GALLIPOLIS — Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have recently announced they will be holding meetings at Saint Peter’s Episcopal Church several times throughout the week for those struggling with sobriety.
The Gallipolis Daily Tribune spoke with two representatives of the organizations who both wished to remain anonymous as they discussed what AA and NA were respectively about.
“The first thing you would do would be to find a meeting,” said recovering alcoholic Two. “There’s no discrimination on ages, sexes, colors and creeds. You can come. Having a different religious background is not important. You’ll be made welcome. There’s usually coffee and some sort of snack.”
“It’s a place where addicts can come and not be judged,” said recovering addict and alcoholic One. “They are equal. We are all sick or suffering. It’s not that anybody is better than anybody else. We’re all trying to seek a better life and a different answer to what we’ve been getting.”
“I feel you find a way to stop drinking there and stay stopped,” said Two, who has remained sober since 1986.
“It gave me a road map,” said One, sober for the last eight months. “I have a sense of direction and hope because I see all these people. We seek for a higher power to help us overcome. You have to find what that is for you.”
Two said in his experience having lived in Columbus, he has attended AA events where he sat between a recovering homeless man and a recovering doctor.
“Addiction knows no class,” said Two. “It can grab anyone.”
Two said there were different types of meetings members could attend. Literature study meetings consist of visitors going over the text of the “Big Book” which is considered the basic tenets of AA. Some meetings study different types of literature beyond the book and some meetings consist of one individual speaking about their experiences with the program and how it has assisted them in their journey.
“We call that Leads,” said One. “And it’s on Fridays.”
Both organizations have international chapters.
While AA focuses on helping alcoholics, NA services anyone with an addiction to a drug, according to Two. AA focuses on utilizing a 12-step program. Both One and Two stressed that the program was a set of principles meant to help one remain sober while walking through life, however, every addict or alcoholic walks a different path.
Narcotics Anonymous groups meet at St Peter’s Episcopal Church on Second Avenue in Gallipolis Mondays at 6 p.m., Wednesday at noon, Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at noon and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Alcoholics Anonymous meetings also meet at the church Tuesday at 8 p.m., Wednesday at 8 p.m., Thursday at noon and Friday at 8 p.m. AA meetings are also held in Pomeroy on Sunday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church at 7 p.m. and Thursday at 7 p.m.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.