Benefits of Online NA Meetings (Narcotics Anonymous Online)
What Are Online NA Meetings?
Online Narcotics Anonymous meetings offer an alternative way for you to attend a meeting conveniently in your own home. Online meetings have become increasingly important as we try to stay safe during a pandemic, and also while many meeting locations are unavailable to us.
Online Narcotics Anonymous meetings are easily accessible online and there are plenty available. You can choose to attend meetings happening anywhere in the world, however, make sure to double-check the time zone of the virtual meeting to ensure it works with your schedule. Some meetings also allow friends and family to attend, while others are for members only. Check the meeting description to see who is allowed to attend the online meetings.
Finally, virtual NA meetings are held on a number of video chat platforms, including Zoom and Skype. Be sure to have these applications set up and working on your device before attempting to join a meeting.
If you do not have easy access to the internet, telephone meetings are also available. To join a telephone meeting, call the number listed at the designated time. It is completely free to join both virtual and telephone meetings.
Simply find the meeting you’d like to attend and sign up. You will be given login information so you can attend the online NA meeting at the specified time.
If you feel like you need more than AA, such as inpatient rehab or detox treatment, call 800-926-8143Who Answers? to discuss your options with a treatment specialist.
How Often Should I Attend Online NA Meetings?
If you’re replacing all of your in-person NA meetings with online meetings, you should attend as often as you would an in-person meeting. If you’re doing a bit of both, then the same goes—attend as many meetings, whether online or in-person, as you would normally.
If you’re new to NA, the program recommends that you attend a meeting every day for the first 90 days so you’re acquainted with the members, how the meetings work, and you give yourself enough time to build a health habit of attending.
Evidence suggests that those who attend twelve-step meetings are more likely to remain sober, therefore it’s highly recommended as part of addiction treatment by most experts. On average, people who attend twelve-step meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous commit to the program for six months, after which, some people decrease their attendance. You may even find that attending 12 Step meetings for the first few years of your sobriety or longer is helpful, or even essential, for your recovery.
Online NA Meeting Organizers
Much like regular in-person NA meetings, anyone can create an online Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting through the NA website which offers instructions on how to create a meeting depending on your virtual platform of choice.
Online NA Meetings vs In-Person Meetings
Attending 12 Step meetings in any form, whether virtual or in-person, greatly supports your ability to stay abstinent from using drugs. Being among sober individuals, receiving peer support, and benefitting from other’s experiences are what provide people with the tools they need to stay sober.
These three crucial components of twelve-step meetings are present within virtual group meetings. In addition, research suggests that the act of attending meetings, whether in-person, online or by phone, greatly increases the odds that a person will remain sober.
Can Online NA Meetings Replace In-Person Meetings?
Both online and in-person NA meetings can be effective to help you stay sober, but it really depends on your individual situation, personality, and outlook, whether one is more effective than another.
Some feel distracted when attending online meetings and therefore may not get as much out of it compared to an in-person meeting where everyone is in the same room. Others, however, find online meetings more convenient and easier to attend.
Pros and Cons of Online NA Meetings
The thought of attending online NA meetings may seem daunting for many individuals, however, there are benefits to attending online meetings that may make them a better fit than in-person meetings, including:
- Accessibility. Virtual NA meetings are more physically and emotionally accessible for those who attend them. Those with chronic illnesses or those who have trouble leaving the house may be able to attend virtual NA meetings more easily and more regularly than in-person meetings. In addition, those who struggle with social anxiety may feel more comfortable in an online format than in-person.
- Availability. Online meetings are happening at all hours of the day, every day. Virtual meetings can be joined from any location. Some people find that the increase in options help them to attend meetings more regularly.
- Taking into account individual needs. As online meetings can be accessed from anywhere, people can feel free to join meetings in locations or within communities that best suit their individual needs. For example, there are NA support groups solely for those who identify as LGBTQ+. In addition, NA meetings are held in dozens of languages. As a result, people can feel free to select the meeting that most makes sense for them.
- Anonymity. Some individuals find that the extra layer of anonymity provided by online meetings helps them to be particularly beneficial3.
- Safety. Attending virtual meetings from the privacy of your own home helps to keep people safe.
While there are many benefits to attending virtual meetings, there are also some drawbacks. A few cons to online NA meetings include:
- Miscommunication. Not being able to read people’s body language or tone through online chat boxes can make it hard to connect with people. In addition, the internet lags or other technological issues people experience can make it difficult to get the most out of attending NA group meetings.
- Lack of commitment. While online meetings are more accessible, the large range of meeting choices can make it harder to become attached or feel secure in one particular meeting.
- Anonymity. Some people find that the additional anonymity of online meetings makes them less effective than in-person meetings.
- Lack of stability. People tend to come and go more often from online meetings than in-person meetings. It can be difficult to form relationships with people online, only to have them disappear.
If you need help with your addiction but are unsure where to start or if NA is suitable for you, call 800-926-8143Who Answers? to speak to an addiction treatment specialist and discuss your options.
What is Narcotics Anonymous (NA)?
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a community-based organization around the world that offers recovery from addiction. Meetings are offered both online and in-person and are held in a number of languages every day of the week.
NA can be beneficial for those recovering from drug use through the support offered at group meetings and the skills taught through a twelve-step program. Specifically, NA is a good fit for individuals recovering from any type of drug addiction as recovery is not focused on any one substance.
Membership is completely free, which means that as an organization, NA relies on the donations of their members and does not affiliate with any third parties. There are no requirements for membership, and all are welcome, regardless of religious preference, sexual preference, cultural beliefs, and history with substance use.
Through a community-based group approach, the overarching goal of NA is to offer people peer support and the skills they need to remain substance-free.
Effectiveness of NA Meetings
Twelve-step meetings provide benefits that last beyond solely attending the meeting. Evidence suggests that attending meetings at least three times per week is the optimal frequency for people to remain completely abstinent from drugs. However, even attending a meeting once per week has been shown to drastically increase a person’s chances of remaining sober.
No matter the meeting type, the amount of time someone finds support from attending meetings depends completely on the person. However, attending NA meetings in any form—whether virtual, by phone, or in-person—can give people the skills they need to lead a substance-free life. For these reasons, people may choose to attend online meetings for a long time period or just for the short-term, until in-person meetings are safer and more accessible.
If you need help for your drug addiction, call 800-926-8143Who Answers? to speak to an addiction treatment advisor today.