Narcotics Anonymous: Sometimes the Only Way – sometimes not

Narcotics Anonymous (NA), is a nonprofit fellowship created to offer mutual help and support to men and women who are struggling with addiction to drugs. The program uses Alcoholic Anonymous’ traditional 12-Step model that has been adapted for people with drug addictions. NA has many merits for positive life change that can lead to long-term sobriety, including improved confidence, heightened spirituality and a supportive network of sober, like-minded people.

However, people are different and the program doesn’t work for everyone, even people who commit wholeheartedly to working the 12 Steps. Because the program is so widely used and highly respected by professionals and lay people alike, dropping out of NA is often cause for self-blame, sometimes so severe that some people become so discouraged that they give up on the idea of recovery.

NA claims to be a spiritual organization, and it’s true that no adherence to any particular faith or ideology is required. However, the organization’s spiritual approach is a stumbling block to many people who aren’t ready to hand control to a Higher Power in which they don’t believe. Some people think NA, like AA, is a cult-like organization.

Many people are opposed to the concept for a variety of reasons. Some question the long-term effectiveness of the program, which many believe doesn’t address the deeper issues underlying the addiction. Others see the program as a crutch that prevents people from taking real action, to survive but not thrive and flourish in life. Other highly private or high profile individuals may prefer one-to-one treatment over group meetings.

Our Approach

It is estimated that at least 90 percent of treatment centers are predominantly 12-Step based. Failure to work the program as expected often results in accusations of being in denial and sometimes, an early discharge from the program. We agree that the 12-Step approach offers many benefits, and we facilitate the program when and if it is warranted. However, we understand that many clients prefer to address their addictions by different avenues that can be equally as effective. There are alternative solutions. Each person must decide on their own path to recovery. Sometimes people choose to walk both paths, 12-step and integrated therapy. We are here to help with choosing the right one.

Ultimately, we recognize that addiction is a complex illness that affects individuals on many levels. At Paracelsus, we meet every client where they are. This philosophy allows us to be strictly open and undogmatic in our treatment approach. NA is not the only way to overcome addiction and thus we never discharge a client because of non-adherence to the program.

Drug addiction treatment at Paracelsus is specifically tailored to the unique needs of each individual. Treatment includes traditional treatment modalities such as counseling, psychotherapy and family therapy, along with complementary therapies like acupuncture, personal training, reflexology or massage. Treatment also includes medical assessment, orthomolecular treatment, nutritional counseling and biochemical restoration, bio-resonance therapy, tailored intravenous therapy of amino acids and micronutrient supplement.

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