A new recovery group: what would a modern NA look like?
So I’ve been doing some polling and research on /r/opiatesgoneprivate lately, detailing exactly what people thought of 12 step programs. Most of the comments seemed to have a negative view of the steps, but remained in favor of anyone using them if they think they will help. This is an opinion I share. I think any addict should do whatever helps them, but NA wasn’t it for me, personally. As a result, I want to take suggestions for creating a new support group that will be more welcoming and inclusive for addicts today. I have a plan start and build such a support group to international levels based in studies on “corporation mobility” in regards to similar markets and other business ideas that I can apply. I’ll start by listing some issues I have with the 12 steps, along with some problems mentioned in the comments of the OGP posts. —required religious affiliation —shaming —poor recovery philosophy (I.e. if you relapse once, your recovery starts over) —not in tune with the common culture of opiate users (I.e. forces personality traits and values of steps over your own) —rejection of certain coping methods —general practices and tactics (I.e every time you feel an urge, go to a meeting, treating people like they can’t take their recovery into their own hands, etc.) —rejection of revision in light of contemporary science/belief If there’s anything else not covered here, feel free to chime in. My vision of a new support group is a place where people don’t have to feel judged or rigid. Everyone can be themselves without certain values being forced on them. This group would include modern cultural values similar to those held by the majority of opiate users, making an easy transition from their life as a user, to recovered without dramatically compromising their core values or personality. This is a place that would be more welcoming to people who aren’t ready to recover yet so we can foster them and help them get to where they need to be. The rigid, professional 12 step program intimidates many with its pressures and sad undertones, making it an unenjoyable experience that the user will likely not return to. We would reject that, making our group a second home for users, even if they’re still using. The group will also involve giving members a purpose that is meaningful, an active duty to help others by both spreading the organization, and personalized counseling and harm reduction activities. That being said, instead of pushing the group on people, we will make passive suggestions without shoving it down your throat. I believe the environment we create will be more than enough to attract new members. Here’s some principles I would include. —non religious —non professional —open to coping methods —shame free —brother/sisterhood based —open to users and those in recovery —harm reduction advocacy —outreach and assistance programs —involved organizational structure with rank and duty (such as chapter organizer, regional organizer, in-chapter positions for various things, etc.) —aspect of activism —flexibility in level of involvement —non invasive recruiting tactics Give me more ideas! I’ll keep a list. Let me know what you guys think of these so far as well! Hopefully I can pull this together by the winter. This project means a lot to me, as my area is stricken with addiction and a lot of loss. I want to touch as many peoples lives as I can, but I can’t do it without your help!