Treatment programs around the world model their success after 12-Step recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA). There are numerous other types of 12-Step programs as well. However, the two most often-made referrals for ongoing abstinence after rehab are AA and NA.
Narcotics Anonymous Basics
Started in 1955, Narcotics Anonymous addresses the issues specific to recovery from narcotics addiction. These issues vary from those of alcoholics in recovery, although both programs recognize the need for abstinence from all mood and mind-altering substances. Therefore, AA will recommend that recovery does not include use of drugs. As well, NA literature states that “alcohol is the oldest known drug”, recognizing that drinking alcohol does NOT constitute recovery. This issue can be very important for recovering addicts and alcoholics.
Narcotics Anonymous revised the 12 Steps of AA to allow recovering addicts to embrace this model for abstinence. They have grown from their roots in Southern California to world-wide participation by thousands of recovering addicts.
Do Drub Rehabs Offer Narcotics Anonymous?
Most rehab treatment programs offer groups of recovering individuals to bring in “panels,” which is a group of volunteer addicts in recovery who share their “experience, strength and hope” with those in early treatment. They also provide the same services that AA and other 12-step groups found appropriate to their model of treatment.
Other programs may take their clients to outside meetings in the community, allowing clients the opportunity to participate in regular meeting attendance and to get to know recovering individuals in their community. These can be any type of 12-step recovery meeting that welcomes new members or rehab participants.
There is another way that treatment centers may offer introduction to NA for their program participants. This is through meetings held directly on the premises of the program. They may be regular meetings that are attended by all community members who wish to attend, or private (closed) meetings, where only a handful of NA members come to the facility to create a meeting environment for that population.
Narcotics Anonymous after Drug Rehab
Gaining recovery tools is the primary reason for rehab. Those with addiction who are introduced to Narcotics Anonymous may continue attendance at meetings in the community where they gain abstinence or in their home community when they return. Many will meet other recovering addicts who will assist them during their own journey of abstinence from drugs. They will become supportive friends, mentors, sponsors and examples of what to do and not do in recovery.
The effectiveness of 12-Step recovery support groups is well-known. Narcotics Anonymous can provide resources to early recovery through many channels. The structure provided in meetings of recovering addicts holds benefits for those who are struggling with issues recognized before, during and after treatment. Ongoing abstinence requires social, family, legal and personal tools that are available from exposure to others who travel the same path. NA meetings can provide interaction that helps newly-recovering addicts to meet others who can assist them in navigating these turbulent and troubling situations without return to active drug use.
Finding Support through N.A.
Other newly-recovering addicts find themselves making life-long friends and developing relationships that they had not previously been able to form while using drugs. There are conventions, social events and other “clean” activities for addicts in recovery. These can allow addicts to participate and learn new social skills not centered around the behaviors or social tendencies of active addiction.
All of these are important factors in maintaining ongoing recovery. There are over 17,000 recovering addicts and 61,800 weekly meetings in 129 countries. These numbers come from a survey in 2012 and are subject to change. NA also provides information about finding meetings on their website, along with literature and the book “Narcotics Anonymous,” which fully describes their philosophy and recovery program.