narcotics anonymous vs alcoholic anonymous

As you can see, there are many similarities between AA and NA, and it’s easy to get them confused. However, there are some differences between these two groups too, and they include more than just the ciprofloxacin oral route side effects addict’s chosen substance. While AA is traditionally reserved for alcoholics and NA for drug addicts, those lines have mostly been erased with both types of addicts going to both types of meetings.

narcotics anonymous vs alcoholic anonymous

In this article, we will be discussing the role of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous in recovery and the difference between the two. As you can see, both programs have very similar premises, yet there are some subtle differences to consider as well. When trying to choose AA vs NA, you might find it more appealing to call upon the help of a Higher Power and focus on alcohol as being the main issue if you’re an alcoholic. Or, you might decide that you need to focus on your addiction (to alcohol or to another substance) as a whole and concentrate on yourself as an individual first. Either way, both AA and NA are excellent programs that were created to foster success for those who are struggling with addictions. These are people who have been where you are, and who want to invest in you the way others have invested in them.

Does Narcotics Anonymous Work?

We had to have something different and we thought we had found it in drugs. We placed their use ahead of the welfare of our families, our wives, husbands, and our children. We did many people great harm, but most of all we harmed compare sober homes ourselves. Through our inability to accept personal responsibilities we were actually creating our own problems. We seemed to be incapable of facing life on its own terms. Some people may find the 12 steps too rigid or spiritual.

narcotics anonymous vs alcoholic anonymous

The most important thing about them is that they work. The goal of 12 step meetings is not to divide through rejection or dismiss due to misunderstanding but teach the 12 steps to help an addict or alcoholic achieve happiness and sobriety. If someone won’t help you because you’re ‘not the right type of addict’- you don’t want their help.

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on NA unity. We keep what we have only with vigilance, and just as freedom for the individual comes from the Twelve Steps, so freedom for the group springs from our traditions. This sounds like a big order, and we can’t do it all at once. We didn’t become addicted in one day, so remember – easy does it.

How Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Work: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives

They wanted to help alcoholics give up alcohol and empower them to help others do the same. The program is centered around twelve steps, which is often simply referred to as The Twelve Step Program. These steps guide the alcoholic into growing spiritually, becoming aware of the hurt and pain they have caused to themselves as well as to others, and making amends for that pain. As the person progresses through the program, he learns the importance of embracing these principles throughout every area of his life. In addition, he also becomes passionate about and learns the skills to help others as they begin and complete their own journey toward sobriety.

  1. Earle would sit next to Karla in a large room with chairs arranged in a large square, John recalled.
  2. There is a difference between being powerless over a substance and being powerless over the addiction.
  3. For most alcoholics this is AA and for most drug addicts this NA, but you don’t have to choose.
  4. She was a talented athlete and a gifted linguist, fluent in her mother’s native Czech and her Mexican-born father’s Spanish.
  5. If you are open about your drug replacement therapy, however, you may be asked not to speak at an NA meeting and simply listen.
  6. Ultimately, the choice between AA and NA depends on the specific substance problem of the individual.

And when she drank, Suzanne said, she often had no recollection of what had occurred the night before. Court records show that Eric Allen Earle repeatedly relapsed and turned violent when drunk, lashing out at family members, his ex-wife and people close to him. By the time he and Karla crossed paths, judges had granted six restraining orders against him. The 40-year-old sometime electrician had been convicted on dozens of criminal charges, mostly involving assault and driving under the influence. Her 20s had been rough, a struggle with depression, anxiety, alcohol and drugs.

Brief History of Narcotics Anonymous

You might be an alcoholic who is more comfortable with healing your addiction than blaming alcohol. If that is how you feel, Narcotics Anonymous might be the better option for you. In looking at the key differences between these two groups, you can find the right one for you. Here at Northpoint Recovery, we recognize the fact that AA and NA are both important.

However, it’s a difference that goes much deeper than that. There is a difference between being powerless over a substance and being powerless over the addiction. It suggests that in AA, the lack of control is due to the alcohol, while in NA, the lack of control is due to the actual addiction itself. One is external (alcohol) and one is internal (addiction). For many, this approach is appealing because they may not feel comfortable discussing a Higher Power and its influence in their lives.

“Proof of Zero Progress in Counseling,” court records from 2007 say. Karla Brada Mendez was born on Sept. 3, 1979, the second of three daughters. She was a talented athlete and a gifted linguist, fluent in her mother’s native Czech and her Mexican-born father’s Spanish.

“He’d finish that thing in an hour.” His estranged wife, Jennifer Mertell, said Earle frequently told her that he never had any intention of stopping drinking. Karla Brada Mendez thought that she was getting a second chance on life when she started going to AA meetings. But instead she met Eric Allen Earle, an AA old-timer with a violent past. We feel that our approach to the disease of addiction is completely realistic, for the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel.

All three major life changes could have triggered him to start drinking again. Patterson and Marlon agree that it’s more important to find something that works for the individual than it is to debate the effectiveness of a recovery tool. AA’s most recent membership survey of more than 6,000 members, done in 2014, said 22 percent of its members stayed sober for 20 or more years. Other programs, like Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which started in 1953, have used similar models.

Making AA and NA Part of Treatment

In general, the more invested you are in the NA program, the more helpful it will be for you. NA is welcome to any person who thinks they’re addicted to substances and wants to change their life. If for any reason you walk away from your first meeting feeling like you didn’t connect with the style or the people there, you can try a different meeting to find the right fit for you. While AA has few set rules – and says it has no way of enforcing them anyway – its literature advises members against dating anyone until they have marked one year of sobriety. The theory is that a person struggling to quit drinking and put his or her life back together is unable to make sound emotional decisions. Romantic entanglements during that fragile period are unnecessarily confusing.

Santa Clarita Alcoholics Anonymous, which oversees the AA meetings in the area where Karla met Earle, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the case. To Victor Vieth, a former Minnesota prosecutor who now heads the National Child Protection Training Center in Minneapolis, none of these developments is surprising. Vieth has been involved in sexual abuse cases and prevention for 25 years and has become a nationally recognized expert in developing protective mechanisms for volunteers in service organizations. “Listen, Eric,” John recalled saying, “you need to leave the house now.

Overall, the differences between AA and NA are relatively minor. The only significant distinction between them is the problem they aim to deal with. In fact, the similarities of the two outweigh the differences. Both AA and NA share fundamental principles and common objectives to help concerned individuals overcome their substance alcohol use disorder symptoms and causes abuse or addiction problems. Both organizations also offer a supportive environment for individuals seeking to overcome addiction and achieve sobriety, regardless of the specific substance they have struggled with. Ultimately, the choice between AA and NA depends on the specific substance problem of the individual.