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Hi My name is Clare and this is Wesley, we are recovering addicts

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1 Hi My name is Clare and this is Wesley, we are recovering addicts
Hi My name is Clare and this is Wesley, we are recovering addicts. We are here today to talk about Narcotics Anonymous. We would firstly like to thank Helen and her team for inviting us here today and giving us the opportunity to come here today and talk about working in the sprit of co-operation with harm reduction services Our aim today is to give a brief presentation about narcotics anonymous and then open up the floor for questions you may have. I’ll hand over to Wesley

2 Narcotics Anonymous is…
A global fellowship of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem An international, community-based 12-Step program for daily recovery that has worked for many thousands of addicts worldwide Good morning everyone my name is Wesley and I’m a slightly nervous recovering addict We are here today to talk about the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship and our approach to recovery from addiction. We are a world wide fellowship of both men and woman who come from a background of substance misuse problems. We follow the 12 step program of recovery which originated from Alcoholics Anonymous, we adopted the program slightly to work with addiction as a whole as apposed to just dealing with one particular substance. The 12 step program is a simple spiritual method of dealing with recovery from addiction.

3 Narcotics Anonymous is not…
About any particular drug or group of drugs To us, a drug is any mind- or mood-altering substance The only solution for drug addiction A cult or a religion Affiliated with any other organization Funded by any third parties Narcotics Anonymous is not a cult or religious program of any kind, you will find the word GOD mentioned in our literature and included in the 12 steps themselves, however we often prefer to use the term “higher power” in our meetings, as the word GOD itself often brings up certain religious beliefs within ourselves and we would like to stress that any member of the narcotics anonymous has the right to their own concept of the GOD of their understanding. Our program is spiritual and aims to give people hope and faith in their life, whatever they decide to have hope and faith in is their own choice. We are fully self supporting, we receive no money from any other organizations, we are not affiliated with any treatment centers or outside organizations, although we do visit many different institutions and operate meetings with those places in the spirit of co-operation and to bring the program of narcotics anonymous to as many suffering addicts as possible. We found that our approach to recovery from addiction has helped many thousands of addicts to recover worldwide.

4 History of Narcotics Anonymous
Today there are more than 49,000 weekly meetings in 135 countries Our literature is available in 65 languages In the UK, NA started with a single weekly meeting in London in 1980 We celebrated our 25th anniversary in 2005 Now there are over 770 weekly meetings nationwide, with a new meeting starting on average once every two weeks These stats show the growth of our fellowship over the years, as you can see Narcotics anonymous has grown rapidly over the last 30 years and is continuing to do so worldwide. We have meeting lists available for Hampshire if any one is interested (mention handouts), Southampton itself has meetings every day within the city and Hampshire as a whole has over 25 meetings a week.

5 Addiction NA uses a simple, experience-oriented disease concept of addiction We do not qualify our use of the term ‘disease’ in any medical or specialized therapeutic sense To us, drug use is only a symptom of the underlying problem, which is the disease of addiction Some typical behavior patterns of active addiction include Compulsive, self-centered, obsessive behavior Living in isolation Being in denial of drug and living problems We have come to look at the idea of addiction as a disease or illness, in which we used drugs to relieve the symptoms. We find our 12 step approach to recovery addresses the underlying reasons behind why we used drugs in the first place. We look at acting our way into a new way of thinking, assuming that for many of us addiction itself is often centered in the mind. We suffer from obsessive, compulsive patterns of behavior, in which our thinking becomes fixated on a certain desire and we a fuelled by a compulsion to act out on that obsession. We become self centered, manipulative and often mean tempered when we cant get what we want and our whole lives become self seeking, looking for ways and means to obtain more of what we want. We are no longer able to function as human beings, addiction comes before the welfare of our friends, family, wives, husbands and children, many of us ending up in jails or institutions, or worse, dead. We are often people with low self worth and low self esteem, the drugs often fill that void within ourselves for some time but eventually they become the problem and we are then unable to stop or control our using, stuck in self defeating cycles that cause, spiritual, mental, physical and emotional decay within us. The 12 steps help us fill that void still left within us once we become abstinent from mind and mood altering substances. They allow us to find self worth and an understanding of what makes us behave like we do. The 12 step program allows us to begin putting right the wrongs we have caused through addiction, and begin to find peace within ourselves. Our meetings allow us to connect with other addicts and for the first time, many of us no longer feel alone. We begin to gain purpose in our lives, building self esteem and go on to become productive members of society. The old lie that once and addict always an addict begins to be broken. Many of us going on to live happy, fulfilled lives.

