The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Addicts find support through NA

“Hi, I’m Moe and I’m an addict,” a hopeful, middle-aged woman, sitting at a Central Narcotics Anonymous meeting Sunday evening, said.

Four other members accompanied her as they sat beneath the roof of the blue and white building covered with a sobriety white board, motivational doctrines and prayers over practically every inch of wall space between the concrete floor and mismatched chairs.

“It works if you work it,” “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using” and “Our message is hope and the promise is freedom” were the inspirational messages cluttering the walls, attempting to convince the members to follow the group’s mantra and take, “one day at a time.”

As the leader of the meeting began talking and admitting that he too is an addict, he stressed the importance of the meeting’s anonymity and confidentiality, stating that the program can and will work if these two aspects are held to the highest integrity by its members. Two addicts read from the traditions of Narcotics Anonymous and the 12-step program, saying in unison, “An addict is a man or woman whose life is controlled by drugs.”

The formal meeting comes to a close as each member speaks about a normalcy most of us take for granted—how our day went. Although some are optimistic in their recovery, others admit using allowed them to “slowly committing suicide” making it even more difficult to grasp that there continues to be no known cure for their disease.

“One is too many and a thousand is never enough,” Moe said, confident in the unity NA provides her in each meeting she attends. The meetings help her to recognize the different reactions and recovery process the disease brings for each of its victims, not just the similar nature it may deceive people into believing. 

Moe admits she is afraid to miss a single meeting. Like her, another member is terrified of missing a single meeting. He fears that the day he misses, a member, group leader or visitor might say something that could have changed his life.

Moe, holding back tears and quivering in her speech, said, “It may not be a big deal to everyone, but looking in the mirror today–this was the first really good day.”

Displaying the wide spectrum of emotion an addict goes through on his or her journey to recovery, one man was not nearly as optimistic.

“People don’t care if I die or not,” he said, fighting back tears, “I used to band-aid myself with drugs and I know it was a cop out….I struggle every day.”

“I have to stop letting life use me up.”

Although he admitted being a recovering addict is a daily battle, he is afraid the habit of lying he has developed does not have a 12-step program to recovery. Despite the greater amount of time dedicated to drugs in his life than time without them, he pulls out a small, worn bible saying, “But this day today, I made it.”

Some people come to the meetings to get warm, drink a free cup of coffee and possibly spend one less hour out in the cold, but one member said, “I’m not here because I want to be, I am because I need to be.”

The addict’s worst enemy is the self, and the members wholeheartedly admitted, “We only keep what we have by giving it away.”

The group’s leader, and recovering addict for over 12 years, explains how his lustful affair with drugs started with his first taste of freedom in college.

“When I got to college, I partied every day,”  the man said, leaning back in his chair, “If there wasn’t a party, I’d find some way to party.” He admitted that he stopped going to any of his classes and, later, lost the ability to handle his impulses without just one more sip, hit, bump or line. The leader reaffirmed that “there is no such thing as a functioning addict.”

These addicts cannot promise themselves tomorrow will be better than today. Tomorrow might be the day they relapse. Their addiction is ruthless. It feeds off their last hopes and can do everything in its power to nurse their chemical impulses.

Brought together from different backgrounds, survival stories and beliefs, the NA members continue to have one thing in common: each other. As the addicts bowed their heads in a final prayer, they struggle to remain hopeful for their disease’s cure. But one thing is certain: they don’t have to face tomorrow alone.


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