A Guide to the NA Meeting Format concept pic shown

A Guide to the NA Meeting Format

Find Substance Abuse Support with Narcotics Anonymous

Coming to Narcotics Anonymous for the first time can be daunting. You likely will have just stopped using drugs, or alcohol, so everything feels new, and it can be overwhelming being around so many new people. Plus, the NA meeting format is likely to be completely alien to you.

To help you get over this last point, we’ve compiled this guide that will help you understand what happens in an NA meeting, so you will feel more at home in the future.

For more information on the NA meeting format or to speak with rehab that will allow you to attend NA meetings, speak with Icarus Behavioral Health today.

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Get Resources for Fellowship and Recovery

You have made the decision to attend your first meeting of Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Congratulations! You are taking an important step toward your recovery and sobriety. This guide will help you understand what to expect at a meeting so that you can make the most of it.

When you arrive at an ‘open meeting,’ (which means family and other non-addicts can attend) you may be greeted by one or more members who will welcome you and offer assistance if needed. They will tell you where to find snacks and beverages, as well as information about others available in the community.

The basic format of NA meetings is fairly consistent wherever they take place: someone starts with a few words of introduction, reviews the group conscience guidelines from the Twelve Traditions, and then reads from “How It Works” – pages 11-13 in the official NA book.

Afterward, a speaker will often talk about their experience, strength, and hope in recovery from addiction.

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Sharing at an NA Meeting is Always Optional

Next comes a ‘discussion meeting,’ which builds on the sharing portion of other meeting types, and where members are invited to share their experience, strength, and hope. These discussions can be about anything related to recovery or life in general – they don’t have to be focused solely on the Twelve Steps, or even on narcotics use or relapse prevention.

Many NA members identify as addicts during their shares, but this is not a requirement.

And, if you are uncomfortable sharing at all during the discussion, please feel free to pass without worry!

When people are sharing, it is only them that is allowed to speak. It is not encouraged for you to give your own thoughts on what they have said. If someone is sharing, it is time to listen.

How Long Do NA Meetings Last? What Happens After an NA Meeting?

NA Meeting format and intro walk through infographic

NA meetings typically last for one hour, like most Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. However, there are ninety-minute and longer meetings, as well as events around the holidays, that host many meetings, one after another, to help people get support during stressful times.

At the end of the meeting, someone may lead a prayer before closing remarks from whoever chaired (or facilitated) the session. This is also when announcements will be made regarding upcoming events, speaker meetings or other important information for members.

After the meeting, NA members often go for food or coffee. This is a great opportunity to meet other members and get connected to the fellowship. This can be incredibly helpful as part of maintaining long-term sobriety.

NA Meetings: What You Will Get And What To Expect

At NA meetings, you will find support and understanding from people who have gone through the same struggles as you. Everyone’s recovery is unique, so your experience may differ slightly from that of other members at closed meetings. However, what remains constant is the feeling of safety and belonging that comes with being a part of a fellowship like Narcotics Anonymous.

As an NA member, you can expect to be accepted for who you are without judgment or criticism from anyone else in attendance. You will also find care and guidance in the form of literature and online resources offered by the NA program. The organization’s website, help hotline, and publications provide invaluable information and even inspiring quotes about addiction recovery.

By attending an NA meeting, you are taking another responsible step toward improving your life and achieving the ultimate goal of sobriety. The fellowship is there to help you stay motivated and feel supported in your journey.

With your newfound understanding of the formalities, you can now look forward to future meetings with confidence! Good luck and welcome to the Anonymous families!

Use Sober Support and the Help of Icarus for Lasting Recovery

Use Sober Support

Narcotics Anonymous is a fantastic way of educating yourself on all matters related to the recovery process, connecting with other people who do not use drugs, and staying clean one day at a time.

But NA isn’t the last word when it comes to treatment and recovery. NA cannot help you detox from drugs, and most people who attend NA are not licensed therapists. Dealing with trauma is one of the most important aspects of recovery, and you cannot do this through NA alone.

If you need help detoxing or dealing with trauma, or you just have questions about what we do at Icarus Behavioral Health in Nevada, please give us a call. We will do our best to help.

Rest assured that all calls are confidential, so please reach out now for options!

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FAQs on the NA Meeting Format

Do you have some questions about NA? Keep reading to find out the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to Narcotics Anonymous. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact us at Icarus Behavioral Health.

What is Narcotics Anonymous?

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a nonprofit fellowship 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. The purpose of NA is to help the addict who still suffers.

Who can attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings?

Anyone who is struggling with a drug addiction problem or wants to overcome one is welcome to attend NA meetings, which are usually held in publicly accessible buildings. All that is required for membership in attending NA meetings is the desire to stop using drugs.

It does not matter what you choose to use, how much or how little; all are welcome.

How often do Narcotics Anonymous meetings take place?

An open NA meeting format shown with group of 5 people discussing recovery

Narcotics Anonymous meetings typically occur every day in most places, with some cities having multiple meetings a day. Online meetings and telephone NA meetings are also available for those unable to attend an in-person meeting. Most areas will have at least one meeting per week, and some areas have more.

What can I expect in a Narcotics Anonymous meeting?

At an NA meeting, participants will take turns sharing their experiences with addiction and recovery, as well as their successes and challenges. The meetings are often informal, but the focus is on recovering from drug and alcohol addiction through peer support and accountability.

Participants are encouraged to be honest and open, but there is no pressure to share.

Is there a cost associated with attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings?

No, Narcotics Anonymous meetings are completely free for anyone who wishes to attend. The only requirement is that attendees have the desire to stop using drugs. All other materials such as pamphlets, books, and a white welcome key tag (or colorful clean date keytags) are also free. Donations are welcome to help cover the cost of running the meetings for those who can afford it.

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