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NA vs AA
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NA vs AA

Do most of you attend NA only or AA as well?  If your real addiction is pain pills but you also want to stay sober does it make sense to attend both or stick with NA.  One o my counselors said he thinks AA meetings are better...not sure why.
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18 Comments Post a Comment
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429432_tn?1343597790
I think it depends on how you feel and the group(s) that you attend. I only go to NA even though I'm also classified as an alcoholic. A lot of the people in the group are in the same boat as I am, though, and the 12 steps are the same.
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222369_tn?1274478235
Go to any meeting you feel most comfortable. Just be respectful of the meeting you're in. In other words, if you're in an AA meeting..don't talk all about drugs. NA considers alcohol a drug (which it is), but most AA meetings center their sharing on the sruggle with alcohol. So, just respect who's house you're in. I've been drunk maybe 5 times in my life, but I attend 2-3 AA meetings a week. I also have 1-2 NA meetings a week planned. The steps are the steps..no matter what meeting you're at. Addiction is the disease in them all. I could sit next to Tiger at a "Sex Addicts Anonymous" meeting and feel at home with my fellow addicts. But, I wouldn't share all about drugs in that meeting, either.
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199177_tn?1332183097
GA you are the first I have heard say that about an AA meetings ... I have had others tell me  that being that alcohol is a drug that they have felt very at ease discussing there addictions regardless as to whether it is alcohol or not .I haven't ever gone its good you said something that way addicts going into aa that are addicted to other substances will know ... or maybe it depends on the meeting ????
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Avatar_f_tn
I go to both AA and NA and to avoid the mis-use of words in an AA meeting I just say things like when I "use" I turn into a numb zombie. You get the idea. In my mind it's all the same some old time alcoholics do take issue with the words dope or drugs however I have never had one say anything to me. I like the order of AA better.
Becca
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Avatar_f_tn
I am recovering from a drug addiction, particulrly Oxy's.  I don't descriminate with meetings, but I am more inclined to go to AA.  My sponsor is from AA and she too is a recovering drug addict.  In my experience AA is full of a lot more old timers and regualrs, and has a better mixture of people attending as far as what they used, age, sex, creed, etc.  Never have I been to an AA meeting and been made to feel bad becuase alcohol is not my problem.  When I share I introduce myself as an "addict/ alcoholic"  and try not to talk about my use or drinking.  Not because I feel that people will judge me, simply because talking about what I used, how much I used, what happened when I used is not part of my life today.  I will touch on how negatively my use affected my life and then mostly talk about how the program has aided me in getting my life back... not to say everything I share is roses and rainbows... I will talk about a bad day, if I'm having cravings, etc.  But still no specifics on drugs or alcohol... I don't know if this is helpful, and I feel like I kind of went off topic.  However, I felt compelled to say something because I too felt as if maybe I wasn't allowed or wouldn't be accepted in AA due to the small role alcohol played in my addiciton... Not at all the case!
LateAugust's Daughter, Taylor
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222369_tn?1274478235
The reality is that there are many different voices in AA meetings. The reason I said to respect the house they're in is because some AA meetings are very "old school" in that they discourage talking about addictions to anything but alcohol. In fact, an AA member can be on heroin for 10 years, abstain from alcohol, and still pick up chips. I will say that AA meetings are absolutely full of cross addicted people that "get it" as far as alcohol being a drug. Some old school AA people just absolutely do things as "Bill W" did. Bill W himself looked for a pharmaceutical cure to his alcoholism until the day he died, but considered himself sober the whole time. Of course, after attending meetings a while, you can gauge the temperament of the meeting and see what you can and can't say.

This is a direct quote from AA literature.."Alcoholism and drug addiction are often referred to as “substance abuse” or “chemical dependency.” Alcoholics and nonalcoholics are, therefore, sometimes introduced to A.A. and encouraged to attend A.A. meetings. Anyone may attend open A.A. meetings. But only those with a drinking problem may attend closed meetings or become A.A. members. People with problems other than alcoholism are eligible for A.A. membership only if they have a drinking problem."

I attend closed AA meetings all the time. If I spoke about drugs in this meeting, I feel that I'm somehow disrespecting their program. But, my main concern was for a newcomer going to an AA meeting, talking about drugs, having an old school AA member scold them, and then never go back. that would be the biggest tragedy. In my mind, it's all semantics anyway. Addiction is as addiction does!! Hope this clears up my comments.
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401095_tn?1351395370
for me it was where I felt comfy....tried a bunch of NA meetings cos i knew i had a pill problem//later to learn substance abuse is substance abuse//alcohlics are substance abusers as r we...they work the same 12 step program and as a matter of fact//they copied it from AA//just felt more at home at AA and most are cross addicted//which in reality any pill addict or drug addict should cross the line with alcohol cos chances are we will not be successful//and vice versa
I am in the deep south and NA here was interesting...learned a ton...many right out of prison and most with track marks on their arms...i can spot them in a heartbeat as being a nurse i used to hate starting IVs on them cos they have no veins left//one guy had lost an arm due to continuing to shoot up in his one good vein and it was infected///he showed veins in his feet he began using//...he was just talking and venting

Went to probably 5 AA mtgs till i fiound the one for me//but learned sumpin at each and every one of them/believe me i will never forget the horror stories and to this day i am so glad my bottom was not as low as some peeps.....
no aftercare is wasted//it serves a purpose and will always stick in ur mind///find the place that is right for u//and u will make it thru this stuff

good luck
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Avatar_m_tn
Hj. thats a very good post and its intresting to here the responces.I am clean from opiates for 41 days.I have been going to A.A for16 + years.Now i am going toN A as well.I believe AA is more regimented and group orriented with beter recovery, There seems to be less structure in NA and more cursing and less focus.I am cross addicted and as far as I could tell knowbody gets kicked out of AA for being a drug addict
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Avatar_m_tn
I think Ga guy's explanation and clarification are spot on.  The second meeting I attended, I said something that incurred the wrath of a few "old school" members not knowing proper protocol.

