2016-08-27 / Front Page

Getting to the root of addiction

Breaking the chains of addiction is hard, but being able to live life clean and sober is a day-to-day process worth fighting for.

Making other addicts aware of that philosophy and helping them attain sobriety is the goal of Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Representatives from the Central Allegany Mountains Narcotics Anonymous chapter shared personal details during last week’s Cameron County Collaborative Board meeting.

Identifying themselves only by their first names, the pair shattered many myths in explaining how NA works.

“We welcome anyone who needs and wants help, no matter their age, race, sex, religion, or lack of religion,” said Rob. “There’s an element of a ‘higher power’ involved in our process, but no religious teaching or indoctrination.”

NA is a non-profit fellowship of recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. There is one requirement for membership – a sincere desire to stop using drugs.

NA recovery method uses a 12-step process that emphasizes reliance on social support.

Meetings are held at 63,000 locations in 120 countries, usually on a weekly basis. Locally, gatherings are held on Thursday evenings from 6:30-7:30 at the Cameron County Christian Center; Friday evenings from 8-9 at the Episcopal Church in Coudersport; and Riverside Church in Roulette on Tuesdays from 7-8 pm. An outdoor meeting held each Monday from 7-8 pm at Mitchell Park in Coudersport.

“Drug abuse is a national epidemic, and we need solutions,” Rob said. “Addiction not only affects the individual, but it affects families, friends and almost every aspect of the addict’s life . . . There’s no one way to get free of addiction, but NA is effective because it’s supports lifestyle change, as opposed to just taking medication or receiving counseling. The more tools we have to beat addiction, the better.”

Tim stressed that the biggest step an addict can make is to change the people, places and things associated with the addiction.

“Once a person get sober, it’s important to avoid these triggers if you want to stay drug free,” said Tim. “You need to be honest with yourself and realize you’re not alone.”

For more information about Narcotics Anonymous, or to find a meeting time and location, call or text 814-596- 2614, or visit wwwnawny.org.

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