Author: Charles Frank

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

na alcoholics anonymous

As you might expect, AA and NA have similarities as well as differences. If you repeatedly drink more than you intend or want to, you may be an alcoholic. Information for people who may have a drinking problem. This pamphlet describes who A.A.s are and what we have learned about alcoholism. We are not anti-alcohol and we have no wish to reform the world. We are not allied with any group, cause or religious denomination.

na alcoholics anonymous

Anyone with a desire to stop drinking is welcome, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, income or profession.

Participating in a group helps ensure that when a person reaches out for help, A.A. You might feel more comfortable (and have more time) addressing these issues in an individual or smaller group setting, Patterson notes. But therapy costs money and requires insurance, which not everyone has. A recent but limited study indicates it may be as effective as the 12-step model. Finally, though AA and NA are meant to help people through discussions and readings, Patterson says meetings can become triggers for some people. 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.

Participants did not differ significantly across programs in terms of substance use, treatment, or 12-Step history. To read more about this research, please see Laudet (2008a, 2008b). Alcoholics Anonymous (or AA) began in 1935 by two men who had one unified goal. They wanted to help alcoholics give up alcohol and empower them to help others do the same.

AA Video for Legal and Corrections Professionals

As of 1994, there were close to 20,000 weekly meetings being held in 70 countries. If someone you care about has a drinking problem, A.A. Has helped more than two million alcoholics stop drinking. Recovery works through one alcoholic sharing their experience with another. Even if someone doesn’t put it in your treatment plan, Patterson advises people to try a few different options, including CBT and SMART Recovery, at least once if possible. While that certainly works for some people, it’s important to remember that you’re not “weaker” or “less” of a person for needing (or simply wanting) some additional help.

  1. When practiced as a way of life, they can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to recover from alcoholism.
  2. But therapy costs money and requires insurance, which not everyone has.
  3. Membership is open to anyone who wants to do something about their drinking problem.

Given the effectiveness of 12-Step participation and the observation that attrition rates are high, Laudet has also investigated attitudes toward AA and NA among individuals in an outpatient treatment program. Clients rated the importance of 12-Step programs to recovery 8.7 on a 10-point scale with high scores indicating higher importance. Clients rated the helpfulness of 12-Step programs 8.02 on a 10-point scale with high scores indicating high levels of helpfulness.

Other programs, like Narcotics Anonymous (NA), which started in 1953, have used similar models. “Gradually, my drinking started squeezing all three of those out of my life,” Marlon says. In addition to some differences in philosophy, both AA and NA each have their own literature. Both organizations also use the 12-step framework that guides members through their recovery. At 4-, 6-, and 8-year follow-up, girls (40% of the sample) had more abstinent days than boys. If respondents felt they could moderate their use of drugs and alcohol, rather than stop completely, this predicted less abstinence at each follow-up occasion.

How we reviewed this article:

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.

He’s now a licensed alcohol and drug counselor and CEO of both the nonprofit Vegas Stronger and rehab CrossRoads of Southern Nevada. Marlon checked into a 30-day treatment facility, where he learned more about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). He bought into the program and the idea of a fellowship where people helped one another. A.A.’s Twelve Steps are a set of spiritual principles. When practiced as a way of life, they can expel the obsession to drink and enable the sufferer to recover from alcoholism. A.A.’s primary purpose is to help alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Sobriety in AA: When drinking is no longer a party

Typically, both NA and AA meetings begin with reading the 12 Steps. You may also hear people reciting the serenity prayer or the 12 Traditions. After that, you’ll find that meetings are all quite different from each other. Some meetings may include speakers, or people sharing about their experiences.

We do not impose our experience with problem drinking on others, but we do share it when we are asked to do so. We know our own sobriety depends on connecting with other alcoholics. Has been helping alcoholics recover for more than 80 years. A.A.’s program of recovery is built on the simple foundation of one alcoholic sharing with another.

The original 12-step program

Because AA was designed to assist alcoholics, those who used recreational or prescription drugs weren’t included. As an answer to this dilemma, Narcotics Anonymous (or NA) was formed. Like AA, NA also utilizes the support group model of therapy because it has shown to be very effective in treating addictions of all kinds.

Online meetings are digital meetings held on platforms such as Zoom. Offline meetings, also called “face to face”, “brick and mortar”, or “in-person” meetings, are held in a shared physical real-world location. Some meetings are hybrid meetings, where people can meet in a specified physical location, but people can also join the meeting virtually. Like individual groups, the GSO is self-supporting. It does not accept donations from people or organizations outside of AA.

Alcoholics Anonymous

AA uses a 12-step model that begins with a person admitting that they’re powerless over alcohol and that their lives had become unmanageable. Even 15 years into his recovery, Marlon still attends AA meetings about five times per week. This is largely due to the fact that the organization keeps growing continually.

That should be the very first step you take as you seek to heal from your addiction. Drug and alcohol rehab can help you build the foundation for a solid, successful recovery. We would love the opportunity to assist you as you press on to leave your life of addiction behind. As AA took off, there was a group of people who were struggling with addiction, but they lacked the type of support people received in AA.