Drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting takes more than good intentions or a strong will. Therefore, drug addicts should consider peer support groups, as they are some of the invaluable sources of guidance and encouragement. A good example of an established self-help group is the Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous. The group provides treatment and recovery for drug addicts. It is open to all sorts of substance abuse and caters for different age groups. It is the obligation of the members to fully engage themselves in the process and believe in it. The benefits of attending the Narcotics Anonymous are that drug addicts get to reconcile with God and become sober.
Narcotics Anonymous has a set of guidelines, the 12 steps, used in helping members regain sobriety. Generally, the recovery steps include an admission of powerlessness over the addiction, identifying with a higher power, and surrendering to the higher power. However, the interpretation is different depending on what the drug addict believes in.
An important step in the guideline involves choosing a sponsor. A sponsor is an individual who was a drug addict, but has enough experience in remaining sober, and can be of great help when the victim is tempted to use the drugs again. Narcotics Anonymous members attend meetings hosted by other members who are also recovering from drug abuse. Meetings take place on a regular basis, in different locations, but at the same period for a particular group. However, the Narcotics Anonymous has left it open for anyone to attend any of the meetings each week depending on their location at the time.
The 12 steps are as follows:
- Drug addicts admit being powerless over the addiction.
- They believe in the existence of a greater power than themselves.
- They make a decision to surrender their will and lives to this greater power, as they begin to build a relationship with God.
- Drug addicts make a fearless moral inventory of their character.
- They admit their exact nature to God, other members and themselves.
- They desire forgiveness for their wrongs from God.
- They humbly ask Him for forgiveness on their shortcomings.
- They make a list of individuals they had harmed and seek reconciliation.
- They approach these individuals and make direct amends where possible, unless that process will injure them or others.
- They continue in taking their personal inventory and always admit when they are wrong.
- Drug addicts seek to improve their relationship with God through prayer and meditation of His word.
- As a result, they experience a spiritual awakening and take the initiative to invite other drug addicts to the group.
These steps have reasonable success rates for the Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous members. The main objective of the group is to equip the victims with the knowledge of adhering to a particular set of principles. Over the years, the group has proven that the set guidelines are the best option for treating drug or alcohol addiction. However, the system does not restrict individuals from looking into other alternatives that they may find more suitable.