woman wearing black sunglasses, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles

What Is Narcotic Anonymous

Relapse prevention is an ongoing activity for anyone who is recovering or has recovered from substance use disorder. There are various approaches to help individuals sustain their sobriety. Examples include continued family therapy, individual therapy, and group therapy.  Group therapy entails meetings with your peers or individuals facing similar struggles. It is a place where you can motivate one another towards long-term sobriety. Furthermore, you will find activities to engage in here to keep your mind of substances.  People over time have come together and formed various groups with various goals and to help various individuals. One of them is Narcotics Anonymous.

What is Narcotic Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous, better known as N.A., is a non-profit organization where men and women recovering or have recovered from substance use disorder meet and motivate one another to stay sober.  You need to meet only one requirement for you to join Narcotics Anonymous. This requirement is simply the desire to quit substance use. There are no upfront fees, pledges, promises, or affiliations to anyone or organization. Furthermore, they are not interested in your past, but how they can offer help to help you overcome substance use disorder.  man sitting in front of his laptop working, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles

A little History on Narcotic Anonymous

Narcotics Anonymous is a spinoff of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was created to try and mirror the success of Alcoholics Anonymous. It was officially founded in 1953 in Los Angeles, California. Currently, Narcotics Anonymous is available in more than 129 countries.

Narcotic Anonymous Meetings

Meetings facilitate giving and receiving help. They offer a place to learn coping skills and to get help regularly. There will be meetings with your peer’s counselor sponsor or even a guest speaker.  The meetings usually take place in a rented facility in most cases owned by churches, NGOs, the government, and more. Moreover, you can have fun while keeping your sobriety as you can engage in activities to help you maintainer light mode and avoid stress or depression. These meetings are free.  There are two types of Narcotics Anonymous meetings. You need to identify which meeting works for you best. You should try out a few meetings and groups to identify one that is best for your needs in terms of aspects like personality disorder problem schedule and more.  The NA meetings can either be open or closed. 
  • Open meetings are the ones that are accessible to anyone. The main purpose of public meetings is to include interested parties such as families and even future Narcotics Anonymous members.
  • Closed meetings are NA meetings, which are only accessible individuals recovering from use disorder.

What to Expect from a Narcotics Anonymous Meeting?

1. 12 Step Meetings

Twelve steps meetings are borrowed from Alcoholics Anonymous. They are set of guidelines or principles but help you overcome substance use disorder. Narcotics Anonymous uses these steps to help individuals struggling with various types of substance use disorder. However, Alcoholics Anonymous only used it to help individuals struggling with alcohol use disorder.

2. Non-Judgemental Meetings

Narcotics Anonymous meetings are non-judgemental. This helps to create an environment that is safe for members to share their personal experiences with addiction. Members of NA are welcoming and caring to each other and two new members. You will feel comfortable to share and also get to learn from what others share.

3. Anonymity

Some individuals failed to attend as the hair social with legal repercussions. However, Narcotics Anonymous has high regard for anonymity. The anonymity not only protects each individual but also creates an atmosphere that promotes equality. In case you join the organization is new to uphold the anonymity. This includes:
  •  You should not acknowledge our members by name or through photos to show they are NA members. 
  • You should not describe the details of any member’s circumstances that could reveal his or her identity.

4. Non-religious 

Some meetings may take place in buildings owned by churches, but this does not mean Narcotics Anonymous belongs to that religion. However, they do focus on grounded spirituality, which involves reference to a good orderly Direction or higher power. This ‘Higher Power’ is simply a guide of strength and morality rather than an acknowledgment of any religion. This encourages you to focus on individual understanding.

5. Meeting Terminology

You need to familiarize yourself with some of the terminologies as you attend these meetings. Some of the common Narcotics Anonymous terminologies used and their meanings include:
  • Sponsor. This refers to an individual with experience in the 12-step programs and helps others advance through them.
  • Sharing. This means offering other members your personal experience with substance use disorder.
  • New Comers. Refers to new members.
  • Basic Text. This is the Narcotics Anonymous book that covers their core ideas. 
  • IPs. These are Information Pamphlets that cover more on NA.
two women running at the beach, recovery homes in santa monica, halfway house los angeles, sober living homes in los angeles

Get Help at Riviera Sober Living

Riviera Sober Living is a wellness center that has two locations one in Pacific palisades and the other in West LA. We offer various services to help you overcome substance use and co-occurring disorders. Examples of these services include:
  • Transportation to 12 step meetings and back 
  • Weekly mentor meetings 
  • Random drug testing 
  • Weekly social activities 
  • Sponsor contacts 
  • Referrals to outpatient programs 
  • Nutritionist meetings and more. 
 carefree concept of a woman doing a jump shot, recovery homes in santa monica Our facilities have amenities that make us one of the best addiction treatment centers in Century City, Los Angeles. Examples include private and semi-private suites, a self-help library, a grocery card, weekly family meetings, and more. We offer all levels of treatment which include:
  • Recovery homes in Santa Monica 
  • Affordable sober living in Los Angeles 
  • Alcohol rehabilitation in Hollywood Hills Los Angeles and; 
  • Addiction rehab in LA 90067.
Our treatment centers and programs are also pet friendly, which lets you bring your pets, which could be useful for a stable recovery.

