Pat, your question is too generic to give a clear cut answer. What do you mean "speaking engagement"? Are YOU the speaker? Are YOU a professional speaker? or are you an addict that wants to know what goes on at an NA meeting? As a rule a 'speaker' IS an addict or professional who knows about addictions. If YOU are the addict, what most addicts talk about is their own experiences...what it was like, what changed a person, and what they are like today. If you are interested in NA, there are 1-800 numbers you can call for meeting locations. I would be glad to tell you more, if this message doesn't answer your specific question. San di
The above answer gives a succint and thorough analysis of the "speaker meeting" in both Narcotics Anonymous, and Alcoholics Anonymous. I haven't any idea about how Cocaine Anonymous and other 12-step programs handle theirs, but I would suspect that it was the same.
(If you haven't heard other people's stories, so you know generally how it's done, and you haven't been clean and sober for at least a year, then why did you accept a speaking assignment anyway?)
The reason that I could not give a unit on recovery from substance abuse is that I do not suffer the problem. Allow me to share, however.
In 1971, I was severely injured in combat. In the aid station, they shot me full of morphine every two or three hours even when I said I didn't want it. 34 days in Balboa Navy Hospital to recover sent me into such pain that I hesitate to think of it. When it became clear that I was physically dependent on narcotics, I asked to withdraw slowly.
I put it to prayer. I came down over a three day weaning-off, and never had another craving.
Two years later, I earned yet another unwanted Purple Heart, and repeated the above. The Corpsmen kept asking me if I wanted more Demerol but, "No, thanks, I'm not hurting. May I return to duty, please?"
One last injury and unwanted Purple Heart and the Marines figured I was not healthy for myself. Honorable discharge. I kept getting calls from the VA about drug habituation, only to tell them that I put it to prayer and I'd like to return to classes if I may.
In 2006, a drugged-out lunatic broke into the house and went on the rampage. I picked up 20 stab wounds and he got two .44 magnums. We both survived -- he by less of a margin than I. I have dropped bull elk with that handgun, but when the medics picked him up with me, he was gheed up on methadrine that his heart just didn't quit beating though his insides were red goo.
He is in prison now, and wrote that he was so very sorry about his crime. I paid him a visit in prison. We write back and forth.
In eleven days of Intensive Care and then Cardiac Care, they kept me out of pain. Once every two hours, the nurse was there with a syringe. There was a tube in my neck that pushed drugs directly into the carotid arteries. No delay with pain relief.
She was amazed that I just didn't want it.
I was in no shape to run a busy contracting company but I could return to school and finish my long-sought Physics degree.
I'm glad that the medical profession learned about narcotics. And if you don't mind, I'd like to use them only as deemed appropriate in the view of a competent physician.
Other people asked questions on similar topics, check out the answers they received:
Other people asked questions on various topics, and are still waiting for answer. Would be great if you can take a sec and answer them