Author: James Anderson

The Difference Between Alcoholics Anonymous AA and Narcotics Anonymous NA Menifee, CA Addiction Treatment Center

narcotics anonymous vs alcoholic anonymous

“Listen, Eric,” John recalled saying, “you need to leave the house now. Things are going to go all bad.” Earle responded with a string of obscenities, John said. “I know what punches sound like.” A few minutes later, Eric’s phone went dead.

The Oxford Group, an evangelical Christian fellowship that flourished in the United States and England in the early 1900s, had a strong influence on the origins of AA. The Oxford Group was non-denominational, and its members focused on erasing sin from daily life. The group did this by having members share their experiences with one another, make amends, examine themselves, make restitution for harm done, and engage in prayer. Vieth predicts that the Brada Mendez case will create an uncomfortable institutional reaction. “Typically, we only react when there’s a big story or a death, something that makes us so uncomfortable, we are motivated to change it.

  1. Individuals of all backgrounds, races, genders, and beliefs are welcome.
  2. There are probably a lot of words that are used in recovery that you don’t recognize right away.
  3. In the study sample, 12-Step participation was common and intensive after inpatient treatment but fell off over time.
  4. In fact, the similarities of the two outweigh the differences.

In this article, we will be discussing the role of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous in recovery and the difference between the two. At first glance, it may seem as though your choice between AA and NA should be an obvious one. However, as you dig deeper, you’ll realize that’s not the case at all.

Meetings in NA, on the other hand, focus on the challenges and experiences related to narcotics addiction, including the use of narcotics, cravings, and withdrawal symptoms. NA has been instrumental in helping many people overcome their addiction to narcotics and other drugs. It provides a sense of community, support, and guidance to individuals seeking to rebuild their lives free from the grip of addiction. Those who said AA was not helpful said they couldn’t relate to others in AA groups, found there was too much negativity and complaining, or felt they could handle the problem on their own. For a more detailed description of this work, please see Robinson, Price, Kurtz, and Brower (2009).

What about professional treatment?

He presented findings from his longitudinal study of teens in AA who were followed for 8 years. The sample was composed of 166 male and female teens (average age 16) who had completed an inpatient treatment program. 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.

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. This has proven to be a very effective model for treating alcoholism because people can draw upon each other for the support they need. In recent years, some critics have pressed AA to do more about the combustible mix of violent ex-felons and newcomers who assume that others “in the rooms” are there voluntarily. “It’s like letting a wolf into the sheep’s den,” said Dee-Dee Stout, an Emeryville, California alcohol and drug counselor who offers alternatives to traditional 12-step treatment.

You might hear about Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous and wonder what the difference is between the two, for example. In this article, we’ll talk about some of those differences, but we’ll also discuss some of the similarities. First, let’s go over some basic background behind each of these addiction treatment programs.

AA and NA both seek to support those who suffer, and the important thing is that a person who is looking for help finds a place where they feel at home. Moreover, there are also fellowships whose main purpose is to help the families and loved ones of those struggle with addiction but who are not addicts themselves. Alanon and Naranon are subsidies of both AA and NA and offer support to those who are affected but are not themselves afflicted.Remember, it is important to do your own research as well as remain open-minded. Often, a person doesn’t choose a fellowship until they have tried both AA and NA for themselves. Both fellowships histories and practices are different but the message is universal; we can recover. AA primarily focuses on alcohol addiction, while NA is specifically designed for individuals recovering from narcotics addiction, which includes drugs like heroin, cocaine, and prescription narcotics.

narcotics anonymous vs alcoholic anonymous

For many, this approach is appealing because they may not feel comfortable discussing a Higher Power and its influence in their lives. Instead, they may feel that the responsibility lies completely with them and that they need to, in a sense, get out of their own way if they’re ever going to be free from their addictions. For the NA member, once you’re able to accomplish that goal, there is room for the Higher Power (as you see it) to work in your life and help you work toward being clean. Another difference between AA and NA is the fact that one focuses on a legal substance (alcohol) and the other focuses on all substances, many of which are illegal.

Understanding the Main Differences Between AA and NA

Though Karla preferred the high of pills, she drank with Earle, giving herself over to his drug of choice, Suzanne said. “He was ordered into AA at least four different times,” recalled Jennifer Mertell, 41, who married Earle in 1994 and left him eight years later because of his escalating violence. Mertell, the mother of two of Earle’s three children, estimates that he owes her nearly $100,000 in child support. To kick-start the next chapter of her own life, she bought a condo near her family home and began living on her own. Karla Brada Mendez was born on Sept. 3, 1979, the second of three daughters.

narcotics anonymous vs alcoholic anonymous

In the study sample, 12-Step participation was common and intensive after inpatient treatment but fell off over time. However, despite declining attendance, early posttreatment attendance, even in relatively small amounts, predicted long-term helpful outcomes. Specifically, it was found that for every meeting attended there was a subsequent gain of approximately 2 days of abstinence. Although the drop in attendance was noted, consistent attendance over time predicted favorable outcomes. In her second stint in rehab, Karla roomed with a woman named Suzanne, and they became instant friends. Suzanne, like several others in this story, asked that her last name be withheld in order to protect her privacy.

AA uses its own literature, including “The Big Book” (Alcoholics Anonymous) and other resources, which are geared toward addressing alcohol addiction. NA has its own literature, too, such as the “Basic Text” and other publications, which are tailored to address narcotics addiction. Evidence from multiple lines of research supports the effectiveness and practical importance of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Alcoholics Anonymous

Many of these groups are thriving alongside AA and NA currently, and, in the future, more will come into existence. Threats to the early survival of AA and NA were the same threats that could undermine any mutual aid recovery group. They include leadership relapse, struggle for consensus about the program, program infidelity and instability, professionalism, issues of money, and limits of inclusion and exclusion. Other groups fail by way of entanglements related to religion or politics or stagger under challenges to the group’s credibility. White talked about why AA was successful among the succession of mutual aid recovery groups.

Alexandre B. Laudet

This difference tends to draw different types of people to each meeting. For those who are trying to decide which approach works for them, they should consider that fact before choosing which program to attend. Narcotics Anonymous, also known as NA, is an international, non-profit fellowship of individuals who are recovering from drug addiction, particularly narcotics addiction. NA is modeled after AA and also follows a Twelve-Step program to help individuals achieve and maintain sobriety.

The 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous were developed in the late 1930s by two men who were “chronic inebriates” who had been unsuccessful in their attempts to stop drinking. Together, the men drew up a set of spiritual guidelines for themselves and others who were struggling with the same affliction. Over time, the approach became the foundation in the United States for the treatment of alcohol dependency.