For most successful recovering addicts, the 12-step program of Narcotics Anonymous has become their way of life. The NA fellowship helps former addicts understand themselves better, rely on others who have wisdom about recovery, and lead meaningful lives clean and sober.
For those without the support of twelve-step meetings, relapse seems to be a lot more common. At its core, Narcotics Anonymous is a program that helps recovering addicts learn from and connect with others who have experienced similar painful events in life that resulted in addiction.
It works if you put in the full effort
This 12-step program works when the participants put in the full effort needed to stay sober. People in NA have realized that their addiction to drugs will only cause more severe consequences if they do not find a way to stop using drugs. Most recovering addicts have experienced going to jail or prison, becoming homeless, jobless, and rejected by their families and friends. Addiction causes the addict to desire remaining high regardless of who it hurts even if it is them. Once a person has hit their bottom, they are ready to accept help because they understand that it will only get worse from here.
Most of the people who rely on NA to remain in recovery did not walk through the doors of a meeting and simply say, ‘thank God I am here, this is easy.’ What they did say was ‘oh my God this is really hard to be here.’ Newly recovering addicts are learning to live life without being high. The good news is that after several meetings, we begin to feel more comfortable and eventually can connect to what everyone else is saying. The other thing that begins to happen for most people that go to these meetings is that they begin connecting to the 12 steps of the program.
Go from a low point to a peak in your life
The 12 steps of NA are designed to take the addict who is at the very lowest point in their lives and lift them back up. The first step of NA is to admit defeat, to admit that no matter how hard the addict tries to control his or her drug use, they cannot. It’s important to admit that you are powerless over drugs and that substance abuse has ruined your life. Once a newly recovering addict believes this wholeheartedly, they open up to why they need help. The first step helps drug users accept the fact that they are addicts.
The next 11 steps then provide the answer on how to remain clean and sober. The NA program helps those who want and believe they need help. Willingness is often the step before the 12 steps as many addicts who are currently getting high already know they want to quit. Willingness, however, is tough to keep. The lure of drugs and getting high is very powerful, so powerful it sometimes pulls people back in after getting sober.
The disease of addiction cannot be conquered on willpower. To overcome substance abuse, an addict needs support and guidance, and this is what the Narcotics Anonymous program provides. NA does not only keep people clean; it changes their lives in a positive and dramatic way. For many recovering addicts, once they got clean and sober with the help of NA, their lives improved well beyond their greatest dreams.
Get support from others who know what you are going through
One recovering addict provides for another the support and respect that is needed to continue staying clean. It’s difficult to be sober and live fulfilling lives without help. It’s also important to believe that there is a Higher Power that is in control. For many, this is God, while for others its anything greater than themselves.
The exceptional results that former addicts have in their lives from following the NA program is living proof that the program works. Even the most hardcore junkies and drug-seeking fanatics have recovered their lives and discovered that they are happy and at peace being clean and sober because of Narcotics Anonymous.