Success of Narcotics Anonymous

Addiction Treatment

If you are struggling with drug dependence and have decided to seek assistance, you may consider going to a 12 step program such as Narcotics Anonymous or N.A. Before you make the decision to enter N.A., you should investigate the success rate of Narcotics Anonymous.

Perhaps you have heard that Narcotics Anonymous is a popular program that holds a worldwide membership of more than 2 million people. That is pretty impressive! If that many people are enrolled in the program, then it must be an outstanding program and have a high success rate. However, the truth is that while Narcotics Anonymous claims that they have more than 2 million members; their dropout rate is 95 percent.

Narcotics Anonymous, as a 12 step program, supports the idea that drug use is a genetic disease and that there is no cure for the disease. N.A. offers that the only viable treatment available is belief in a higher power, meetings for the rest of your life and abstinence. With regard to abstinence, N.A. teaches that everyone has a relapse and that you will not be successful in being able to abstain from drug use without resorting to a high power. They further imply that the person is powerless against their drug use. Narcotic Anonymous, as well as other 12 step programs use labels such as addict and addiction to keep their members trapped in their substance use.

At the same time, Narcotics Anonymous presents a victim mentality to their members through their teaching that since they are diseased, their drug use is not their fault. Many outsiders argue that this ideology offers a pass and prevents the drug user from accepting responsibility in their actions. During N.A. meetings, it is not unusual to find angry and bitter members venting their hostilities about their drug use and raving about how their disease is ruining their life. Further, Narcotics Anonymous does not seem to offer any tangible advice on how to overcome drug use, simply to surrender to their higher power and to drug substance itself truly believing that the substance has control over their life. For these many reasons people begin to question the true success of Narcotics Anonymous.

In reality, the drug user is not diseased. There is no evidence to support or prove that there is a drug addict or addiction gene. The truth is that people use drugs because they want to and they do not have to live the rest of their life trapped in drug use, but can stop using anytime they desire. The truth is that drug use is a learned behavior: meaning that the individual learned to use drugs and associate it with feelings, emotions or as a coping mechanism. The individual likes the way they feel when they use drugs and so it becomes a habit of behavior to use drugs, so that they feel good. It is possible to associate other activities, habits and behaviors with a “feel good” feeling.

Many people after spending some considerable time in N.A. with no results begin seeking an alternative. St. Jude Retreats is often that program that gives people hope rather than endless meetings and recovery. Our program teaches guests to develop habits and behaviors that are positive and to make decisions and choices that are productive. Our guests discover that they can have a life that is permanently free from drug use.