The first meeting I attended was an AA and a NA meeting. At first, I was very nervous attending it because I didn’t know what to expect. I always had the impression that all people who attended these meetings were typical people that you see in bars with long hair, and beards; but I was wrong. They look normal just like you and me. There were young people, and middle-aged people. Some of them I never would have expected that they were alcoholics or drug addicts.
Both meetings seemed to be very similar to me. They both introduced themselves the same way, for example hi my name is Gino and I’m an alcoholic, or I’m addicted to cocaine. They both sat in a group and discussed their addiction, their progress, and any problems that they were having. Prior to the start of the meeting I asked the counselor what was the main reason that the majority of the people are in these meetings. In both cases, drugs or alcohol was due to serious family problems, and they do it to get their minds off of the problem. It is their way of getting away.
Since both meetings are so similar, there are things that I like and dislike about both. I like the fact that it is a group effort to help one another because everyone there has the same problem, and there are different ideas shared on how to overcome the addiction. It seems to me that everyone is fine when they are together at the meeting, because by talking it takes their minds off of the drugs or the alcohol. So the question
that I am asking is when these people go back out into the world, and the group is not there, and a problem occurs are they going to resort back to the substance.
Another thing that I really didn’t like was the way they introduced themselves. I don’t agree with putting a title after your name, like I’m an alcoholic. To me, that makes a person feel lowly about him or herself, and they will go through life always feeling that they are an alcoholic or a drug addict. I feel that that needs to be changed very badly. I think it should be Hi, my name is Gino, and I am here because I have a drinking or a drug problem and I need help to overcome it. So if that person overcomes it, they will say I accomplished something.
I honestly believe that these meetings work to a certain extent. I believe very strongly that a person can overcome an alcohol or a drug problem. The meetings in my opinion are like a support or a starter to help overcome the problem. I strongly feel that it is up to the individual to overcome the problem. The meetings can only work to a certain point. If there is no will power, than I believe in the saying once an alcoholic or a drug addict, always an alcoholic or a drug addict. If the person has will power, and overcomes it, then I don’t believe in that saying.