AA and NA stand for Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous. NA and AA are programs that encourage individuals to seek healing while helping others on their recovery journeys. Although the two support groups have many similarities, they have distinct differences that can benefit people in various situations.
Understanding what sets AA and NA apart can help you determine which program may benefit you best.
AA was created in the early 1900s with a specific focus on alcohol.
AA views alcohol as a spiritual affliction that individuals can only overcome with the help and grace of a higher power. The 12-step program that AA promotes places emphasis on prayer and God. While the program was founded on Christian beliefs, it now encourages participants to call on their own concept of a higher power, whether that be God or another benevolent higher being that can bring comfort and security.
NA was formed in the 1950s to address a broader scope of addictions.
NA emphasizes the power of the individual, encouraging a reflective evaluation and personal responsibility for recovery. The role of a higher power is less prevalent in the NA program than in AA. Instead, NA focuses on personal responsibility first, then reliance on a higher power if the individual believes in one.
While NA and AA programs have different focuses and cultures, the groups have several similarities, such as:
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