For those suffering from a substance use disorder, peer support from communities such as Narcotics Anonymous can be a key factor in recovery.
Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA, can trace its roots back to the early 20th century, in 1935 at Akron, Ohio. AA had been founded by a stockbroker and surgeon, both of which suffered from alcohol use disorders. The founders, Bill W. and Dr. Bob S. respectively, met after attending a meeting with the Oxford Group, a religious fellowship.
Dr. Bob underwent his recovery process from alcoholism with the help of the Oxford Group as well as Bill. His recovery journey resulted in the formation of Alcoholics Anonymous, though the name of the group wasn’t coined until later in history.
Following the establishment of the recovery group, Bill authored a text describing AA’s methodology in 1939. The methodology includes the Twelve Steps of Recovery, the first 12-step program.1
The Twelve Steps were later utilized in the 1950s in the formation of Narcotics Anonymous in 1953. NA was founded on the same principle as AA meetings, but it was designed to focus on a separate substance use disorder, one involving narcotics.
NA refers to Narcotics Anonymous, a support group for those with a substance use disorder. It is a non-secular group that, although growing throughout the years, remains like its founding state. The founding religion for Narcotics Anonymous is Christianity, and many of the core principles and teaching methods stem from religious conduct and ideas.
In-person meetings are conducted in a way similar to group therapy. Several people will gather to talk in a single space in an organized manner.
Online NA meetings are similar to in-person meetings in that they are focused on organized and productive conversation, but they can occur in many different forms. Some individuals will prefer video meetings, but email or other text-chat-based meetings also occur.
NA online is a resource that has increased accessibility for many individuals, allowing those otherwise unable to receive treatment to join in.
With the isolation that occurred because of the COVID 19 pandemic, mental health issues have been on a rise, which has led to an influx in the occurrence of substance use disorders.2 With many people unable to access treatment for this disorder, especially with stay-at-home orders throughout 2020, many narcotic support groups have strived for improved access by offering online meetings, such as with NA online.3
Online NA meetings offer a unique benefit, especially during a global pandemic when rates of abuse are increasing.4 These meetings provide a form of treatment for those suffering from substance abuse disorders that are both effective as well as financial-friendly – an important aspect for many who are unable to work.
Narcotics Anonymous provides a bias-free method of treatment founded on experience and relatability. For many members, this peer-led communication offers not only new perspectives and coping mechanisms but also hope in recovery, especially for those just beginning to pursue treatment for their substance use disorder.
Talking to peers can also provide more comfort and relief than a medical professional due to the relatability and casualness between members. While medical health is always recommended in the treatment of a substance use disorder, especially addiction to narcotics, Narcotics Anonymous provides a beneficial secondary form of treatment to use as a complement to professional care.
After interest is expressed in attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, the next step is locating an active group within your area. There are a variety of options available for locating meetings near you, but some of the best options are either through an official website or through a medical clinic or rehabilitation center.
Since NA and AA are sister programs, individuals may access information on Narcotics Anonymous meetings through AA’s official website. Information and additional resources can also be found through Narcotics Anonymous’s official website.
Online NA meetings can also be accessed through the website.
A medical professional working in a rehabilitation center or medical clinic will also be able to provide further information on the location and meeting time for Narcotics Anonymous groups within the area. They will also be able to provide information on alternative support groups that individuals can attend during treatment.
While NA may be one of the largest 12-step programs, second only to AA, it is not the only support group for addiction recovery. Moreover, NA is not the only support group dedicated to providing help and counseling to those with a substance use disorder.
There are many reasons that people seek alternative support groups. Some individuals may find more comfort in visiting several groups to build a larger community of support. However, there are other reasons that individuals may feel more comfortable at a different support group.
SMART, or Self-Management and Recovery Training, is a secular and science-based recovery program that utilizes a 4-step program. This 4-step program uses psychotherapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy as well as motivational methods.
Unlike support groups such as AA and NA, Self-Management and Recovery Training handles recovery for a substance use disorder in a secular way. For those uncomfortable with the religious aspects of Narcotics Anonymous, SMART Recovery may be a preferred support group.
Women for Sobriety is a non-profit secular recovery group for women struggling with substance use disorders. This support group was founded in 1975 on thirteen Acceptance Statements. Similar to the tenets of the 12-steps and other programs, the Acceptance Statements encourage a positive mindset and attitude during recovery.
Women for Sobriety meet in many forms, including online and over the phone.
Secular Organizations for Sobriety is a secular support group founded on the philosophy of “Save OurSelves.” Religion and spirituality are private matters that do not influence recovery for individuals, allowing for an inclusive space for those seeking treatment to meet in New York State.
LifeRing Secular Recovery is an organization dedicated to providing complete support through recovery. They offer peer-organized and peer-led meetings while also providing support and assistance to the family members and loved ones of individuals recovering from a substance use disorder.
LifeRing operates through several different mediums, including face-to-face meetings, online meetings, email meetings, and pen-pals. The philosophy for this organization is known as 3-S: Sobriety, Secularity, and Self-Help.
Moderation Management is a secular non-profit organization originally founded to help those suffering from alcoholism. However, the methods and support offered in these meetings can also extend to those seeking treatment for a substance abuse disorder.
Moderation Management offers support in more ways than peer-led sessions, however. Accessing the official website provides a variety of resources, including information for contacting a licensed therapist in the nearby area.
If you or a loved one needs help, please call us at
(888) 744-9969 and our team at Blueprints For Recovery in Arizona will help.