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SOWK 6103 Week 10 Assignment
Racquel Walsh
Walden University
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) have helped so many
recovering addicts for several decades. Despite its popularity and success rate, “twelve-step
programs does not work for everyone” (Crane 2019). Closed meetings and open meetings are the
two different versions of AA meetings. Closed AA meetings are for intended for alcoholics only
and these meetings, attendees are able to discuss and open up about personal issues/problems,
their daily struggle with maintaining sobriety, and other issues related to their addiction and
sobriety. With open meetings, family members and friends of alcoholics, and other individuals
who may be interested in learning how to help those battling alcohol addiction are able to attend
to learn more. The difference between a twelve-step program and a non-twelve-step program is
that twelve-step programs are more spiritual-based, whereas non-twelve-step programs are more
based on evidence-based research. Twelve-step programs take on a more spiritual outlook when
it comes to recovery and list God as a higher power that can assist with achieving and
maintaining sobriety and refraining from alcohol use. The twelve-step program also has the
requirement that the individual must acknowledge and admit that he/she is powerless over
his/her addiction. Non-twelve-step programs are centered around pursuing self-reliance and
knowledge. Non-twelve-step programs encourage empowerment by providing education. Non-
twelve-step programs adjust their approach according to scientific research. Non-twelve-step
programs are constantly evolving in order to adapt to new addiction research (Crain 2019)
whereas twelve-step programs follow a more consistent approach.
I attended a Narcotics Anonymous, LifeRing Secular Recovery meeting, and Al-Anon
meeting. I was able to attend the Narcotics Anonymous and Al-Anon meetings in person and the
LifeRing Secular meeting was attended virtually and was an open group for everyone to attend.
Regardless of the method used to attend the virtual LifeRing Secular meeting, everyone in
attendance had to abide by the following three rules, 1-provide a supportive and respectful
environment, protect the right of individuals to participate and remain anonymous, and preserve
individual rights of self-expression (LifeRing Secular Recovery nd). LifeRing Secular
Recovery’s guideline was made with the intention of supporting a meeting that is safe, open, and
welcoming, and very supportive to all of its attendees. If an individual had behavior that was
considered to be inappropriate or had behavior that went against the three rules previously
mentioned, then that individual would be issued a warning by the group’s moderator. The group
moderator also has the ability to remove that individual from the group at any time and for any
reason if he/she believes that removing that individual is in the best interest of the group or
(LifeRing Secular nd).
My initial assumption before attending each meeting is that, these meetings are a great
thing and that they all must be like a safe haven where recovering addicts and alcoholics can
come and feel accepted, understood, and safe to be their true authentic selves. I have always been
a huge fan and supporter of interactions that are positive. I always find myself being that person
that always making attempts at trying to help others to realize and recognize the strengths that
they have. I believe that it is absolutely amazing how huge the support network is for the many
individuals in this world that are struggling with addiction on a daily basis, regardless of what
their addiction is. Honestly speaking, I was a little apprehensive at first when it came to attending
the Al-Anon meeting for personal reasons. I know what it is like to have a loved one addicted to
drugs and alcohol. I was worried that attending the meeting would cause old feelings and
thoughts to rush back to me again. At one point in time, addiction counselors would typically
only work with the addicted individual, but later on, it became evident that family members can
indeed play a vital role individual’s recovery as addiction. Some systems theorists have the
strong belief in the concept of homeostasis, the tendency of systems like family to balance
themselves in response to change (Capuzzi & Stauffer 2016). I did not have an initial assumption
on the Narcotic Anonymous meeting because I have attended one in the past when I was in
undergrad and I also attended a few with my current field placement. From attending these
meetings, I was able to gain more insight into how addiction can affect the family as a whole and
that it does not just affect the individual. I had a great experience with attending the LifeRing
Secular Recovery meeting, I found it to be very informative, positive, encouraging, and
motivating. I feel as though any individual that went to that meeting feeling lost, alone, hopeless,
and heavy-hearted left that meeting feeling supported, understood, and cared about and can now
see the silver lining and light at the end of the tunnel. Addiction has always been an area of
interest for me, so if anything, attending these meetings only makes me want to work with this
population even more than I already did.
Capuzzi, D., & Stauffer, M. D. (2016). Foundations of addictions counseling (3rd ed.).
New York, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.
Crane, Marisa (2019). Non-12-Step Addiction Recovery Programs.
LifeRing Secular Recovery. (n.d.).
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