Can I go to a NA Meeting if I’m an Alcoholic?
People new to recovery may have a hard time figuring out which twelve step meeting to attend. You may have struggled with feelings that you don’t fit it anywhere your whole life, and yearn for belonging. There is an exhaustive list of twelve step meetings that place focus on different drugs. Each type of meeting will usually then have various subtopic meetings, such as women’s/men’s only meetings, tradition meetings, and open meetings. It can be quite intimidating and overwhelming for a person who has recently gotten sober to choose which one is right for them.
Generally speaking, whatever your go-to drug was, is the meeting you should choose. This can be confusing because many people used several drugs simultaneously. If you used alcohol along with various other drugs, but always started and ended with alcohol, Alcoholics Anonymous could be a good fit. It is important to note, however, that in most AA meetings, people only want to hear your story involving alcohol. It is okay to say alcohol led you to other things, but your tale of alcoholism is why people are there.
If other substances played a large part in your addiction, Narcotics Anonymous will be a good fit for you. NA meetings are not as drug specific as AA meetings, and encompass a large range of substances. Alcohol is considered a drug in a NA meeting, so it is encouraged to discuss your use of all substances. Out of respect for the meeting and the fellowship, you should identify yourself as an addict in a NA meeting. Since NA considers alcohol to be a drug, this encompasses your alcoholism. Conversely, if you attend an AA meeting, you should identify as an Alcoholic out of respect and keep your story of experience, strength, and hope based upon that.
You truly will not be able to tell which fellowship suits you best until you try a couple meetings of each. It has been said that NA meetings can be slightly less structured since they encompass such a large variety of substances. Yet, this is a subjective view and what works for one person may not work for another. Each meeting can additionally provide a different level of structure, so trying more than one in each fellowship can be important in determining which is right for you.
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