AA for heroin addicts, does it exist?
AA for heroin addicts is a great idea. The best way to overcome an addiction is to meet regularly with other recovering addicts. One addict helping another is an important part of getting clean and staying clean.
What is AA?
AA stands for Alcoholics Anonymous. This is an organization founded by two men in the 20th century. Bill W and Dr. Bob helped each other to stay sober and not drink alcohol. With Bill W’s help, Dr. Bob was able to stop drinking and never have another drink for the rest of his life. AA is a fellowship of people who meet and help each other to stay sober.
What is a 12-step program?
AA is known as a 12-step program. There is written work that a member may complete with a sponsor in the program known as the 12 steps. In fact, AA is the original 12-step program.
Is there an AA for people addicted to opioids and opiates such as heroin?
There is an organization called Heroin Anonymous. HA was founded in the early 2000s. They use the AA text book to guide the program and the members. In most of the US and the world, it will be difficult if not impossible to find an HA meeting. So, HA may not be the ideal program if you cannot find meetings.
What about NA?
NA is Narcotics Anonymous. This is another organization that is similar to AA. In fact, NA grew out of AA. The word Narcotic is strongly associated with the opioids. While NA is for people addicted to any mind or mood altering substance, many members are recovering heroin addicts.
Is NA, therefore the AA for heroin addicts?
NA is unique amongst 12-step programs in that it has a completely unique identity separate from AA. The 12-steps of NA are very similar to AA and the NA textbook gives credit to AA for its influence. Otherwise, NA has its own textbook, literature. Other 12-step programs most often use the AA textbook and follow the AA program closely, simply substituting the word “alcohol” for whatever substance or activity addiction is addressed by the program.
NA is not AA but it can be a good place for heroin addicts.
If you are addicted to heroin and you go to medical detox and an addiction rehab treatment program, you will likely be introduced to AA and NA meetings as part of your treatment. You may find NA to be the place where you are comfortable. You may like how meetings are conducted and the unique literature. However, many recovering addicts find that they prefer AA.
AA is not just for alcoholics anymore.
In the past, there may have been members of AA who did not like to see other types of addicts showing up at meetings. Things have changed. Many AA members welcome all recovering addicts. So, in the spirit of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, AA members are happy to help new members in their journey to recovery.
Do I have to introduce myself as an alcoholic?
Out of respect for the program, it is appropriate to introduce yourself in an AA meeting as an alcoholic. Speak with members of the group after the meeting to discuss this. It is considered acceptable to mentally substitute the word alcohol for heroin or whatever substance you are quitting. You can also simply replace “alcoholic” with “addict” if you choose. But, you should do this quietly in your mind. Speak the word, “alcoholic”, out loud when introducing yourself by name. You will hear others introduce themselves and you can follow suit.
So what is the best AA for heroin addicts?
It turns out that the best AA for heroin addicts may be AA itself! Yes, you may very well find yourself at home in the AA fellowship. There is nothing at all wrong with this. AA is not only for alcoholics anymore. You will find that this opens up an entire world of meetings to experience. AA has a global presence. So, in every city, county and state. Every nation on earth has AA meetings. Hence, you will be at home with family wherever you go.