Recovery: Choosing 12 Step Programs
September 14, 2017
A recovery laymen may think that Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings are made up of only alcoholics. Conversely, one might think that Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings are comprised of only addicts. Such a thought is not without merit, early meetings of AA instructed people with problems other than alcohol to merely listen. Viewing alcoholism and drug addiction as two mutually exclusive conditions was once a thing. Even to this day, you can still attend AA meetings that frown upon people sharing about drug use.
The birth of NA was in many ways the direct result of early AA’s exclusionary practices. However, people who are in the program, those who have attended both AA and NA meetings, know there’s overlap. The reality is that a person who struggles with alcohol is likely to have problems with drugs, as well. And, vice versa. Testament to the fact that addiction is addiction. Self-defeating behavior is essentially all the same. The vehicle of one’s self-inflicted harm isn’t as important as what one does about the problem. By that same token, the principles of 12 Step recovery have a salient effect on any type of addiction.
Blurring the Lines of 12 Step Recovery
Those in the program a while, may have noticed that it’s not uncommon to see heroin addicts at AA meetings. In fact, some addicts only go to AA meetings or rarely attend NA meetings. Why is that, you might wonder? The reasons for such occurrences are subjective. It could be that an individual’s story of substance use began with alcohol. It could be that when one first got sober, NA was not available. There is a litany of reasons for why one might choose an AA home group, when their substance of choice isn’t alcohol.
At the end of the day, dissecting why this occurs is not all that important. What’s important is acknowledging that long-term addiction recovery can be achieved under anyone of the umbrellas of 12 Step recovery. Where you feel the most comfortable should be the deciding factor in how you choose. Versus the word in the logo. As was mentioned earlier, addiction is addiction. Meaning, use disorders are a form of mental illness symptoms of which are typified by misusing certain substances. What’s more, polysubstance dependence is more common than not. You’d be hard-pressed to find a heroin addict who eschewed cocaine. Or someone with a stimulant use disorder spurning alcohol.
The substance that ultimately brings one to their knees is irrelevant. Embracing the principles of recovery, working a program and helping others do the same—is the what’s vital. One last note: If you never struggled with alcohol and are in NA, don’t drink. The same goes for alcoholics who’ve never dabbled in drug use, don’t flirt with drugs. Your disease dictates that you can form an unhealthy relationship with any substance or behavior. Such as sex or gambling, and most certainly other mind-altering substances.
An Introduction to The Program
If you are abusing drugs and/or alcohol, please contact Christians Drug Rehab. While under our care we will introduce you to a number of different 12 Step meetings, both NA and AA. In conjunction with reconnecting with your “higher power,” Christ, you will be able to utilize the principles of 12 Step recovery. Being able to live life on life’s terms, one day at a time.