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What is Narcotics Anonymous?
Narcotics Anonymous is a 12-step based program that began in Los Angeles, California and is now a global organization. NA started in 1953, and now has more than 70,000 weekly meetings worldwide. NA books have been published in 55 different languages.
There are NA meetings in Aberdeen that people can join each week.
Narcotics Anonymous is a fellowship of people who have or had addictions to drugs. NA considers alcohol to be a drug so people struggling with alcohol are also welcome to the meetings.
NA is not connected to any medical, government, religious, or other type of organization. Meeting attendance is not kept, it is truly an anonymous group for those seeking help. The only requirement to be in a NA group is the desire to stop using drugs and live a sober life.
This is a peer based group. There is no professional counseling or medical staff in charge of the meetings. There is no cost for meetings, but donations from members are accepted to cover meeting space rent or materials for the meetings.
What to Expect at a NA Meeting
Most people are nervous the first time they join a group, it is a normal feeling. There are two types of NA meetings, open meetings and closed meetings.
Open meetings are for anyone to attend. People who do not have an addiction may come to give support to a loved one, or for more information about NA.
Closed meetings are for addicts or people who think they might have an addiction only.
Each meeting will follow a specific format. The group decides what formats to offer and how often they will meet.
NA Meeting Formats
- Question and Answer meetings: During these meetings, participants write down recovery related questions and put them in a basket. The group leader pulls a question and one or two other people share their experience. Then another question is pulled. This continues until the meeting is over.
- Speaker Meetings: During this meeting one or more speakers share their recovery experience or talk about a specific part of the recovery process.
- Topic Discussion Meetings: one specific recovery-related topic is picked and discussed for that meeting.
- Study Meetings: A study meeting can be discussing a particular portion of an NA-approved book. It could also be focused on one of the Twelve Steps or Twelve Traditions.
- Participation Meetings: the group leader allows members to share about any addiction or recovery-related experience.
- Newcomer Meetings: these meetings give people new to the NA group an introduction to how the group works and allows them to ask questions.
Some NA groups may have meetings for special interests or common needs. An example could be a meeting for one gender, like women’s or men’s only groups.
Special interest groups are not formed by the larger NA organization. Special interest groups are put together locally if the NA members feel there is a need in the community.
Why is Attending Addiction Recovery Meetings Important?
Being with a group of people who have also dealt with drug use problems brings support and some accountability. Members help each other live a sober lifestyle.
The temptation to start using again can be very strong. Knowing people who have been successful encourages people to keep working on their own sobriety.
Drug and Alcohol Statistics in Aberdeen
There is a real need for drug and alcohol support groups in Aberdeen. A Community Health Needs Assessment from Sanford Health in Aberdeen reports that the top three community mental health and substance abuse needs include drug and alcohol issues.
Drug use and abuse was the top community concern reported in the survey. This included the use of prescription drugs, heroin, synthetic opioids, marijuana, and cocaine. Alcohol use and abuse were number three on the list of concerns.
The survey reported that 40% of the people participated in binge drinking at least once per month. Of that group, 4% binge drink 2-3 times per week.
The survey also shared that 18% of the driving deaths for Brown County are alcohol-related incidents.
Keloland News reported the Aberdeen Police Department found a large amount of drugs in a vehicle during a traffic stop in March 2021. A police drug-detecting dog showed there was a reason to search the vehicle.
Police recovered a pound of meth, THC wax, over $6000 cash, and a gun from the vehicle. One pound of meth has a street value of around $45,000-$50,000.
Traveling to Arizona for Drug and Alcohol Rehab
It is becoming more common for people to travel long distances to go to a drug and alcohol rehab program. Sometimes going out of state for help can be a very good option. Getting connected to the right rehab program can be the most important thing to do for recovery.
There are quite a few good reasons to travel for a drug and alcohol rehab program:
- It is a chance to start fresh in a new environment.
- The need for privacy is a good reason to travel, the patient will not see people they know.
- A more positive mindset can come from a change of scenery and new experiences.
- Needing to stay away from bad influences and places that could trigger a relapse.
Another important reason to travel for rehab is finding the kind of therapy that will help. A personalized treatment plan makes a difference in how long recovery will take. Sometimes local rehabs do not offer a wide range of therapy types.
Someone who wants a more holistic approach to recovery might have to travel to find a good program.