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What Can I Expect at My First 12-Step Meeting?

Now that you have gotten sober, your therapist may have suggested that you get to a 12-Step meeting to help you to continue staying sober. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) are two of the most well-known programs, but there is also Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Heroin Anonymous (HA), Marijuana Anonymous (MA) and Pills Anonymous (PA) that will accommodate any type of addiction. The point is to get to your first meeting to stay in the solution of recovery. When you get to a meeting, you will most likely be greeted by the other members since you are a face they have never seen before. You may feel out of place because everyone will probably be much older than you, but just take a seat and get ready for the start of the meeting. There will be a secretary that will call the meeting to order at the designated time and they will proceed to read the format of the meeting with the preamble, literature readings, and announcements. Some meetings will celebrate sobriety milestones for their members with a token ceremony and a slice of cake for each member. Every meeting is different in their format although they all put the spotlight on the same thing - to share how to stay sober. A topic will be brought up that will be the focus of the meeting for the remainder of the time. Once open sharing begins, you do not have to share if you do not want to. A member of the meeting may call on you to talk about your experience, strength, and hope but know you can decline if you are not ready to share just yet. Sharing in a meeting allows others to see where you are in your program and relate to what happened to you during your addiction.  If for some reason you do not feel like this particular meeting is for you, do not give up. There are tons of meetings to try out to find your new home group. Ask for a meeting directory to see what your options are. By getting to the meeting a few minutes earlier and staying a few minutes after, there is no doubt that you will get connected to the other members in the meeting even if you are younger than everyone else. In fact, older members will try to protect you at all costs because they will understand you may feel out of place and want you to remain sober. Just recognize that you are doing the right thing by taking the action your therapist suggested in the first place by getting to a meeting. As you keep going to meetings, you will begin to understand the ins and outs of the program over time and become part of the group. Keep coming back!

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center leads the way with progressive, evidence-based programming to most effectively treat each individual adolescent while focusing on the uniqueness of each client. Healing the mind, the body, and the spirit as one in the same can make the biggest difference in staying sober.

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