By Jo Ann Hummers on December 8, 2019
Two years ago the Outer Banks was fortunate to have its first Nar-Anon meeting which met in Manteo at the Source Church. The meeting recently relocated to Kill Devil HIlls, to make it more accessible to more people. The new address is 111 W. Carlton Avenue in Kill Devil Hills. Meetings are held every Thursday night from 7 to 8 pm.
“Addiction is a family disease. The chaos and pain that can come from having an addicted loved one may seem unbearable. There is hope, however. The Nar-Anon program is a means of coping with the insanity brought about from having a family member or friend struggling with drug addiction. (Al-Anon Family Groups are suggested for relatives and friends of alcoholics.)
To be clear, the purpose of Nar-Anon is not to “fix” the addict. The addict must work his/her own program. One goes to Nar-Anon in the hope to “fix” oneself. Thus, the goal of the Nar-Anon member is to achieve serenity over the horrible disease of addiction, a disease that he or she is powerless over. For more details, one can contact Debbie, 703-402-3501. If you are struggling, you might want to check it out.”
The paragraphs above were written by a family member of a person who has been addicted to a drug other than alcohol.
Another person who attends the Nar-Anon meetings describes how it changed her life:
“Due to my son’s addiction, my life had become unmanageable. It was a life of chaos. The Nar-Anon program helped me to discover ways to take my life back.”
More on formation about Nar-Anon Family Groups is available from their website:
A comparable group, for family and friends of alcoholics, Al-Anon, has been on the Outer Banks for a number of years. At this time, Al-Anon has four weekly meetings listed on their website, ranging from Kitty Hawk to Nags Head. (See source below for more detailed information).
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), providing support for those who want to stop drinking, will celebrate its eighty-fourth birthday on June 10. It was the first of the “12 Step” groups. Narcotics Anonymous, (NA) for those with an problem with other drugs, also has had meetings on the Outer Banks for a number of years. AA and NA have thousands of meetings throughout the world.
These groups all use what is called the “12 Steps”, a list of suggested guidelines which assist alcoholics and addicts, family members and friends in dealing with their own issues regarding addiction. They can be found in detail by searching online.
Other “12 Step” programs which can be accessed online include CODa, for those dealing with codependency issues; Gamblers Anonymous; Spenders Anonymous; Overeaters Anonymous; Sexaholics Anonymous; COSA Anonymous, for those dealing with codependency to someone with compulsive sexual behavior; Computer and Gaming Addicts Anonymous; Debtors Anonymous; Marijuana Anonymous; Alateen; Adult Children of Alcoholics.
Many of the 12 Step programs are accessible on the internet where people can attend anonymous meetings on line. The Nar-Anon Chat site is: https://www.naranonchat.com/.
Note: Portions of this column were originally printed in the column announcing the formation of Nar-Anon on the Outer Banks in 2017.
Sources: Announcement of Nar-Anon group relocation, statements by Anonymous member of Nar-Anon.
This column was previously published in the Outer Banks Sentinel.
Jo Ann Hummers, EdD, is a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, with a private practice at the Nags Head Professional Center. Her work includes assessments and treatment for DWIs and other drug offenses, smoking cessation sessions, and treatment for gambling and other addictions.