I haven't been back.  I attended several different meetings as suggested by many and have been very warmly received at 2 groups.  Of course, I also keep my mouth shut about some things too!!!!!  Ha Ha

If someone is already freaked out about going to their first meeting (and they are), it does not take much to get them to run and I think this post does a great service to those folks considering attending.

Go I say if you are sitting on the fence over this, it may just be the best thing you ever do.  

bob
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199177_tn?1332183097
great posts that really does help explain it so much better especially because we have some members that are going to be trying AA instead of NA it think this thread will help them understand the differences and the similarities I think this would be a great thread to put in the health pages for all members to see.
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222369_tn?1274478235
I think the ultimate lesson here is to not let any of this be a reason not to attend AA or NA. You can share at AA even if you're a drug addict. The concepts or resentment, denial, fear and hopelessness of this cunning, baffling, and powerful disease are universal no matter what room you're in. If you have to, go to 90 meetings in 90 days like I did and sit and not say a word. It's the attendance that counts!!
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Avatar_f_tn
thank you all for your comments.  You have helped a lot.  I think I am going to try both meetings and see which groups I feel most comfortable in...maybe continuing to attend both.  I was jsut conused as to why my counselor suggested AA over NA...now
I understand and I am very appreciative for the protocol inormation
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Avatar_m_tn
I am about to try my first aa meeting iv been to two na meetings but felt uncomfertable at those meetings and as suggested to me here im going to try aa meetings. ill just go and listen coz i understand about the old time alchoholics. My dad was an alchoholic and he treats drug addicts like ****. Totally different he thinks as 1 is legal and the other isnt. If you smoke a joint he thinks your a junkie but its ok to swallow a bottle of whisky, the only reason he isnt an alchohlic now is because he had a stroke and he couldnt get out of hospital to drink. he was there for about 6 months. But i was classed as a hopless drug addict. Or in his world a lowlife junkie. He bragged how he had never touched a drug in his life, but to me e was just the same as me, an addict. Thanks for this great post it has helped me a lot to decide whats best for me. Great post, great answers......James
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Avatar_f_tn
This has been great food for thought. I think it should be a sticky for all us newbies who are trying to figure out which meeting to go to. I think I will try AA as there seem to be more meetings around me and the NA meeting I went to had very few people with signifigant clean time and i think I might try a few more meetings both NA and AA to find where I belong.

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Avatar_m_tn
The third tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous states: “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking”. Bill Wilson states in the 12 and 12 that “you are an A.A. member if you say so” (you is emphasized in the original). Clearly one needs to have had some experience with drinking alcohol if one wants to join A.A. But alcohol does not need to be your drug of choice. You do not even need to designate yourself as an alcoholic (although most will end up doing so if they stay in the program and work the steps).

Also, it is perfectly appropriate to mention the problems that drugs other than alcohol have caused you when you share your story. If any “old-timer” comes up after the meeting and challenges you on this let them know that you have just read Bill W’s and Dr. Bob’s stories in the Big Book. If they continue challenging you, tell them that you are going to put them on your prayer list – so that God will show them the way to increase their tolerance. Then watch them become red with anger…ha ha.

Both of our co-founders talk explicitly about their struggles with other drugs in their personal stories contained in the Big Book. See Bill’s Story p. 7 in the 4th edition and Dr. Bob’s Nightmare p. 176 in the 4th edition. The chapter “There is a Solution” describes dual alcohol and drug addiction on p. 22 of the 4th edition. Many of the personal stories, even in the 1st edition of the Big Book published in 1939, describe in detail our struggles with both alcohol AND drugs.

I personally describe myself as an “alcoholic” when I attend AA meetings and as an “addict” when I attend NA meetings. However, I do this more as a sort of historical courtesy. I do not hesitate to share my struggles with heroin use at an AA meeting any more than I hesitate to share my struggles with alcohol use at an NA meeting (I am a member of both fellowships).

The important thing is TO GET YOUR @#! TO A MEETING and begin to work the steps regardless of your drug of choice. Then you will begin to experience the promises, serenity, and freedom from any desire to use or drink that comes from working the 12 steps and membership in the fellowship. God Bless.
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel differently most of the AA meetings I have been to were way more emotional then NA....I felt NA offered a more hardcore hit of reality then AA, but I am sure it can be different from meeting to meeting.

And after a member of AA said to me if I wanted help stay here not with those junkies who will rob you blind.

well I am a junkie who robbed blind, so that pretty much killed me ever going back to AA.  I harbor resentment over that arrogance that booze is some how better because it's legal.

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495284_tn?1333897642
The comment made to you was not called for at all........Sometimes we have to just entertain ignorance~~~~sara
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Avatar_m_tn
I attend both.  That was an ******* statement that was completely uncalled for.  Dont throw the baby out with the bathwater man.  All AA meetings are not filled with discontent jerks.  I do prefer NA literature, but AA is better organized.  In my opinion.
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