6 May 2022


The Difference between NA and AA meetings

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Academic level: College

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Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is a communion of both men and women who come together so as to solve their shared experiences, strengths and hopes, hoping that they will solve their problems and help others to recover from alcoholism. They all have one similar goal which is that; one day, they will all stop taking alcohol. Narcotics Anonymous meeting is a fellowship of two or more people recovering from drug addiction. They meet at a particular time and place with a purpose of recovering from high forms of drug addiction. The common goal of this meeting is to take the message of recovery to any of the persons that that still suffer from drug addiction.

The AA was formed to cater for alcohol users alone, which aroused need for the NA, which was duly established to end the dilemma that came with all kinds of addiction. The major difference between the AA and the NA is that when one attends AA meetings, they usually shall have purposed to help alcohol addicts with their recovery. NA meetings, on the other hand, are focused on helping individuals that struggle with addiction of all kinds, including alcohol addiction. Another difference between NA and AA meetings is that AA meetings, quite unlike NA meetings, have their programs based on twelve-steps, such that the entire program begins with the very first step. ( Passetti, Godley & Kaminer, 2016)

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Respectful to the AA meetings, step number one states that: an addict should self-proclaim that they are powerless over alcohol and ready for a change. Conversely, attendees of NA meetings have to declare, that they have admitted to have no power over addiction and further, that his has resulted to uncontrolled lifestyles.” The differences of these two forms of recovery from drug addiction, can thus be said to lie in how differently they approach the element of choice, and this tends to have a deeper meaning. This variance is built between being powerless over a substance and being powerless over addiction. 

Narcotics Anonymous meetings have their focus on the individuals involved, and tend to not engage what could otherwise be termed as the higher power as a means by which to encourage recovery. This is contrary to the approach of alcohol anonymous meetings, in that great power is the most critical section of the twelve steps approach. However, many people have been said to prefer the NA to the AA, seeing as they might feel inferior to discuss matters to do with great power, and since they also hold that they are best placed to tackle their addictions, at an individual basis (Kelly, Greene & Bergman , 2014)

In general, both Narcotic Anonymous and Alcohol Anonymous meetings are good platforms that were established to nurture success for any of the persons that were or would have been suffering from addiction. Both programs offer a supportive system for the said addicts. They are rehabilitation programs, in that, the people involved are accorded full support, helped to grow spiritually, and are provided with substances that help them with regards to stopping their addictions. Similarities of the two meetings are fewer as compared to their differences. In a nutshell, AA and NA have helped many drug and alcohol addicts recover from their addictions, especially the youths. They have helped to reduce drug and substance abuse because once one has been fully rehabilitated; he or she is entitled to change.


Kelly, J. F., Greene, M. C., & Bergman, B. G. (2014). Do drug-dependent patients attending Alcoholics Anonymous rather than Narcotics Anonymous do as well? A prospective, lagged, matching analysis.  Alcohol and alcoholism 49 (6), 645-653.

Passetti, L. L., Godley, M. D., & Kaminer, Y. (2016). Continuing Care for Adolescents in Treatment for Substance Use Disorders.  Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America 25 (4), 669-684.

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