Jennifer Kayle Charles, Student Nurse
Gwinnett Technical College
Exploring the World of Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous (2008) describes itself as a fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem (p. 2) . There are two basic types of meetings, "open" and "closed". Anyone is welcome to attend an open meeting, while closed meetings are limited to addicts and to people who think they may have a problem with drugs. I made the decision to attend the 90 minute open discussion named Just for Today. Just for Today is named after the book Just for Today: Daily Meditations for Recovering Addicts which is a year full of motivational meditations, prayer, and positive thoughts in order to aid the recovering addict. The Narcotics Anonymous meeting was held on a Tuesday afternoon in Lawrenceville, GA. The building was an older trailer situated on a gravel parking lot behind a prominent Catholic church in the area. As I entered the double doors, I was shocked to see the vast array of people attending the meeting. There were people of all different walks of life: a lawyer, a college student, a grandmother, a construction worker, a mother. It was clear to see that no one is exempt from the grasp addiction can have on you nor is no one too far removed to seek recovery. As I found my seat, I was greeted with very kind eyes, compassionate smiles, empathetic nods, and an invitation to freely help myself to the refreshments and the pamphlets located on a table in the back of the trailer. There were two group facilitators leading the meeting; a male who has been clean for 7 years and a female who was in her 12th year of recovery. The group facilitators introduced themselves using only their first name and follow up statement such as “My name is Jennifer and I’m an addict”. Literature was then distributed and the first thirty minutes was devoted to the reading aloud of NA literature...