Drug Addicts/Substance Abuse Anonymous Meetings Near Me
Drug Addicts Anonymous Meetings: What Should I Expect?
Substance Abuse Anonymous (SAA) or Drug Addicts Anonymous (DAA) can complement tailored substance abuse treatment as a critical aspect that can support and maintain its positive outcomes.1
DAA self-help groups and similar organizations follow a similar 12-step model.1 These substance abuse groups offer an easily accessible, readily available recovery resource for anyone in need of help for drug addiction.2
The concept was initially developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which dates back to 1935 and later modified to accommodate the needs of Narcotics Anonymous (NA), founded in 1953.3
Drug Addicts Anonymous & 12 Steps
All 12-step programs are modeled after the original 12-step approach used in AA which relies on assistance and support provided by peers struggling with a substance use disorder (SUD).1 While the 12 steps serve as guidelines to get sober and recover, the 12 traditions act as the principles behind these steps which enable recovering individuals to focus on the primary purpose.4
Whether the 12-step program is Christian-based or otherwise faith-based, the program can easily be adjusted to meet the needs of the targeted group in a culturally appropriate manner. However, the guiding principles are similar:5
- Acknowledging the inability to control substance use.
- Heavy reliance on a Higher Power.
- Self-inspection, acknowledging and examining one’s past errors.
- Making amends with others.
- Learning effective skills to cope with urges and triggers.
- Learning the skills to build a productive, sober lifestyle.
- Commitment to assisting and supporting others in a similar situation.
The anonymity principle of 12 steps made it easier for struggling individuals to share their experiences with others in similar circumstances. Benefits of DAA and similar self-help groups for people battling drug addiction include:6
- Removing the stigma associated with SUD.
- Making it easier for struggling members to admit they have an SUD.
- Establishing a connection with a group of understanding peers in absolute anonymity.
- The so-called buddy system.
- Ability to find a sense of belonging.
- Gaining mutual support from individuals with common interests and experiences.
- Ability to develop a sense of responsibility.
- Meetings are absolutely free and walk-ins are welcome.
- Attending substance abuse meetings on a regular basis makes it easier to form a stable, reliable routine.
Still, these meetings are not enough for a person to overcome SUD. For certain reasons, they may not be in accordance with the expectations of some treatment-seeking or recovering individuals, at least not at the beginning of treatment:7
- Limited rehab resources: individuals cannot obtain medical advice and care.
- These programs are time-consuming and most individuals would need to attend sessions frequently and over a long period of time.
- The social component: Social interactions these programs require can cause increased anxiety in struggling individuals, especially if they are at the beginning of their SUD treatment.
- The religious component: Religious belief, be it Christian, Muslim, or Jewish, is the focus of all 12-step modeled programs.
- This belief in the Higher Power is the guiding principle behind DAA and similar programs. But these programs also insist that turning to faith is the only way out.
- Referring to individuals struggling with substance abuse as ‘addict’ is another requirement which not everyone may be comfortable with.
What Should I Expect at Drug Addicts Anonymous Meetings?
The purpose of DAA meetings is to complement a tailored rehabilitation program in an inpatient or outpatient facility.7 These sessions are often incorporated into a person’s aftercare routine to help them maintain sobriety, and a recovering individual may also go to substance abuse support group meetings while still in treatment.2
One important benefit of DAA meetings is that this resource is community-based, free, and easily accessible, which makes it readily available even to individuals who are uninsured or unable to afford treatment.8 DAA has no affiliations, and it is fully supported by voluntary contributions from its members and declines outside donations.8
The Advantages of Substance Abuse Anonymous
Individuals who attend DAA or SAA meetings on a regular basis and consistently over a certain period of time are more likely to maintain sobriety and sustain recovery, although these self-help groups are beneficial and effective as a treatment component, not treatment in and of itself.7
Additionally, being a member of a group of supportive individuals who share one’s experiences and goals can be a source of motivation. It can also encourage struggling individuals to stay in recovery and pursue a productive, healthy, substance-free life.9
What Do Drug Addicts Anonymous Meetings Entail?
Not all Substance Abuse Anonymous meetings are identical and variations exist depending on location and/or community. There are closed ones for those with drug addiction or suspected drug addiction and open meetings, available to anyone affected by drug addiction in any way, including friends, family and professionals working with those personally affected by SUD.9
However, the protocol and philosophy is similar and the priority is to follow the 12 steps and the 12 traditions.10 All meeting participants have an open discussion on a topic and share their experiences with the goal to support and help each other open up so they can reflect on the root causes of their substance abuse issues.3 New arrivals or newcomers introduce themselves in their first meeting but are not required to disclose any personal information except their first name.9
Do I Need to Prepare Anything for a SAA/DAA Meetings?
No preparation is required for participation in DAA meetings. However, there is an unwritten requirement which is the willingness to admit the problem with substance abuse and be willing to overcome it.9
Are There Any Drug Addicts Anonymous Meetings Near Me?
Depending on location and organization, there are many options to attend SAA or similar meetings. The meetings are often held daily and even multiple times a day. Some meetings are held online, and some in physical venues such as churches, treatment centers, community centers, etc.8
There are also phone numbers to call or applications to download to find this sort of information. Aside from AA, NA, Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Alateen which specializes in helping struggling teenagers, Alanon, Adult Children of Alcoholics, etc. there are various other groups which follow a similar philosophy and principles.2
How Long Do Substance Abuse Anonymous Programs Last?
Just like there is no definitive timeline for drug and alcohol treatment, there is no set duration for any 12-step program or even individual meetings.3 Statistically speaking, adults are likely to participate in these programs longer than teens.3 Longer duration and more frequent attendance correlate positively with more active involvement.7
Meetings roughly last one hour, although they may take longer or shorter. Individuals are welcome to attend meetings on a regular basis and pause or stop anytime. They are also free to return anytime, as long as they remain focused on recovery.8
However, it’s worth noting that treatment for substance use disorder which lasts less than 90 days is of limited effectiveness compared to short-term treatment options.1 It may be beneficial to continue to attend meetings daily for a minimum duration of 90 days in order to maintain abstinence and avoid relapse and other health risks associated with substance abuse.1
How Can I Find SAA/DAA Meetings Near Me?
One of the biggest perks of DAA meetings and similar forms of support group therapy is that, unlike other treatment options and components, the meetings are entirely free and possible to attend without scheduling during and after formal treatment, no strings attached.8
The list of upcoming meetings in one’s community can be seen on the website. There are also DAA helplines to call for more information. Some meetings are held online instead of in a physical venue. If there are no DAA meetings in a community, interested individuals may start a meeting of their own, as long as they follow the group guidelines.8
However, attending DAA meetings is just one step to recovery. Entering a specialized rehab program may be the only effective way to initiate the recovery process, even if this requires an intervention and is not voluntary.1
For individuals with insurance, insurance may cover the cost of rehab partially or in full, as most insurance carriers nationwide do. For individuals who are uninsured or underinsured, there are other rehab payment options to explore.11At American Addiction Center (AAC), callers can easily verify their insurance coverage and learn more about other payment options for rehab, from low-cost short-term rehabilitation to luxury rehab with special amenities. Any conversation with a helpline representative is strictly private and confidential, so they can check your benefits and answer any questions on drug and alcohol abuse and treatment you may have, as well as help you learn more about the admission team and process.