It is extremely important to remember one vital fact: a drug addict or an alcoholic is never cured. Stopping drugs is only the first step towards recovery. You will need the maintenance help of continued NA or AA meetings to stay off drugs.
It is rather like having diabetes. Diabetes is an illness from which people can recover quite simply – by taking insulin. But if they stop taking their insulin, they relapse back into the active phase of the illness. Insulin helps them recover from diabetes, but it isn’t a once-for-all cure. In the same way, Narcotics Anonymous will help you recover from your addiction, but it is not a once-for-all cure.
If you are attending NA or AA, you may find that is all you need to do. Many tens of thousands of women and men have recovered from chemical dependence in this way without needing any further help.
However, it is possible that you will need professional help at the time when you are stopping drugs. The next chapter deals with each drug in detail, and, as you will see, some drugs – not usually heroin, but drugs like tranquillisers, barbiturates and alcohol – should be stopped with medical help.