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Which is better NA or AA?
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Which is better NA or AA?

I have heard of people addicted to opiates etc attending AA instead of NA. Why is this? Is AA better? Im asking because I am going to start attending meetings soon and am trying to figure out where I should go. Do you attend NA or AA meetings? I have been to one NA meeting and it was alright but found that there were only one or two people there with signifigant clean time. Any advice would be appreciated.

I relapsed after going 3 weeks clean from a 100+mg a day oxy habit. I am only doing about 30 mgs now and am cutting down and will stop this Sunday. For me the mental part got me bad. The wds were horrible yes but nothing could have prepared me for the severe depression and anxiety that followed. After 3 weeks of hell I gave in. I know pills arent the answer and hope that by attending these meetings I can address the issues that led me to abuse my meds in the first place.
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1183559_tn?1267821915
I have found that since drugs were my forte' I went to N.A. I went many years then stopped. I don't need to tell you what happened. K, so I ended up using. I've been to meetings since but I find when its not a good established meeting with a decent amount of people, I've been jaded or so I feel. I'm used to old school meetings and I know they still must be around. They usually give ya a hug and a welcome just for today key chain.
Last one I went to go I didn't feel real welcomed. You have to do a little footwork for a meeting you will be comfortable at sometimes. They say to, not do what I did, and at least try it several times before making a call. What was important for me is to have a meeting with alot of regulars and in my same age group. You will find all ages, but last one I went to there were a bunch of young people that were coming from treatment, and court ordered to be there, and I found that was not for me. Good Luck there are tons of meetings and its been a fact they keep people clean.To me A. A.  N.A. its the same 12 steps and principals with the words just a little different. Alcholic/addict. Back when I was young and dumb I thought the recovering alcoholica
didn't much care for the addicts, but i'm sure times have changed.
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222369_tn?1274478235
We had a great thread about this recently. I couldn't find it but I'll keep looking. Maybe Avisg can help find it. I wish we could have placed it as a sticky somehow.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey there,

I hope you can find it, maybe avis can make it a sticky? I think that would be great to have a sticky about aftercare. There should be one for sure. I think I'll just try a few meetings out and see which one fits. Do you know how long ago it was or the title of the post? I could probably find it that way.
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186166_tn?1385262982
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Addiction-Substance-Abuse/NA-vs-AA/show/1177693

in the search this forum...right above the recent activity...you can type in NA and AA and there are alot of posts regarding this.  the above is the latest.
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Avatar_f_tn
Great~great post! So i had the same question and another. If you go to AA, you know how they say "I am ___ and I am and alcoholic"? Well woudl i say I am an addict? My point is at what point do you say? I would think they everyeone would just assume you're a drinker. Its all very confusing.
FreeBird, we will be jumping together on Sunday. I has 40ish days clean and relapsed. I am ready this time to go head to head with this ugly monster of an addiction. Sounds like you're in too. I'll be praying for you. xxoo
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890982_tn?1259094785
As a 24-year AA member, I would have no problem with anyone coming to a meeting and introducing himself as an addict.  AA is much older than NA, and you are likely to find more people with serious sober time, which is definitely an advantage, as is the greater number of available meetings.  Both are essentially governed from the bottom up (anarchistic, if you like), meaning that the basic unit of organization is the individual meeting, so not all meetings may have the same attitude.  But these days dual addictions (to booze and drugs) are much more common than when I started, so you are likely to find acceptance in AA.
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222369_tn?1274478235
I always tell people to respect the house they're in. So, when I'm at an AA meeting I say I'm an alcoholic and an addict at NA. The message is the same..so why cause chaos :)
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey Freebird,

I haven't been to any NA meetings but I did go to AA meetings for a while when I quit drinking(about 20 years ago)  Like Wantitbad54 said in his post you sometimes need to go to a few different meetings before you find one you really like.  There are all sorts of different AA meetings in all sorts of places.  I once went to a gay/lesbian one without meaning to and didnt realize it until the meeting was about half over.  I can't really say because I don't know for sure but I guess it would be best to go to an NA meeting if you can find one you like instead of AA but like someone else said above there are probably more AA meetings around.  

good luck
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1110177_tn?1268465148
For what it is worth...I started in NA but am now going to AA.  There are bigger meetings and they are more frequent.  My thing from 18-30 was alcohol/pot...30-35 was pills...but a drug, is a drug, is a drug.  I found it much easier to "connect" in AA even though my main problem now is pills.  Seems like people my age 25-40 are often cross addicted so any format is good.  I do say alcoholic/addict when introducing myself...since I am all of the above.

Out of control is out of control.  You should find love everywhere...and just follow where you feel the most comfortable...
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the great information. I think I will try a few AA meetings instead of NA. The NA groups around here seem pretty disorganized. They have meetings that dont exist posted on their website and flyers. I went to an NA meeting recently and no one else came. Found out later that they hadnt had that meeting in months but it was still listed in their meetings list. Also didnt like that there were only one or two in the whole meeting with clean time but lots of one monthers. Thanks Lizzie Lou for that link, maybe we can get it stickied Avis??

And sweatinit, sounds like we have a lot in common from the posts Ive seen you write. On Sunday lets jump and never look back! I am going to the doctor Monday for some antidepressants. I was on them before the pills and off the pills my depression and anxiety is 10000x worse then it ever was. Im hoping they will help me, I know they take a few weeks to a month to kick in so Im hoping by some miracle that the depression isnt as bad as it was and I can hang in there until the antidepressants kick in.

I am so disappointed in myself. After going through hell and back with wds only to go back to it a few weeks later is insane. But hopefully the fact Ive only been doing a pill and a half a day and have only been doing them for just over a week will mean the wds will spare me the brutal onslaught of physical horrors I suffered last time - I can only hope...and pray!!
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Avatar_m_tn
For those struggling with the AA versus NA question...Go to whatever meeting helps you the most. Opiates were my drug of choice but I am a member of both fellowships (AA and NA). In my experience, it is true that AA meetings tend to have more folks with longer clean time. But I have met some people with amazing sobriety at NA and my current sponsor is from NA. I also like NA because it grounds me in the reality that even though I was a professional and never lived under a bridge, I am a dope fiend who lived to use and used to live just like any other addict.

I have copied a post I wrote to a similar question below:

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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