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Narcotics Essay

1401 words - 6 pages

Narcotics Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts. It is a twelve-step program modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. Started in 1947, the NA movement is one of the world's oldest and largest of its type, with nearly twenty thousand weekly meetings in seventy countries (Narcotics Anonymous, 2010). NA’s earliest self-titled pamphlet, known among members as “the White Booklet,” describes Narcotics Anonymous this way: “NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We ... meet regularly to help each other stay clean. ... We are not interested in what or how much you used ... ...view middle of the document...

However because of NA’s open door policy, I was welcomed. Membership is open to all drug addicts, regardless of the particular drug or combination of drugs used (Narcotics Anonymous, 2010). The only requirement for attending a NA meeting is an addict with the desire to stop using drugs.
Central to the program is an emphasis on what is referred to as a “spiritual awakening,” emphasizing its practical value. I noticed that most of the men at this meeting were well dressed, as if they were going to church. My initial thought was, maybe they were either coming from or going to church, however that was not the case. At the beginning of the meeting, the group leader asked that no one take offense to references made to God. Narcotics Anonymous itself is nonreligious and encourages each member to cultivate an individual understanding, religious or not, of this “spiritual awakening (Narcotics Anonymous, 2010). Members of NA learn the value of spiritual principles such as surrender, humility, and service from reading the NA literature, going to meetings and working the steps. The Spiritually Enriched Ecological Systems perspective is based upon the assumption that meaning is necessarily and essentially related to the goodness fit with one's environment. It assures that assessment and intervention begins at the basic level of client system’s beliefs, values, and perceptions, and their own personal agendas in attempting to find meaning in their lives (Theoretical Orientation for Social Work Practice).
The ecological perspective acknowledges the interconnected relationship that exists between the individual and their environment. NA has only one mission: to provide an environment in which addicts can help one another stop using drugs and find a new way to live (Narcotics Anonymous, 2010). Discovering a new way to live life without abusing drugs is adapting to the environment. Adaptation is a concept used within the Ecological Perspective. Adaptations are continuous, change-oriented, cognitive, sensory–perceptual, and behavioral processes people use to sustain or raise the level of fit between themselves and their environment. Adaptations include actions to change the environment (including moving to new environments), or people themselves, or both, and then adapting to those changes and changes made by the environment in a never-ending process (Germain & Gitterman, 1995). Former addicts share their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free, productive lives through the application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA. There were former addicts in attendance who were drug free for one month to twenty years.
During the meeting the leader held up a gambling chip and he said the chip represented the gamble you take with your live when you use drugs. He said that on one side of the chip you tape, what led you to recovery (one example was a near overdose or a time in jail) and...

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