6 Abstinence and recovery
Narcotics Anonymous encourages its members to observe complete abstinence from all drugs, including alcohol It is our experience that complete and continuous abstinence from all drugs is the best foundation for recovery and personal growth We have found that the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel This is primarily achieved through regular meetings Many people think as alcohol as being different from drugs, and as a result a great many addicts have relapsed. Narcotics anonymous makes no distinction between drugs and alcohol, we define alcohol as a mood altering chemical and as such something we need to abstain from in order to recover. We are not paid professionals, we find sharing our own experiences helps us to understand each other, and following in the footsteps of those who came before us and stayed clean allows us to have hope that recovery for us is also possible. Many of us spent most of our lives isolated, growing up feeling like we didn’t fit in, uncomfortable in our own skin, for the first time after coming to NA, we found that we were not alone with our addiction, that not only was the world full of people just like us, but many had found a new way to live, a way to stay clean and be happy, the thereputic value of one addict helping another to us is without paralell. The NA program is one of complete abstinence. We have found no cure for addiction, we accept that we can never control or using or use successfully, we admit defeat, and surrendering to this fact is often the first step into recovery. Addiction does not go anywhere, we find that as soon as we use again, or relapse, we unleash it all over again, picking up where we left off. We have found the only way to keep addiction locked away within us is not to take that first substance, abstinence is the best foundation for us to recover.

7 The NA Group Meets regularly at a specific time and place; follows the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of NA Key components of a meeting: Identification of one addict with another, recognition of ourselves in others Sharing of personal experience, strength, and hope A “sanctuary” where addicts can support one another in fellowship and form new friendships Part of our program is regular attendance at meetings. We have found this helps us deal with living life without drugs. We discuss what works for us in recovery and what keeps us clean. The empathasis is on mutual support. We feel that the best way to explain meetings is for people to experience them first hand. We would particularly like to invite you to come along to one of our open meetings and would welcome calls to arrange this. . Our open meetings can be attended by any interested parties although we do ask that closed meetings are for people that identify themselves as addicts or who think they may have a problem with drugs.

8 Sponsorship The essence of NA is the therapeutic value of one addict helping another Sponsorship is a very practical way of achieving this Members are free to choose a sponsor (or not to, though it is suggested they do) Sponsors act as mentors or guides, helping sponsees to work through the 12 Steps Sponsors are just people with more experience in recovery to guide you through the twelve steps. They are not professionals and only have their experience in recovery. They are not counsellors or social workers. We have found however that this is a system that works and benefits both parties involved, helping them grow in recovery.

9 Some aspects of recovery
The honest admission of being an addict Finding hope and developing faith Coming to a better understanding of ourselves, changing our old behaviours, removing defects of character, making amends for past wrongs Continuing to develop faith and improve our living actions, helping and sharing with others These aspects of recovery are achieved through working the twelve steps. Admitting that you are an addict and working from there begins the programme of recovery. And don’t really begin to explain the benefits achieved in recovering addicts lives by remaining abstinence and working through a programme of recovery.

10 Life after drugs We develop new interests
We practice spiritual principles in our lives We develop freedom from self-obsession We gain self-respect, as well as respect for others We get together and develop new friendships Every year the UK (like most other countries) holds a national convention where hundreds of addicts meet to celebrate and share their recovery; there are also many local conventions and other social events across the UK Every two years there is a World Convention attended by thousands There is always a focus on life without drugs and the benefits that brings. NA can not promise any massive lifestyle changes but statistics produced by asking addicts at conventions about their improvements in their lifestyle showed that the majority of addicts have had massive improvements in relationships, employment status and housing We have lots of social events in the fellowship, the world convention was brilliant We have generally experienced a great improvement in living skills and self esteem

11 How we can help you Provide a resource in the community - a soft landing for people finishing treatment programmes Provide literature and meeting information, including which meetings will sign attendance cards Give Public Information presentations Take you to a meeting Start and run meetings in institutions Advise on how to start public meetings Because of our traditions we are limited in how we work with other agencies but we aim to work in the sprit of co-operation with other agencies and welcome interest in our fellowship and are happy to provide you with any information that you or your clients may require. We can give you posters and meeting lists to display. Take you to a meeting Provide presentations to professionals and service users

12 Some limitations We are volunteers and we rotate service commitments
We answer to the groups and it can take time when we consult them We can’t guarantee the authenticity of attendance cards or that they will be signed We do not provide vocational, social, or welfare services We don’t engage in education or propaganda about drugs We do not persuade or recruit anyone to join NA We are somewhat limited by being volunteers and we do everything in our spare time Sometimes it takes time to consult all the groups for decisions to be made We try not to have opinions on issues outside NA, this includes opinions on whether harm minimisation works or not, we do not give drug education. Individual members may have opinions but NA as a whole does not People need to have a desire to stop using for NA to be effective, although we do not judge this desire.

13 How to contact us National Helpline or (0845 FREEDOM) National website and NA World Services website To contact Hampshire Public Information please contact or call To contact UK Public Information subcommittee (UKPI) or call the national helpline To order literature call UK Service Office on or use Please feel free to contact us for further details We have some leaflets to give out. Some of which are further information but others can be given out to people who think they may have a problem with drugs. We have also included a list of meetings in Hampshire which you can feel free to copy and distribute. A list of meetings nationally can be found on the website or via the national helpline. Thankyou for listening and will now open up the floor for questions.

14 Narcotics Anonymous Thank you

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