Conclusion

Narcotics Anonymous can be part of aftercare treatment for individuals on the recovery path or those struggling with substance use disorder. It is a non-profit organization which was founded in 1953 in Los Angeles. This organization was formed after the success of Alcoholics Anonymous. However, unlike Alcoholics Anonymous that helps individuals with alcohol use disorder Narcotics Anonymous allows individuals who are struggling with substance use disorders. It is absolutely free to join Narcotics Anonymous, just like with Alcoholics Anonymous. You only need to bring one requirement, which is your desire to stop using it. Narcotic anonymous helps individuals through various meetings. It can be an individual meeting with a counselor, group meetings, or meetings with a speaker. These meetings can either be open or closed. An open meeting is where the Narcotics Anonymous meeting is accessible to interested parties like family members. A closed meeting is a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, or that is only accessible to individuals struggling with or recovering from substance use disorder.  There are various aspects of these meetings you should know or anticipate before you attend. They include:
  • There are 12-step meetings 
  • The meetings will be non-judgmental 
  • Members are Anonymous 
  • Narcotics Anonymous does not favor any religion 
  • There are some meeting terminologies you should know, for example, sponsor, which refers to an individual who helps others advance through 12 step programs.
  • Narcotic Anonymous meetings are accessible for you during your treatment. You can get help from Riviera Recovery, which is one of the top recovery homes in Santa Monica and Los Angeles. We offer various treatment programs and services, for example, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and sober living.
    Protected by Copyscape

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Often the hardest aspects of recovery is changing our thought processes and actions, especially while dealing with various life challenges stemming from past trauma, depression, anxiety, and other byproducts of addiction. Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET) is a motivational style of counseling that employs principles of Motivational Interviewing, a technique that itself was developed by two clinical psychologists, Stephen Rollnick, and William R. Miller. MET offers itself as an alternative to 12-step programs and is a form of addiction therapy that helps patients in recovery to overcome uncertainty related to a change in their self-destructive drug or alcohol behavior. It is well known that substance abuse alters the wiring of the brain, affecting neural circuits associated with pleasure, mood, and even one’s sleep-wake cycle. Consequently, it also affects a persons’ way of thinking, their decision-making abilities, how they take in knowledge, their memory, and management of performance. The primary aim of MET is all about motivating someone to face and change their damaging behaviors. As you may well know, that often even though people who have an addiction are aware of the negative impact their habit has on their lives and those around them, they are not willing to change or are not able to change their behavior. Motivational enhancement therapy is a form of communication that helps the patient to see inconsistencies in their self-destructive behavior and move them from a pre-contemplation state to one of action. MET applies particular focus on areas where he or she is hesitant about introducing potentially beneficial actions in their life, thus overcoming ambivalence. 

MET is based on five fundamental tenets:

  1.     Creating an environment of trust by expressing empathy, listening, and understanding their experiences and feelings to help an individual see their destructive behaviors
  2.     Developing discrepancy and elaborate on various incongruities by promoting differentiation in the patient’s mind to clearly show them where they are currently in their state of abusing drugs or alcohol and where they would like to be in a substance-free future.
  3.     During a MET interview, a therapist will do all they can to avoid arguments that may result in the client being distrustful, resistant, and oppositional. Instead, they will use techniques that will ultimately encourage trust and comfort.
  4.     MET counselors are trained to understand resistance to change instead of confronting it head-on, meaning they neutralize opposition by listening and being attentive without judgment or defensiveness. This is an effective way to promote trust and lower the levels of hostility.
  5.     A MET therapist will support a client’s self-efficacy by offering positive thoughts, reinforcement, and feedback to help an individual feel hopeful and boost their self-worth and esteem while at it.
Motivational Enhancement Therapy is customized to the specific needs of the person receiving treatment. Not only has it proven beneficial to those with a substance abuse disorder, but MET has also shown to also be helpful in the management of anxiety, eating disorders and gambling addiction as well as treatment for individuals who may be going through identity issues or trying to establish their autonomy. It is clear to see how this sort of methodology is complementary to other treatment modalities such as cognitive behavioral therapy or dialectical behavior therapy  

DBT for those in Recovery

Dialectical behavior therapy, also known as DBT, is an effective treatment method for those looking to overcome addiction and begin a successful recovery. The purpose of DBT is to provide clients with skills that will assist them in managing their emotions effectively and reducing conflict in their relationships. Although this form of therapy was initially intended to treat personality disorders, it has been discovered that DBT is equally effective as a substance abuse treatment, especially for individuals with comorbid conditions. There are four main areas of dialectical behavior therapy: mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.  Riviera Recovery believes in the power of each one of these areas as essential because to provide key skills to those in recovery.

