When one has the idea enter into his or her head that they want to get sober for the first time, they probably wonder which program is right for them, AA or NA? What is the difference? Do I have to commit to one? What is the purpose of 12-step meetings? A lot of questions go through one’s head about the programs of recovery and rightly so. One should ask and explore all the similarities and differences to find out which one or if both are right for them.
What Is Alcoholics Anonymous?
Alcoholics Anonymous is the older of the two programs starting in 1935 by a few men who had the same goal of wanting to help alcoholics gain sobriety and pass it on to other alcoholics. The Twelve Step Program is what AA is centered around which is 12 steps that alcoholics live by. They are a guide to help them grow spiritually and to help them become aware of the damage they have done to others and to themselves in their addiction. Through these steps, they also get to make amends and make their wrongs right.
As the person continues to live by these 12 steps in his/her everyday life and gains life skills to live by, they start seeing the importance and the joy they bring and want to share this with the next person who is looking to better their life through recovery. AA is also centered on group therapy or support groups, which are the meetings that are held around the world. This is where other alcoholics can get or give support through others who have been where they were and share similar experiences.
What Is Narcotics Anonymous?
While AA was growing and gaining praise, there were people who struggled with addiction to substances besides alcohol who needed support as well but felt they were not included since the AA program was based around alcohol. This is when Narcotics Anonymous began.
There are many similarities in both AA and NA. For example, they both use support groups as their therapy and hold meetings. And they both use The Twelve Step Program as principles and guidelines to living life.
So AA and NA share many similarities, but a few differences go beyond which substance is used by the addict.
Are There Differences Between 12-step Of AA & NA?
The only difference is that AA’s basis of their program is to help the person who suffers from alcohol while NA’s program is there to help people who have an addiction to any substance.
Now we can compare till we are out of breath, but many suggest trying both and seeing what works for the individual seeking recovery. There is no wrong answer. They both have the same message and goal: “to help the next alcoholic or addict achieve sobriety.”
Why Does The 12-step Program Exist?
The purpose of the twelve steps is to recover from compulsive, out-of-control behaviors and restore manageability and order to your life. It’s a way of seeing that your behavior is only a symptom, a sort of “warning sign” that something else is going on that led you to this point of addiction. After finding out what caused you to resort to this behavior, you learn how to cope with it in healthier ways as you continue your path in recovery.
Let Aria Help You!
If you or a loved one is looking to get your life back on track, ARIA can help. At the Addiction Recovery Institute of America, we understand that every individual struggling with addiction is different. As a result, the myth that addiction is simply a question of willpower or that there can be a “one-size-fits-all” approach to treatment is a thing of the past.
This is why, at ARIA, we construct an individualized course of treatment that addresses each of our client’s unique needs. We must take their age, the substance or substances to which they are addicted, the severity of that addiction, and their medical and personal histories into account.