As the alcoholic or addict becomes aware of his or her plight then admitting it to others seems less a challenge than might first be expected. It’s at that point where it’s time to start thinking in terms of “surrendering” and seeking guidance from professionals or people in the community who consider themselves in a recovery program. That is usually Alcoholics or Narcotic Anonymous and most frequently it’s based on understanding that “things have gotten out of hand” and new directions are needed. It’s not how people get into AA & NA that’s important it is how they can begin to relate to what they are told and show a willingness to follow suggestions.
The first major suggestion in recovery is determination if medical treatment is required and if so then what type is needed. That can be determined by a medical professional or usually by someone who has known addiction through personal experience. If it’s decided an AA or NA meeting would be the first good learning experience then that’s easily arranged. It doesn’t take long for the substance abuser to decide if the “meeting model” might meet their needs. Much depends on the new comers willingness to listen and open both heart and mind to the scene taking place.
For the majority of recovering addicts and alcoholics attendance at group meetings has proved the path to follow. In fact, the 12-Step programs are the original models set up and established by people who felt they could gain sobriety and return to productive living by following the suggested steps presented in order. AA & NA “work” and the key to maintenance is regular attendance at meetings. For many, recovery begins with the maxim of: “Attending ninety meetings in ninety days!” Thousands have followed that advice and it remains popular to this day.
Regular attendance at meetings adds structure to the recovery process. Meetings offer a new route to social activity and to interacting with others with similar challenges in life.
As is stated in the AA preamble meetings are the best way to share experiences, strength and hope. Members hear and share what lives were like before recovery. In part, this is so the newcomer may relate but it also allows the established member to recall times of difficulty and appreciate accomplishments that followed after sobriety was attained.
Meetings bring a feeling of “believable hope.” The group hears how recovering members stay clean and sober. How they deal with new issues they must face without alcohol or other mood altering chemicals. The AA or NA meeting offers a safe forum to discuss feelings and concerns when new challenges arise. It is at meetings members develop support networks and spend newly discovered time after alcohol and drugs lost control.
Always Remember: “Meeting Makers Make It!”