man hugging a friend during group therapy session in Alaska drug treatment

What Is Narcotics Anonymous?

When seeking Alaska drug treatment, it will become clear that many Alaska addiction treatment centers supplement their programs by providing access to 12-step meetings. One of the more common programs of recovery used by treatment centers is Narcotics Anonymous. While NA primarily serves those addicted to illicit substances, the program also welcomes alcoholics. Whether seeking Alaska drug treatment or alcohol treatment, Narcotics Anonymous can help. Understanding the program and its role in modern drug addiction treatment can help you determine whether a step-based program is the right recovery method for you.

What is Narcotics Anonymous?

Narcotics Anonymous begin in 1953, about 18 years after the founding of AA. Members wished for an alternative that embraced those who struggled with drug addiction rather than alcohol alone. This does not mean that alcoholics cannot join NA, as the group does not distinguish between alcohol and other drugs. In fact, NA asks members not to mention any substance in particular during their shares. Using the same steps, and putting the same emphasis on sponsorship and spiritual growth, NA helps thousands of people to establish clean time on a daily basis.

Many Alaska drug treatment facilities endeavor to provide access to 12-step meetings, including Narcotics Anonymous. Similar to most states, Alaska offers fewer NA meetings than AA meetings. Nonetheless, those attending treatment for narcotics in certain areas will find outside meetings readily available.

Narcotics Anonymous in Alaska

Using population as a benchmark, it appears that Alaska provides NA meetings in greater proportions than some states. Unfortunately, data on illicit drug use indicates that NA alone may not be enough to fill the current need for Alaska drug treatment.

Alaska’s regional NA committee reports to the Western States Zonal Forum, which publishes meeting records online. As of the most recent report, Alaska had 88 NA meetings, over half of which were in Anchorage. There were also 12 each in Fairbanks and Kenai, with another 4 in Juneau. Smaller regions such as Seward and Valdez only offered one or two meetings each.

Comparatively, this is not bad—Alaska has more than a third as many meetings as Oregon, which boasts more than four times Alaska’s population. Nonetheless, 2015 survey data suggests that at least 19,000 people require Alaska drug treatment. Subtracting the approximate 2,000 people per year who actually receive formal treatment, you would still have to cram about 193 people into every NA meeting for Narcotics Anonymous to meet the state’s current needs.

Given the rise of drug-related deaths noted in a 2016 health bulletin, and the increase of trafficking seizures and drug-induced violent behaviors outlined in the 2016 annual drug report, Alaska cannot wait for more meetings to spring up. Alaska drug treatment centers must work to help addicts directly, while still providing access to Narcotics Anonymous meetings whenever possible.

Alaska Drug Treatment and NA

The meetings discussed by the regional committee are those provided outside of Alaska addiction treatment centers. Many facilities offering Alaska drug treatment allow in-house meetings, or provide transportation to outside meetings when available. Additionally, many in need of Alaska drug treatment seek help from out-of-state facilities. States such as Washington and California provide greater access to Narcotics Anonymous, with about 800 meetings in Washington and 1,340 meetings in Southern California (the mid-state and Northern California regions did not disclose meeting estimates in the regional report).

Anyone who suffers from substance use disorder and wishes to include Narcotics Anonymous in their treatment plan should strongly consider seeking treatment at an Aspire Health Network facility. We provide individualized treatment plans to attack the side effects of addiction most associated with Alaska’s commonly used substances. Meanwhile, our access to NA meetings will allow for a more general, community-based approach to recovery.

For many who seek out-of-state alternatives to Alaska drug treatment, we recommend Oceanview Treatment Center in Orange County, California. Oceanview provides a full continuum of care from detox through aftercare, and includes outside activities such as paddle boarding and bonfires that will make recovery far more enjoyable. Participating in these activities will also help clients build a sense of community with their peers, supplementing the sense of fellowship they receive from their Narcotics Anonymous meetings.

If you are interested in out-of-state alternatives to Alaska drug treatment, contact us or look through our Alaska resources for more information. Whether you wish to include NA in your treatment plan or not, we can help you find a facility that will suit your needs and increase your chances of long-term success in recovery.