters is that it is mind and mood altering. While some addicts prefer to have a drug of choice, it simply doesn’t matter how much or what kind as long as it takes away from whatever they are feeling at the time or place. To put it generally, most addicts could care less what is being used as long as it gets them high.
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.