Mindfulness

Drawing from ancient eastern traditions, the mindfulness skills that clients gain through DBT practice encourages them to focus on the present and avoid getting drawn too far into the future or the past at any given time. Having a focus on the present provides clients with the ability to take things one day at a time, or one step after another, rather than always looking at the long road ahead. Not only does mindfulness avoid a future mindset, but it also helps to relieve some of the tension clients may feel from thinking about the past as well. Although it can be easy to look at the past and find mistakes, drawing up old wounds from five years or five minutes ago and ruminating over them rarely is going to be helpful and can actually be damaging to the recovery process. Learning to focus the mind, and bring it back to the present moment brings with it daily opportunities to practice concentration, and become connected with one’s inner world

Distress Tolerance

DBT has been shown to increase clients’ ability to manage their stress and reduce anxiety because they gain valuable distress tolerance skills. These skills combine several techniques that relax the mind and body, creating a sense of comfort. With the use of distress tolerance techniques, clients can also make wiser, more informed decisions because they are not frantic or stressed when making crucial decisions. Having a focus on the current moment helps clients to reduce the likelihood of relapse because they are less likely to return to unhealthy coping methods because they are more fully aware of the choices presented to them in any given moment. In this way, being able to accept their current reality, choosing a healthy way to deal with the issue, and move forward with recovery is key to preventing relapse.

Emotion Regulation

Emotion regulation is an aspect of DBT that urges participants to incorporate new ways of dealing with intense feelings such as anger, stress, and depression. The idea presented here is that once these emotions are more effectively managed, clients can begin to understand their feelings and make positive decisions, rather than acting on impulse. Within this aspect of DBT treatment, time is taken to ensure that clients have a deeper understanding of their emotions and know how to process through and manage them effectively. When clients are educated about how to deal with their feelings positively, they can prevent having negative feelings that urge them to stray from their path to a successful recovery.

Interpersonal Effectiveness

Interpersonal effectiveness is a significant component of DBT because it provides skills in navigating and understanding relationships. Clients that participate in DBT gain a deep understanding of the relationships in their life, what they need from them, and what they are looking to accomplish in the relationship. Frequently, stressors in relationships can be challenging to overcome because they cause unwanted tension, conflict, or anger in relationships that are unhealthy. Interpersonal effectiveness skills provide clients with tools that increase their emotional intelligence and increase the probability of having positive, healthy relationships with less conflict. Although the road to recovery is not an easy one, DBT has been shown to improve outcomes and reduce relapse. Rivera Recovery specializes in providing care to clients and assisting them with their recovery in healthy ways. If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about DBT, and how it can be used to help you, please contact us!

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in Addiction Treatment

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a form of psychotherapy that is goal oriented and focused on correcting an individual’s maladaptive thoughts and core beliefs that leads to a whole host of emotional problems, including anxiety, depression and anger, and behavioral problems that follow: not wanting to get out of bed, getting into fights, or deciding to use substances. This kind of treatment helps individuals understand how their thoughts and feelings impact their behavior. An individual will learn to understand the cognitive model by working with a therapist or counselor, and learn to identify the roots of negative aspects of their own life which can be positively improved through its use. The goal of this treatment is to show individuals that despite their inability to control every aspect of their surroundings, they can control how they interpret these interactions and how they choose to deal with them. Changed Perceptions Feelings of stress can easily influence behavior and can distort one’s perception of reality. The aim of CBT is to identify such harmful thoughts and employ strategies of challenging and overcoming them. The cognitive model focuses on three components in order to help conceptualize a problem or situation: thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; and it is often depicted with each representing a point on an equilateral triangle. Viewed this way, one can easily understand how each of the elements impact one another, and it helps to provide a framework from which to discuss one’s reaction to any situation. The core belief of CBT is that (1) by becoming aware of your negative, often automatic, thought process, (2) you will be able to view challenges in a much clearer way and (3) respond to them more effectively. It is through slowing down one’s reactions to any given situation that they are able to gain more agency over their life and be able to operate in new ways. Therapy Sessions The therapist’s role is to explain the interaction between these elements, and will ask for the client in the session to break down their current difficulty into the thoughts and core beliefs that fuel their reactions. In analyzing these areas and in determining what effect they are having on the individual, they can now help them to identify their negative thoughts that are contributing to negative emotions and behaviors, and also to identify new, more appropriate thoughts. This may involve asking important questions such as, “Is this thought true?” or “Is this thought helpful?”, or learning about the common cognitive distortions, or thinking traps that one might fall into. CBT is especially helpful in clients in recovery to help recognize and avoid or cope with triggers that in the past have led to substance abuse. Using CBT, a therapist can help train an individual to dismiss faulty belief structures that perpetuate substance use, as well as provide tools to better regulate emotions and teach effective communication. At Riviera Recovery, we understand the importance of continued counseling throughout all stages of the recovery process, as well as using modalities that are evidence-based and proven to be effective. Call today at 1-866-478-8799 to learn more about our program!