The Narcotics Anonymous meeting which I attended was named 7 Days of NA which was located on 1212 North Wolfe Street at an organization called Dee’s Place. Just as the Alcoholic Anonymous meeting previously attended, the location appeared to be in a covert and quiet place to hold a support group. We entered through the rear entrance, which seemed to be staged that way to secure participants identity. As before at the last support group I attended, I searched around the room to see again, a 12 steps guide posted on the wall, a relatively thick NA ‘Basic Text’ textbook on the desk of the facilitator and this
The members in the group were very inviting and open with their mission. The programs presentation was very interesting and helpful to each person in attendant. Although the meeting lasted one hour and thirty minutes it seems to help each individual deal with their addiction at little better. The leader of the meeting was Kathy; the meeting had about 15 attendants. The members where very active in following the guidelines and standards of the meeting, these guidelines and standards help the members accept their addictions and the process of healing. The 12 steps to recovery and sobriety include honesty, faith, surrender, soul searching, integrity, acceptance, humility, willingness, forgiveness, maintenance, making contact and service. These steps are a part of the healing and recovery process with any addiction behavior. Honesty, integrity and faith are three of the most important factor in the 12 step program. When a person has an addiction it requires them to truly assess where they are with the addition and to seek a higher power for strength (Medical News Today,
For the self-help meeting in regards for my reaction paper, I attended a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. NA is a nonprofit, community-based, 12-step recovery organization for recovering drug addicts (Bowens, 2011, p. 1). The meeting I attended took place outside on a Saturday afternoon at Magnolia Park in Garden Grove, California. It is an open-group tag meeting, where one speaker will tag another person to share and welcome for anyone to attend. It was very easy to locate the meeting, as it was right in front of the park’s only parking lot with members sitting in a circle on benches and lawn chairs. The meeting started at 12:00pm and ended around 1:30pm.
The members found tremendous strength in the group. I could feel the importance of the community, the no-judgment zone, and sharing their story with peers. The meeting promoted empathy and allowed people to feel supported and understood in their struggle with alcoholism. More importantly, the meetings show them that they are not alone. They could talk about their actions under the influence to others that truly understood
I noticed that the participants did not look like what I perceived someone who was suffering from alcohol dependence would look like. They looked like productive law-abiding citizens. I am embarrassed to say that it never occurred to me that these individuals could live positive lives while battling alcoholism. I assumed that they would be dysfunctional and incapable to participate in the meeting. Instead many of them looked healthy and were eager to engage in the group discussion.
Lastly, the chairperson recounted her own personal story with addiction. I was surprised how the group handled her story in a positive way. I noticed at times members laughed and even smiled and others making brief supporting comments. Rather than judge the events of her life, the group members seemed to connect in a personal way. I liked how the meeting was honest and open. Afterwards different members of the meeting read brief AA literature, "How it Works," the "Twelve Traditions" and "The Promises." I listened to each of them very closely
Each person said their first name. The chair of the meeting read the guidelines for the meeting. Individuals were welcome to share their experience. The open topic for the first half of the meetings focused on how Al-Anon has helped the individual in their daily lives. One person shared that they have implemented the Serenity Prayer and teaching from Al-Anon into their work lives as well as to relationships with family and friends. Another person shared that they have learned how to set boundaries and adhere to them. Learning how to make sure that they held themselves responsible if they allowed someone to cross the boundary. As with Narcotics Anonymous, Al-Anon also has a Twelve Step structure and several people commented on the steps that they are currently on and what the steps have meant to them. No problems or issues were discussed. Individuals talked about how they are connecting with themselves, not trying to change or control the person/persons in their lives who have the addiction. The comments made were ones of encouragement. At several times in the meeting a sponsor sign in sheet was passed around. At a half way point in the meeting, new comers were invited to go to another room to meet with a member to get additional information and ask any questions that they may have. In the second half of the meeting, the group was encouraged to share whatever they wanted to talk about. One person spoke about the guilt they felt when they decided to end their marriage from the spouse with the addiction. How their child at the time blamed them for the break-up and how it took almost three years for that adult child to even communicate with them. Others talked about being lost, and having feelings of misery and hopelessness. They could not “fix” the person with the
The need for a substance abuse recovery home in Starke County, Indiana is a need that is unmistakable in the county based on the hefty number of individuals that suffer from substance abuse and dependency in the county which is clearly displayed by the recent number of crimes that are related to or involve illicit and prescription drugs. In attempt to meet this need and create an opportunity for individuals suffering from substance abuse and dependency to receive local substance abuse treatment in a recovery home the proposal will be presented to several stakeholders within the Starke County community. The term stakeholder “refers to those people who are affected, or could be affected, by the service” (Canadian Career Development Foundation, n.d.) that is being proposed. The proposal for the creation of a substance abuse recovery home will be presented to five key stakeholders including Ms. Becky Anspach the director of Community Services of Starke County, Starke County Community Corrections director of operations Mr. Robert Hinojosa, Ms. Dee Lynch the director of the Indiana Department of Child Services of Starke County, Porter Starke Services facilitator of intensive outpatient program treatment (IOP), and Ms. Rhonda Adcock the director of Starke County CASA.
The experience is humbling, and I appreciate community groups that provide this type of support for members with substance use issues, as I see this as strength-based. I felt a strong sense of bonding and great empathy towards one another. A Counter transference existed when the facilitators emotional and relapse experiences influenced an assertive reaction to strongly encourage NA attendance on members that decide to quit. The facilitator reported that quitting NA group, because he "felt better," led him to relapse, therefore, he wants to prevent others from making the same mistake.
When I walked into the meeting, I was a little apprehensive. It was only a small group of about ten people, which was held at a local hospital. Knowing that I had to explain I was there to observe as a student studying social work, I was worried that the participants would hold back from their real behaviors in the group and that they would be cold to me. However, that assumption could not have been farther from the truth. All my apprehension flew out the window, as the members of the small group all welcomed me with open arms. Apparently, these were regulars. Most in the group attended every meeting, and continued to use the support of the group to deal with the continuous chaos and trauma of living with an addict. I was welcomed to sit and observe the behavior of the individual members of the group express their grief, fear, and
Going to the AA (alcohol anonymous) meeting, I was not sure what to expect for this is my first time attending such meeting. I did some research just to have an idea. Walked in saw a group composing of both men and women of different races and age sitting ready to be given the signal to talk about a something most of them don’t have control over. Most have been an alcoholic for over 20 years. The discussion leader introduces a topic with some brief comments and then throws the meeting open. A guy name Pete who is a recovered alcoholics started off by stating his name and began to explain the impact of being an alcoholic has had in his life and his loved ones, the daily struggles he would go through. He talked about times where he would feel like nobody. He went on to describe his first experience about coming to the AA meeting stating that he felt as if he was in the wrong place, with the wrong people, and taking the wrong approach to his drinking problem, but after attending a few meetings with the help of other members, hearing stories of other people he knew he was in the right place. Everyone else saw him as a human being who has an addiction and looking for help.
The meeting had a structure; they followed their agenda strictly. In the beginning of the meeting everyone went around and introduced them selves and said why there were there. I said that I was a student and was there to observe. After the introductions there was several readings that were handed out and asked to be read aloud, some of the reading were “Why are we Here”, “Who is an Addict?”, and “We do Recover”. After the readings they handed out key chains to anyone that has reached a specific time of sobriety. The leader of the group got his 9 mouths key chain. Then there were a few more readings, after the reading the floor was open to anyone who wanted to say anything. Then the meeting was over.