Twelve Stepping it
By now, just about everyone has heard of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) the 12 step group that has helped so many people stop drinking. But did you know about the many offshoots of this group that are helpful for other types of addictions? There are 12 step groups for just about everything you can think of, including smoking. The thing to know is that it isn't called Smokers Anonymous, it's called Nicotine Anonymous, or NA.
The program is not unlike the Alcoholics Anonymous program. There are 12 steps you try to follow, you hook up with a sponsor, and attend meetings. The general theory is that if you just go with the program, it will work for you. The proof is in the pudding and a very large number of people have found success with this program.
Once you are on the road to recovery, you can give back what you've received and sponsor another person who is trying hard to recover from a nicotine addiction. A sponsor is a member who has overcome a nicotine addiction and who has gone through the 12 step program. He monitors your progress and helps you work out your issues with quitting smoking. A sponsor can give advice about when you might be ready to take the next step on your road to recovery and he may give you assignments. This may come in the form of a reading assignment, such as official Nicotine Anonymous literature, or you may be asked to perform some kind of altruistic service for the home group where you most often attend meetings, for instance, setting up the coffee and snacks.
One of the wonderful things about 12 step groups is that they exist everywhere on the planet, so that no matter where you are, you can walk in off the street and into a meeting and be assured of warmth and community. And the price is right, too. There's no charge for attending meetings, though there is a plate passed around for donations to help pay fees for the room and the coffee. The meetings are often held in church or synagogue basements and these institutions are glad of the bit of income the meetings generate for them in the form of rent money.
Today, you can even find meetings and fellowship online. If you live in an area where there are no meetings, the times of the meetings are inconvenient, you're ill, or perhaps without transportation then an online group is still available with the click of your mouse.