NA 12 Steps: What Are They and Where Do They Fit into Treatment?

Off the worldwide success of the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) program, Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was established to provide a space for people with a drug addiction to gain the same benefits that the AA peer support group has. A study reveals the effectiveness of programs such as NA, showing that 86 percent of the people who continued with their recovery through the program remained drug-free 6 months down the line, compared to 26 percent in those who went it alone. Through the NA 12 steps, addicts are guided through their recovery from a psychological point of view.

What’s the difference between 12 step and non-12 step programs? Click here to learn more.

The goals of the program, methods, the Narcotics Anonymous 12 steps, and the optimal way to include it into your recovery will be discussed in this article.

Overview of the NA Program

Following the success of AA, NA was established in 1953 using the same 12 steps that were created in the AA program. The program is now a place for anyone with a substance use disorder, including alcoholism, to find the support they need to overcome the disease.

NA, as with AA, has a focus on incorporating a higher power to help people through their addiction, stating that substance abuse only happens when people try to fill the hole that’s meant to be filled with God with drugs instead. The NA meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend, with no fees to speak of. It is an independent institution that doesn’t directly associate with any religion or organization.

While we’ve all seen the movies where people get up and share their story, sharing at a NA meeting isn’t mandatory; the only requirement is that a person gets through the NA 12 steps.

The Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps

So, what exactly are the 12 steps of NA?  The goal of each person in the NA program is to complete all 12 steps of NA. There is no exact time that each should be completed by to allow people to go at their own pace.

The steps are outlined as follows:

  1. Admitting that your life has become unmanageable and that you are powerless over your addiction.
  2. A realization that only a Higher Power is able to affect a change.
  3. A decision to surrender to a Higher Power.
  4. A fearless and honest moral inventory.
  5. After making a list of your shortcomings, admit it to yourself, a Higher Power and to another person.
  6. Be open to a Higher Power removing your defects.
  7. Connect with a Higher Power and humbly ask for your defects and shortcomings to be removed.
  8. Make a list of all the things that you can remember that you did that hurt others.
  9. Seek to make amends with those that you harmed, as long as it doesn’t cause them more harm to do so.
  10. Continue with your list of wrongs and personal inventory, admitting mistakes where possible.
  11. Through meditation and prayer, continue to commune with a Higher Power, asking for His power to carry out His will.
  12. After attaining a spiritual awakening through the previous steps, carry the message to others in the NA 12 steps and continue to work on your own sobriety.

The Optimal Way to Use the NA 12 steps

Through years of research and study, new ways have been developed that are scientifically proven to aid in addiction treatment, such as medications which includes methadone, buprenorphine and an array of other useful drugs. Together with various forms of therapy, sobriety can be achieved, and then the NA program can help you maintain your abstinence over the years to come.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.