There are plenty of arguments in favor of 12 – step programs, and probably just as many opposed to them. Here are some thoughts about NA. These are quotes and/or paraphrases from Jerry Dorsman’s book, “How To Quit Drugs For Good”
The good things about N.A. (or A.A. or C.M.A.)
- NA offers you total involvement in a community of non-users.
- As an NA, you get an important sense of belonging.
- Group s lend mutual support for not using drugs.
- It’s easy to make new friends because you’ll have something in common with everyone.
- NA destigmatizes drug addiction.
- NA helps you gain responsibility.
- NA helps you accept your problem with drugs.
- You can count on it. (Meetings are held many times a week and many times day.)
- Its free, or a small donation.
Drawbacks to N.A
- NA neglects the physical. No medical advice or info on healing.
- NA requires social involvement. Some people get nervous or uncomfortable in groups.
- N.A. requires a specific religious belief. A higher power must be acknowledged. Six of the twelve steps refer to God or Higher Power.
- NA insists that you call, yourself an addict. You are not allowed to speak unless you first say, “Hello, my name is ______ and I’m an addict.”
- Many people have difficulty with the “public confessional” approach.
After awhile it gets tedious hearing the “War Stories”
“The worst thing I did on drugs.”
“How bad an addict I was.”
“How much I wanted to use today.”
“How terrible I felt.”
“Let me tell you about my years in the penitentiary.”
- NA fosters too much dependency among its s. Trading one drug for another. You no longer depend on drugs but on NA.
- For NA’s, drugs remain the central focus in their lives.
- NA’s believe that you’re powerless over your addiction.
- NA takes a great deal of time. Meetings are usually from one to two hours long. Consider travel and prep time. A meeting could consume three hours easily. Many are prompted to attend ninety meetings in ninety days.