New to NA?

Are You An Addict?
Only you can answer this question. This may not be an easy thing to do. All through our usage, we told ourselves, “I can handle it.” Even if this was true in the beginning, it is not so now. The drugs handled us. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a person whose life is controlled by drugs. Perhaps you admit you have a problem with drugs, but you don’t consider yourself an addict. All of us have preconceived ideas about what an addict is. There is nothing shameful about being an addict once you begin to take positive action. If you can identify with our problems, you may be able to identify with our solution. The following questions were written by recovering addicts in Narcotics Anonymous. If you have doubts about whether or not you’re an addict, take a few moments to read the questions below and answer them as honestly as you can.

1. Do you ever use alone?   Yes No
2. Have you ever substituted one drug for another, thinking that one particular drug was the problem?   Yes No
3. Have you ever manipulated or lied to a doctor to obtain prescription drugs?   Yes No
4. Have you ever stolen drugs or stolen to obtain drugs?   Yes No
5. Do you regularly use a drug when you wake up or when you go to bed?   Yes No
6. Have you ever taken one drug to overcome the effects of another?   Yes No
7. Do you avoid people or places that do not approve of you using drugs?    Yes No
8. Have you ever used a drug without knowing what it was or what it would do to you?   Yes No
9. Has your job or school performance ever suffered from the effects of your drug use?   Yes No
10. Have you ever been arrested as a result of using drugs?   Yes No
11. Have you ever lied about what or how much you use?   Yes No
12. Do you put the purchase of drugs ahead of your financial responsibilities?    Yes No
13. Have you ever tried to stop or control your using?   Yes No
14. Have you ever been in a jail, hospital or drug rehabilitation centre because of your using?   Yes No
15. Does using interfere with your sleeping or eating?   Yes No
16. Does the thought of running out of drugs terrify you?   Yes No
17. Do you feel it is impossible for you to live without drugs?    Yes No
18. Do you ever question your own sanity?   Yes No
19. Is your drug use making life at home unhappy?   Yes No
20. Have you ever thought you couldn’t fit in or have a good time without drugs?   Yes No
21. Have you ever felt defensive, guilty or ashamed about your using?    Yes No
22. Do you think a lot about drugs?   Yes No
23. Have you had irrational or indefinable fears?    Yes No
24. Has using affected your sexual relationship?    Yes No
25. Have you ever taken drugs you didn’t prefer?    Yes No
26. Have you ever used drugs because of emotional pain or stress?   Yes No
27. Have you ever overdosed on any drugs?   Yes No
28. Do you continue to use despite negative consequences?    Yes No
29. Do you think that you have a drug problem?    Yes No

 

“Am I an addict?” This is a question only you can answer. We found that we all answered different numbers of these questions “yes.” The actual number of “yes” responses wasn’t as important as how we felt inside and how addiction had affected our lives.

Some of these questions don’t even mention drugs. This is because addiction is an insidious disease that affects all areas of our lives – even those areas which seem at first to have little to do with drugs. The different drugs we used were not as important as why we used them and what they did to us.

When we first read these questions, it was frightening for us to think we might be addicts. Some of us tried to dismiss these thoughts by saying:

“Oh, those questions don’t make sense,”

Or:

“I’m different. I know I take drugs, but I’m not an addict. I have real emotional/
family/job problems.”

Or:

“I’m just having a tough time getting it together right now”.

Or:

“I’ll be able to stop when I find the right person/get the right job, etc.”

If you are an addict you must first admit that you have a problem with drugs before any progress can be made toward recovery. These questions, when honestly approached, may help to show you how using drugs has made your life unmanageable. Addiction is a disease which, without recovery, ends in jails, institutions and death. Many of us came to Narcotics Anonymous because drugs had stopped doing what we needed them to do. Addiction takes our pride, self esteem, family, loved ones, and even our desire to live. If you have not reached this point in your addiction, you don’t have to. We have found that our own private hell was within us. If you want help, you can find it in the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous.

“We were searching for an answer when we reached out and found Narcotics Anonymous. We came to our first NA meeting in defeat and didn’t know what to expect. After sitting in a meeting, or several meetings, we began to feel that people cared and were willing to help. Although our minds told us we would never make it, the people in the Fellowship gave us hope by insisting that we could recover. Surrounded by fellow addicts, we realised that we were not alone anymore. Recovery is what happens in our meetings. Our lives are at stake. We found that by putting recovery first, the programme works. We faced three disturbing realisations:

  1. We are powerless over addiction and our lives are unmanageable;
  2. Although we are not responsible for our disease, we are responsible for our recovery;
  3. We can no longer blame people, places and things for our addiction. We must face our problems and our feelings.

The ultimate weapon for recovery is the recovering addict.”[1]

Am I an Addict? Revised
This is a translation of NA Fellowship-approved literature. Copyright © 1989, 2000 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved

[1] Narcotics Anonymous, 5th edition (Van Nuys, CA: Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc., 1988), p. 15.

