- June 10, 2020
Nameand Brief History of Organization
NarcoticsAnonymous originated from the Alcoholics Anonymous in the 1940s. Thefirst meeting was held in USA in Los Angeles at the beginning of the1950s. It started as a small organization but has since grown intothe world’s oldest and largest organization offering addictionrecovery aid for various drug addicts (Galanteret al., 2013).NA continued to register slow growth, spreading to other major UScities and eventually reaching Australia in the 1970s. In themid-1970s, NA groups formed in Germany, Brazil, India, Colombia,Great Britain, Japan, New Zealand, and Ireland (Galanteret al., 2013).The organization published its premier Basic Textbook in 1983, whichhelped the organization to experience tremendous growth across theglobe. Currently, NA is in over 132 countries and holds about 63000multicultural meetings every week. The organization’s books andresources are now available in over 45 languages, and othertranslations are ongoing.
Howthe Meetings are Run/Organized
NarcoticsAnonymous meetings are organized into different types depending onthe category of persons attending as well as the topics underdiscussion. Discussions usually focus on particular topics chosen bythe chairperson, who acts as the leader or contributed by the wholegroup. Speaker sessioms, on the other hand, have speakers belongingto the NA, who tell their story to the other members. Beginnersmeetings are for individuals who are not yet members of NA and wouldlike more information regarding the groups. Others include basictext, sessions, and lit events (Zafiridis& Lainas, 2012).
Theyare not organized in any standard order some are formal, and someare informal. However, the chairperson is usually in charge ofopening the meeting by announcing the commencement of the activities.Sitting is usually organized around a circle or along a rectangulartable. Some are very large and occupy entire rooms. It is common forthem to start with a serenity prayer (White,2011).After the prayers, the chairperson announces the activities of theday, for example, readings. After the introductions, members candecide to do the readings while seated in small groups or choose onemember to do the reading.
Announcementsfollow the introductions and touch on aspects such as new meetings,new venues, anniversary meetings as well as home groups. The groupmembers are also accorded a chance to make any announcements thatthey may be having. During the meeting, the chairperson may askmembers if there is anyone feeling like drinking or using. This isnormally referred to as “telling yourself,” which helpsindividuals not to follow their cravings (Galanteret al., 2013).NA meetings celebrate members who have enjoyed clean time by givingkey chains and coins of different colors for different durations ofstaying clean. This helps members to appreciate their progress.
Themajority of the activities take place in the middle of the meeting,where the group involves in discussions, book meeting or speakermeeting. If the day’s activity involves presentation, variousmembers are chosen to share their stories of addiction and how theymanaged to recover (Zafiridis& Lainas, 2012).This enables the group to appreciate the success stories of membersas well offer guidance to members experiencing relapses. Individualsexperiencing relapses are given senior members in the group asaccountability partners to guide them through the abstinence.
PersonalObservations of the Meetings
Iobserved that recovering addicts are very skeptical regarding thesociety’s perception of their legibility as productive members. Thegroup was very reluctant to let me in and take notes, and I had touse a friend of mine who belongs to the same group to convince othermembers to allow me to take some notes. However, many of them areoptimistic about the potential opportunities to rebuild their livesand live happily. I also observed that close to 60% of the NA memberswere young persons below the age of 35. The meeting had only twoyoung women below 30 years old, with about 16 men. However, the youngwomen were the most active during the session.
Therewere three presentations from two men and one of the women. However,the presentation that was most touching of them all came from amiddle-aged man about 45 years old. He narrated his fall from graceto grass as a senior executive in a real estate company. He lost hiswife and a son because he was not fit to take care of himself and thefamily. He resorted to violence when his wife advised him to seekhelp, and within a short time, he lost his high-paying job and gotdeeper into drinking because of depression. Within six months, he hadexhausted his savings and could not afford to pay for to rent sincethe court had awarded the house his wife and he had since moved to adifferent state. After two years of sleeping on the streets andmoving from one about another, he finally met an old friend whohelped him pay for his rehabilitation. He was now three years clean,and he had recently been allowed to see his son because of hisimproved behavior. Moreover, his old boss reinstated him to thecompany but a lower position within the same department.
Ilearned that people often suffer from addictions silently. Themajority of the individuals attending the groupdid so in secrecy. One of them told me that none of his friends orfamily members is aware that he attends the meeting. However, many ofthem are willing to change their lives and overcome their addictions.Finally, I learned that recovering from addiction is a lengthyprocess that might be overwhelming if an individual decides to tackleit alone. As a continuously recurring phenomenon, it is important toinvolve other people experiencing similar difficulties to result in asustainable recovery.
Themodel is effective in addiction recovery because it helps to bringtogether individuals with common addiction problems hence reducingthe feeling of desperation that addicts feel when they are alone.Again, sharing personal stories with individuals with commonaddiction concerns helps reduce cases of stress and depression sincemembers can offer help, advice, and recommendations on how to dealwith the problems. Maintaining abstinence is the greatest challengefor recovering addicts. However, help individualsto maintain their abstinence by keeping each other accountable. Inthis regard, individuals can stay away from environmental andbiological influences that may cause a recurrence of their problems.
Themeetings are nonjudgmental and free. Therefore, individuals do notneed to have any budgetary allocations to attend the recoverymeetings. The lack of any financial obligations boosts theconsistency of attending these meetings, which also contributes tohigh success rates. Additionally, meetings arenonjudgmental therefore, individuals are free to express theirchallenges, fears, and recommendations with the aim of assisting eachother to overcome their challenges.
Infuture, I can use this model in conjunction with other treatments tohelp patients overcome addictions. Additionally, I will recommendthis model to patients who do not feel confident enough to overcometheir addictions because of multiple recurrences. I can also use themodel to encourage drug addicts who see no chance of recovery, byintegrating with other patients they can realize that it is possibleto overcome their addictions. I will use this model to inviteprofessional speakers and recovered addicts to offer advice to themembers of the Narcotic Anonymous groups.
Galanter,M., Dermatis, H., Post, S., & Sampson, C. (2013).Spirituality-based recovery from drug addiction in the twelve-stepfellowship of narcotics anonymous. Journalof addiction medicine, 7(3),189-195.
White,W. L. (2011). and the pharmacotherapeutictreatment of opioid addiction in the United States. Chicago,IL: Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health and IntellectualDisability Services & Great Lakes Addiction Technology TransferCenter.
Zafiridis,P., & Lainas, S. (2012). Alcoholics and narcotics anonymous: Aradical movement under threat. AddictionResearch & Theory, 20(2),93-104.