Is There a Difference Between NA and AA?

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.

What Is the Difference Between AA and NA?

Understanding what sets AA and NA apart can help you determine which program may benefit you best.

Alcoholics Anonymous

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.

Narcotics Anonymous

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.

What Are the Similarities Between NA and AA?

While NA and AA programs have different focuses and cultures, the groups have several similarities, such as:

  • Belief in the power of community: AA and NA utilize therapy via a support group to help individuals know they are not alone on their recovery journey. Everyone is on equal ground, no matter where they come from, who they are or what they do.
  • The 12-step program: Both groups use the 12-step process to encourage participants to become more self-aware and seek healing. They also involve literature and the stories of others to empower individuals to take charge of their recovery.
  • Voluntary participation: Attending and participating in these groups is completely voluntary, and individuals can choose to sit and listen or offer their own advice and stories. These groups empower people to take charge of their lives and to help others on their journey to recovery.

Find a Supportive Community at Diamond House

When you need a compassionate and supportive community to help you on your recovery journey, come to Diamond House Detox. We are dedicated to helping you heal your mind and body, offering various services to help you on your recovery path, such as AA and NA programs. Contact us today to learn more about admittance into our detox programs.

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet