Narcotics and Alcoholics Anonymous Self-help Meetings Paper

Social Work and Human Services

Please visit two self-help groups, including an Alcoholics Anonymous group, and another recovery group meeting, such as Dual Recovery Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or Cocaine Anonymous (find open meetings – they may be either lead meetings or “open” discussion meetings). Prepare a brief paper (8 to 9 pages of text) using the following outline, and be […]

The Massillon Narcotic and Alcoholics Anonymous (NA) meetings

Recovering addicts refers to the process as a journey involving both external and internal aspects in rebuilding one’s sobriety and life. Support groups act as societal frameworks where fellow addicts offer each other support. Additionally, they also help them relinquish their internal dependence on substances and manage their emotional or psychiatric illnesses. Visiting a Narcotic Anonymous meeting in Massillon illustrated the engaging recovery process, and the steps leaders and members employ to help themselves regain and maintain their sobriety. Additionally, these support groups are readily available and often free to join, illustrating a cost-effective method for community social support programs. Self-help meetings are efficient rehabilitation structures in society that utilize conventional designs, such as the 12-step program, to build up addicts in their recovery paths effectively.

The Massillon Narcotic Anonymous meetings occurred in the RiverTree Christian Church every Thursday evening. According to a local rehabilitation center, these support meetings came highly recommended for co-occurring nicotine disorders in their patients and helped a number navigate through the challenging path of recovery. Furthermore, research shows that rehab centers and support groups can supplement each other effectively for better patient results (Aston & Coffey, 2011). Therefore, these meetings offered an appropriate case study in examining the recovery of patients from the professional’s referral. Patients in Narcotics Anonymous sessions composed a more substantial portion of young adults, with both genders represented equally. Additionally, many addicts came from either extremely rich or poor social-economic backgrounds and displayed high nicotine reliance history from early periods of their life. NA meetings offered a calm and welcoming environment where members did not judge each other. Contrary to this, members accepted their diverse challenges and embraced their pasts wholly. Moreover, the physical environment in the place of worship added to the receptive climate of the Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

Massillon Narcotic Anonymous meeting’s content and structure matched closely to that of most anonymous groups in the United States, which embrace a conventional recovery perspective for the addicts. Massillon NA meetings were led by a member who had acquired a prominent position through his vast experience as a group founder. Leaders in self-help sessions have tended to encourage other members to play an active role in the groups and consequently strengthen their prospect of recovery (Vacher, 2017). As such, the Narcotics Anonymous meetings exhibited a reasonable participation rate with the members who took turns contributing to the program. Furthermore, new members fitted in better as the leader guided them through the group’s activities. Moreover, it was interesting to learn of the spiritual basis of most of the members’ recoveries as they explained the importance of submitting to a higher power for assistance.

For the members with a co-occurring smoking disorder, the experiences came to form tightly knitted relationships as they interacted with each other as friends. Before the NA meeting started, members who arrived early prepared the venue and some snacks. Later, the group would partake in the meals after the meeting, where they shared real-life problems familiar to most. It is essential to address particular personal and social issues early in the member’s recovery, which significantly impacts the daily lives of rehabilitating addicts (Chick, 2014). For instance, members of Narcotics Anonymous meetings gave a brief recap of their week, which mostly emphasized the challenges of rebuilding their social lives with their families and friends. On this end, the discussions worked to encourage addicts to engage with their loved ones that they might have hurt due to their substance addiction and mental illness. After the meeting, members of the group shared snacks and engaged in some more conversations. The members’ meetings created significant personal friendships that served as convenient support networks.

For the Massillon Narcotics Anonymous meetings, the visit uncovered a particular method the group had utilized from the 12-steps of recovery to suit the needs of the members with narcotic addictions. In the meeting, the NA leader highlighted the importance of the 12 steps in recovering addicts’ daily lives, which was proven from experience and research (Galanter, 2014). For instance, the speakers asked members to be brutally honest about themselves, and they engaged in sincere conversations whenever they felt someone was hiding a painful truth. Thus, self-acceptance by the members formed an underlying tool to combat substance abuse and manage mental illness. Additionally, people with co-occurring Substance Abuse (SA) or Mental Illnesses (MI) need to find help from higher powers to eliminate personal liabilities that increase the chance of relapse (Aston & Coffey, 2011). As a result, NA members could find sponsors in members who had tackled their addictions safely to help them fit into the group and fight their habits.

Massillon Narcotics Anonymous meetings offered a supportive network through the self-help group and urged members to rebuild and actively participate in their social lives. The sessions explained how family, religious associations, and other communal aspects play crucial roles in the path to recovery for a member (Roush, Monica, Pavlovich & Drake, 2015). For example, the church and family could help fight the stigma associated with substance abuse and help recovering addicts accept themselves (Roush, Monica, Pavlovich & Drake, 2015). As such, the NA meetings actively informed members of the available support systems to help them rebuild their lives. People with SA are often alienated in society, making it crucial to build support systems in their recovery intentionally.

While the Narcotics Anonymous meetings went a long way to building the members’ lives through support networks, they fell short of explicitly addressing the various forms of accompanying disorders. The Narcotics Anonymous support networks in Massillon exemplified the use of public resources to support a largely neglected part of the community. The involvement of the faith community and local community allowed the groups to get venues to hold their meetings. Thus, the support systems helped the members feel accepted, which was an essential step in their recovery (Chick, 2014). On the other hand, the groups were not well equipped to handle the various forms of mental illness that the members exhibited along with nicotine addiction. For instance, members with schizophrenia received the same general guidance as people with anxiety disorders. Therefore, the group provided functional support structures for addicts but fell short of helping mental illness members with specificity.

Self-help meetings are efficient rehabilitation structures in society that utilize conventional designs, such as the 12-step program, to build up addicts in their recovery paths effectively. These meetings help kick-start the journey to a sober life by building support structures and the inherent personal ability required to live a life free of the adverse effects of substance abuse and mental illness. However, building programs that accommodate diverse mental illnesses and substance abuse are necessary. Consequently, communities should invest in making self-help groups more accessible and offer them the necessary support to help these neglected society groups.


Aston, V., & Coffey, M. (2011). Recovery: what mental health nurses and service users say about the concept of recovery. Journal Of Psychiatric And Mental Health Nursing19(3), 257-263. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2850.2011.01776.x

Chick, J. (2014). Recovery: Twelve Simple Steps to Life Beyond Addiction. Alcohol And Alcoholism50(1), 103-103. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agu086

Galanter, M. (2014). Alcoholics Anonymous and twelve-step recovery: A model based on social and cognitive neuroscience. The American Journal On Addictions23(3), 300-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1521-0391.2014.12106.x

Roush, S., Monica, C., Pavlovich, D., & Drake, R. (2015). Community Engagement Research and Dual Diagnosis Anonymous. Journal Of Dual Diagnosis11(2), 142-144. doi: 10.1080/15504263.2015.1025214

Vacher, G. (2017). Utilizing Team Recovery Implementation Plan (TRIP): embedding recovery-focused practice in rehabilitation services. Mental Health And Social Inclusion21(4), 240-247. doi: 10.1108/mhsi-03-2017-0008

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Published On: 01-01-1970

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