How Often Are NA Meetings?

How Often Are NA Meetings?

What are NA meetings? Read on to learn more about NA Meetings, the 12 Steps of NA Meetings, preparation, and help at San Diego Detox.

Overview

The program literature for NA emphasizes that each member should commit to attending one meeting each week. NA meetings are held almost daily. The number of times a person attends NA meetings determines how far they have progressed in their recovery journey. 

One meeting each week is typically sufficient for someone in long-term recovery to stay involved in their recovery. If they think their lives are out of control, they can always choose to go to more meetings. People unfamiliar with the 12 Step program should attend as many weekly meetings as possible.

What Are NA Meetings?

One of the key components of the Narcotics Anonymous recovery program is the meetings. At these sessions, NA members routinely gather to discuss their issues and share experiences with others going through similar issues. NA meetings also provide recovering individuals the chance to give and receive support and inspiration from their peers.

What is Narcotics Anonymous (NA)?

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a non-profit fellowship or community of men and women struggling with substance use addiction. In 1953, Narcotic Anonymous was established in Los Angeles. The second-largest 12-step organization, Narcotics Anonymous, was created for people with various substance use disorders.

What Is an NA Meeting?

In a Narcotic Anonymous meeting, addicted individuals get together regularly to work on their recovery from substance use addiction. A Narcotic Anonymous meeting typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes. The objective of NA is to establish a secure setting where drug users can interact and aid one another in their recovery. There are different types of NA meetings.

The Most Types of NA Meetings

Tajor types of Narcotic Anonymous meetings will be detailed below.

Closed NA Meetings

A Narcotics Anonymous closed meeting is for people who identify as addicts or are unsure if they have a drug issue. A closed Narcotics Anonymous meeting offers the privacy required for participants to share more intimately and personally. It achieves this by creating an environment where addicts feel more confident that those there can relate to them and share their experiences and hope.1

Open NA Meetings

An open NA meeting is a meeting that anybody interested in how NA has achieved recovery from the disease of addiction is welcome to attend. However, only NA members are permitted to participate verbally. People from outside the fellowship are welcome to witness what Narcotics Anonymous is and how it operates at an open meeting.

Virtual NA Meetings

The Narcotics Anonymous online forums are where the online meetings take place. There are no rigid criteria for the NA virtual meetings. An online NA meeting might be hosted by a counselor or a former rehab patient.

Most conversations in online NA forums take place over video calls, while some also happen over text or voice messaging. NA virtual meetings can also be open or closed sessions. The closed virtual sessions are only for certain people the moderator invites, whereas the open meetings are available to anyone with a substance use disorder.

Discussion Meetings

Discussion meetings, also known as Issue Discussion Topics, are topics on which recovering addicts in NA groups across the world focus on. NA communities discuss these issues in conversations and workshops for each two-year conference cycle. 

These discussions compel people to reflect more thoroughly on relevant issues and promote harmony within the NA social networks and professional organizations.

Speaker Meetings

In speaker sessions, one or two individuals provide a longer, more in-depth presentation of their narrative. The meeting can then be opened for participation by others. The NA Speaker sessions feature a guest speaker who leads conversations on issues about substance use disorders.

Big Book Study

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) also supplies its members with written materials such as pamphlets, booklets, and readings to further convey its objective. The White book is one of NA's most popular books. The white book serves as the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous' introduction leaflet.2

What Are the 12 Steps of NA Meetings?

The twelve-step program of Narcotics Anonymous, which includes regular attendance at group meetings, offers recovery from the symptoms of addiction. To stay sober, 12-Step Narcotics Anonymous members must complete the program's steps and activities. Many people who are battling alcohol and drug addictions will visit and revisit different NA Steps over time, even though the 12 Steps of NA are designed to be examined in order.

NA encourages recovery through a 12-step program with peer support to encourage drug and alcohol abstinence. The 12 Steps of Narcotics Anonymous are:

Step 1

"We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction—that our lives had become unmanageable." 

Step 2

"We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." 

Step 3

"We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over the care of God as we understood Him." 

Step 4

"We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves."  

Step 5

"We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs." 

Step 6

"We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character." 

Step 7

"We humbly ask Him to remove our shortcomings." 

Step 8

"We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them." 

Step 9

"We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others." 

Step 10

"We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it."  