 

For the Newcomer
NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other to stay clean. There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using. You don’t have to be clean when you get here, but after your first meeting we suggest that you keep coming back and come clean. You don’t have to wait for an overdose or jail sentence to get help from NA, nor is addiction a hopeless condition from which there is no recovery. It is possible to overcome the desire to use drugs with the help of the Twelve Step program of Narcotics Anonymous and the fellowship of recovering addicts.

Addiction is a disease that can happen to anyone. Some of us used drugs because we enjoyed them, while others used to suppress the feelings we already had. Still others suffered from physical or mental ailments and became addicted to the medication prescribed during our illnesses. Some of us joined the crowd using drugs a few times just to be cool and later found that we could not stop. Many of us tried to overcome addiction, and sometimes temporary relief was possible, but it was usually followed by an even deeper involvement than before. Whatever the circumstances, it really doesn’t matter. Addiction is a progressive disease such as diabetes. We are allergic to drugs. Our ends are always the same: jails, institutions, or death. If life has become unmanageable and you want to live without it being necessary to use drugs, we have found a way. Here are the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous [1] that we use on a daily basis to help us overcome our disease.

  1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  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.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

Recovery doesn’t stop with just being clean. As we abstain from all drugs (and, yes this means alcohol and marijuana, too) we come face-to-face with feelings that we have never coped with successfully. We even experience feelings we were not capable of having in the past. We must become willing to meet old and new feelings as they come.

We learn to experience feelings and realize they can do us no harm unless we act on them. Rather than acting on them, we call an NA member if we have feelings we cannot handle. By sharing, we learn to work through it. Chances are they’ve had a similar experience and can relate what worked for them. Remember, an addict alone is in bad company.

The Twelve Steps, new friends, and sponsors all help us deal with these feelings. In NA, our joys are multiplied by sharing good days; our sorrows are lessened by sharing the bad. For the first time in our lives, we don’t have to experience anything alone. Now that we have a group, we are able to develop a relationship with a Higher Power that can always be with us.

We suggest that you look for a sponsor as soon as you become acquainted with the members in your area. Being asked to sponsor a new member is a privilege so don’t hesitate to ask someone. Sponsorship is a rewarding experience for both; we are all here to help and be helped. We who are recovering must share with you what we have learned in order to maintain our growth in the NA program and our ability to function without drugs.

This program offers hope. All you have to bring with you is the desire to stop using and the willingness to try this new way of life.

Come to meetings, listen with an open mind, ask questions, get phone numbers and use them.Stay clean just for today.

May we also remind you that this is an anonymous program and your anonymity will be held in the strictest of confidence. “We are not interested in what or how much you used or who your connections were, what you have done in the past, how much or how little you have, but only in what you want to do about your problem and how we can help.”

For the Newcomer
This is NA Fellowship-approved literature. Copyright © 1983 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

[1] Twelve Steps reprinted for adaptation by permission of AA World Services, Inc.

 

Who, What, How, and Why

Who is an Addict?
NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other to stay clean. There are no dues or fees. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using. You don’t have to be clean when you get here, but after your first meeting we suggest that you keep coming back and come clean. You don’t have to wait for an overdose or jail sentence to get help from NA, nor is addiction a hopeless condition from which there is no recovery. It is possible to overcome the desire to use drugs with the help of the Twelve Step program of Narcotics Anonymous and the fellowship of recovering addicts.

What is the Narcotics Anonymous Program?
NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. We suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a break. Our program is a set of principles written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives. The most important thing about them is that they work.

There are no strings attached to NA. We are not affiliated with any other organizations. We have no initiation fees or dues, no pledges to sign, no promises to make to anyone. We are not connected with any political, religious, or law enforcement groups, and are under no surveillance at any time. Anyone may join us, regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion, or lack of religion. We are not interested in what or how much you used or who your connections were, what you have done in the past, how much or how little you have, but only in what you want to do about your problem and how we can help. The newcomer is the most important person at any meeting, because we can only keep what we have by giving it away. We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regularly stay clean.

Why Are We Here?
Before coming to the Fellowship of NA, we could not manage our own lives. We could not live and enjoy life as other people do. 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 had to have drugs at all costs. We did many people great harm, but most of all we harmed 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.

Most of us realized that in our addiction we were slowly committing suicide, but addiction is such a cunning enemy of life that we had lost the power to do anything about it. Many of us ended up in jail, or sought help through medicine, religion, and psychiatry. None of these methods was sufficient for us. Our disease always resurfaced or continued to progress until, in desperation, we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous.

After coming to NA we realized we were sick people. We suffered from a disease from which there is no known cure. It can, however, be arrested at some point, and recovery is then possible.

 

Further information can be found at: www.na.org

 

 

NOTICE
EFFECTIVE 2 December 2016, New Attitudes will be meeting at Bridge to Freedom until further notice.

 

AREA MEETING
3rd Sunday of the month@3:00pm
TBA

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