Nar-Anon also utilizes the belief in a higher power. Although self-proclaimed as a spiritual program, conversations about specific faiths are avoided in general meeting settings to provide a more inclusive community. Rather, the idea of a higher power, no matter what the individual may believe in, is encouraged to help attendees reach out to another source for help and peace of mind to deal with their struggling loved one.
It is important to know, before relying on Nar-Anon meetings for complete support, that the organization is non-professional. It should not be a replacement for any form of professional treatment — it is similar to a community based Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous group for those actually suffering from addiction, except it is for the loved ones of addicts.
Narateen, the teenage branch of Nar-Anon, offers the same services as normal Nar-Anon meetings do, just specifically geared toward young adults. Narateen meetings help the teenage loved ones of addicts learn about each other’s coping mechanisms as well as sharing experiences to create a common ground between attendees. Anonymity is protected in these meetings as well by using only first names, and no one is required to speak unless they would like to.
Meetings are donation-based and require no fee to attend. The only membership requirements are a loved one struggling from addiction and attending a meeting. Groups are self-supporting and are prohibited from taking funds from outside organizations. Meeting times and locations can be found on the Nar-Anon website. If there is no group in your area, you are able to start one by following the directions provided on the website as well.
Nar-Anon’s 12 Central Principles
There are 12 guiding principles to Nar-Anon meetings that form the foundation of how it is able to support the loved ones of addicts. Each Nar-Anon group is asked to take all of these into consideration during their meetings to best provide a stable community for each attendee.
The 12 central principles of those attending Nar-Anon meetings are as follows: