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12 - Step Programs - Pro's and Con's

There are plenty of arguments in favor of 12 - step programs, and probably just as many opposed to them. Here are some thoughts about NA. These are quotes and/or paraphrases from Jerry Dorsman's book, "How To Quit Drugs For Good"

The good things about N.A. (or A.A. or C.M.A.)

  1. NA offers you total involvement in a community of non-users.
  2. As an NA, , you get an important sense of belonging.
  3. Group s lend mutual support for not using drugs.
  4. It's easy to make new friends because you'll have something in common with everyone.
  5. NA destigmatizes drug addiction.
  6. NA helps you gain responsibility.
  7. NA helps you accept your problem with drugs.
  8. You can count on it. (Meetings are held many times a week and many times day.)
  9. Its free, or a small donation.

Drawbacks to NA

  1. NA neglects the physical. No medical advice or info on healing.
  2. NA requires social involvement. Some people get nervous or uncomfortable in groups.
  3. N.A. requires a specific religious belief. A higher power must be acknowledged. Six of the twelve steps refer to God or Higher Power.
  4. NA insists that you call, yourself an addict. You are not allowed to speak unless you first say, "Hello, my name is ______ and I'm an addict."
  5. Many people have difficulty with the "public confessional" approach.
    After awhile it gets tedious hearing the "War Stories"
    "The worst thing I did on drugs."
    "How bad an addict I was."
     "How much I wanted to use today."
    "How terrible I felt."
    "Let me tell you about my years in the penitentiary."
  6. NA fosters too much dependency among its s. Trading one drug for another. You no longer depend on drugs but on NA.
  7. For NA s, drugs remain the central focus in their lives.
  8. NA s believe that you're powerless over your addiction.
  9. NA takes a great deal of time. Meetings are usually from one to two hours long. Consider travel and prep time. A meeting could consume three hours easily. Many s are prompted to attend ninety meetings in ninety days.

See also:

Recovery Meetings: AA, NA, 12 Step Program Topics

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