Narcotics Anonymous is available as a place for drug addicts, whether they are currently using or sober, to seek solace and guidance from a community that can easily relate. The purpose of these meetings is to give addicts the resources, strength, support, and hope to live a clean life.
When I walked into the basement of the church the meeting took place at, I was instantly welcomed and hugged by the few men standing near the entryway. This gave me a great first impression, although it was not exactly what I was expecting. I would like to think of myself as an open-minded and nonjudgmental person. Still, I was anticipating the meeting and its members to be a little stiffer and honestly, not so overtly friendly. The room was filled with about forty-five people, predominantly African American, and while there was a definite age range, most looked to be in their thirties or forties. Even with the warm greetings, I, and my friend I brought along with me, still felt very out of place. That original uneasiness left my mind when the meeting actually began and I became engrossed in what was going on.
The requirements were told in the beginning of the meeting and I was weary at first until I actually heard what the woman was saying. The only requirement was that you had to have the desire to stop using. There were no fees or dues, or any other affiliations; there were no strings attached. You simply needed to want to stop to be welcomed into the community. With the hugs and applause, and the general way people were spoken to, the unconditional love and support was obvious. I lost count of the amount of times “unity” was spoken.
Later, a handful of people, myself included, got to go up to the front of the room at various points to read f...
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...rry such a debilitating stigma like drug addiction. I didn’t go into that church thinking that I was going to see terrible people who were lazy, unintelligent, mean, dirty, and blamed their problems on everyone else; like the misconceptions many people have about drug addicts. Many of them were well-read and referenced literature in their speeches. Except for the small disturbances, no one was outwardly rude. Many talked about their jobs and exciting projects they were planning with their life. Never was any blame placed on anyone but themselves. They acknowledged that there were toxic people in their life, but in the end it was only their own fault. All they want to do is get better so they can make something of their life and be able to share it with people they care about, and I think all of the resources they need should be available to help them achieve that.
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