NA’s approach to recovery is the belief in the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. Members take part in NA meetings by talking about their experiences and recovery from drug addiction. More experienced members (known as sponsors) work individually with newer members explaining the twelve steps and the program. The twelve steps are at the core of the NA program; these ‘steps’ are a set of concepts outlining a practical approach to recovery. By learning the tweleve steps with a sponsor and how to work the NA program addicts learn to stop using drugs and face the challenges of daily living.
Narcotics Anonymous is not a religious organisation and does not mandate any particular religious belief system. It does teach basic spiritual principles such as honesty, open-mindedness, faith, willingness, and humility that may be applied in everyday life. The specific practical application of spiritual principles is determined by each individual. Recovery in NA is not a miracle cure that happens within a given period of time. It is a process, ongoing and personal. Members make an individual decision to join and recover at their own pace.
NA meetings are held regularly at the same time and place each week, usually in a public facility rented by the group, informally structured, and are led by members who take turns opening and closing the meeting. NA meetings and other services are funded entirely from donations by addict members and the sale of recovery literature. Financial contributions from non-members are not accepted.
There are two basic types of meetings: those which are open to the general public and those closed to the public (for addicts only). Meetings vary widely in format. Some formats are: participation, speaker, question and answer, topic discussion, and some have a combination of these formats. The function of any meeting is always the same: to provide a suitable and reliable environment for personal recovery.
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