Narcotics Anonymous proves a real lifesaver

By Riverine Herald

A FORMER drug addict says Narcotics Anonymous, which launched its first group in Echuca last year, saved his life.

And he is urging anyone who is ready for recovery, or even thinking about it, to attend the weekly meeting.

Narcotics Anonymous meets every Tuesday from 7.30pm at Echuca’s Salvation Army hall, Sturt St.

‘‘It’s been going since March 2017 and it’s a service offered to anyone whose life’s affected by drugs,’’ he said.

‘‘Personal anonymity needs to remain because we want people to come and feel safe to do so.

‘‘I wouldn’t be a recovering drug addict if it didn’t exist. I’m almost five years clean.’’

The man, who is from the region and formed the NA group in Echuca and asked to remain anonymous, said he regularly attended meetings because it was important for his recovery.

‘‘The therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel,’’ he said.

‘‘If you had any other disease or illness and you went to a support group with other people who had that illness, your trials and tribulations, your challenges and your wins and losses — those are the people who you can identify with the most.’’

People who attend the meetings have two things in common, he said.

‘‘One is addiction and the other is recovery,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s a 12-step program where the recovery and healing occurs.’’

Friendship, support and realising you’re not alone are some of the positive outcomes of attending the meetings.

‘‘I’ve developed meaningful relationships. I was an IV drug user for 20 years so when I got clean I had to wipe all my friends from my past,’’ he said.

‘‘I went into rehab and when I came into NA I began to develop friendships with others who identified with me and my issues.

‘‘In Australian society there’s a lot of — toughen up, you’ll be right, just stop using etc. — but that type of approach just kills people.’’

NA beats this stereotype and is a non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem.

For information, phone 54843063.