Step 11

"We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out." 

Step 12

"Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs." 

What About God and Prayers?

Discussing God and including prayers at some meetings may surprise and even discomfort those new to NA. Even if the meeting is conducted in a church or other place of worship, NA is not primarily a Christian organization.

Members of NA are asked to acknowledge that they have no control over their addiction and that their recovery depends on a "higher power" as part of the NA 12 steps. This phrase is open to individual interpretation and can mean many different things. Some people choose to identify with God (in whatever manifestation or religion), while others do not. The NA program is spiritual, not religious.3

Preparing for NA Meetings

It's important to set aside preconceived preconceptions as individuals prepare for their first NA meeting. It's critical to keep in mind that members are recovering at varying rates. Some persons can appear disheveled on their first day, while others might not exhibit any apparent signs of addiction.

Individuals attending are anonymous. Members take their responsibility to preserve one another's privacy extremely seriously. Participants are not required to adhere to any faith or religion. Anything they summon to aid themselves in their recovery can be called "God" or the "Higher Power."

What to Expect at Your First NA Meeting

Each person is anxious to go to their first 12-step group. However, people can relax knowing that everyone in the room has already been where they are. Due to the influence of the local members, NA meetings vary somewhat, although attendees can anticipate a few regular features.

People will frequently hear the phrase "addict" at NA meetings. NA members identify themselves in this way. Those who use prescription drugs, heroin, cocaine, and a wide range of other mind-altering chemicals are considered addicts.  

How Does NA Meetings Work?

Speakers or open discussions are the two common forms of NA meetings. An individual is permitted to share their own story during a speaker meeting. An open conversation is like a round table where everyone can briefly express their personal experiences. A particular subject or a passage from the "Basic Text" frequently serves as the starting point for discussion. 

Visitors and newcomers will be encouraged to introduce themselves by their first names. This is a part of the commitment to privacy and anonymity. Typically, newcomers receive a handshake or hug and a welcome key tag. In most locations, it is traditional for members to form a circle to conclude meetings with a brief prayer or a NA reading. 

Common Terms Used in NA Meetings

Common terms individuals will hear in an NA meeting include:  4

  • Basic Text—this is the text which outlines Narcotics Anonymous’ fundamental principles.
  • Closed meeting— is a meeting for those who may have a drug issue or are addicts
  • Higher Power—any supportive factor that encourages a member to stay sober and pursue recovery
  • Looking for relapse opportunities
  • IPs—information pamphlets
  •  NA newcomers—new NA members
  • Open meeting—meeting that accepts everyone, including interested non-addicts
  • Relapse—when a recovery lapse leads to a temporary or sustained return to drug usage
  • Sharing—providing a firsthand account of addiction and recovery
  • Sponsor—an experienced participant who provides advice and support throughout the twelve Steps
  • Trusted servants—members who have service positions in NA

What Should You Bring to an NA Meeting?

An open mind is the most crucial thing attendees should bring to a NA meeting. People must have a sincere desire to overcome their addiction. They must have the willpower to get through their problems. Although one's first NA meeting may not go as well as anticipated, perseverance and continued attendance at meetings will be possible until recovery.

How Do I Find NA Meetings?

Narcotics Anonymous is an international organization. Due to this, there are regional service committees that cover certain regions. These service committees offer information services over the phone and distribute literature and information about NA. Service committees offer meeting directories for those who need to find a meeting. 

How to Find NA Meetings?

Visit the Narcotics Anonymous website to locate a local meeting when you're prepared to attend your first meeting. Most days of the week, meetings take place throughout the day. Some meetings might take place virtually. Individuals can use applications to attend a virtual meeting or locate a nearby one. There is a NA Meeting Search app for iOS and Android.  

NA meetings

How Frequent are NA Meetings?

NA meetings are held almost daily. How far along a person is in their recovery determines how frequently they attend NA meetings. If they think their lives are out of control, they can always choose to go to more meetings. People unfamiliar with the 12 Step program should attend as many meetings per week as possible.

How Long are NA Meetings?

An NA meeting typically lasts 60 to 90 minutes. Members are given a chance to speak and share their experiences during a discussion meeting. The average speaking period is under five minutes. There might also be readings or discussions in groups regarding specific subjects. Speaker gatherings allow participants to speak for longer periods.

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