What Is 'Just for Today' in NA?

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What Is Just for Today in NA?

What 'Just for Today' Means

Just for Today in Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a set of daily reflections and meditations meant to help people with drug addiction focus on sobriety one day at a time. The program is based on the Twelve Steps of Narcotics Anonymous, and each day's reflection is centered around one of the Steps.

Each day's reading begins with a quote followed by a brief meditation or reflection. The readings are meant to be short and sweet so that they can easily be incorporated into a busy day.

Just for Today is also known as JFT, and can be practiced through NA meetings in cities around the world.

History of 'Just for Today' in NA

The JFT program was first published as a book of daily meditations in 1992 by Narcotics Anonymous. The goal was to create a set of daily readings that would be specifically geared towards those in recovery from addiction.

Since then, the program has grown exponentially, with Just for Today daily meditations available on NA websites all over the world.

How to Do Just for Today in NA

There's no one way to "do" Just for Today. Some people read the daily reflection first thing in the morning as a way to start their day off on the right foot, while others like to save it for the evening as a way to wind down before bed.

Wherever and whenever you choose to do Just for Today, the main thing is that you stick with it. The more consistent you are with the program, the more benefit you're likely to get from it.

If you're looking for some structure, however, here is a suggested way to do Just for Today:

  1. Wake up and read today's meditation or reflection. Take a few moments to think about what it means to you and how you can apply it to your life today.
  2. Throughout the day, take a few moments to check in with yourself and see how you're doing. If you find yourself starting to struggle, re-read the meditation or reflection for some inspiration and motivation.
  3. Before going to bed, take a few moments to reflect on your day. What went well? What could have gone better? How did Just for Today help you get through the day?

Benefits of Narcotics Anonymous

NA has had an impact on the lives of people in recovery, helping them to stay sober one day at a time. The program may also help with relapse prevention, as it helps people with narcotics addictions develop a healthy coping mechanism for dealing with stressful situations and triggers.

Below are some of the impacts of completing NA:

  1. Increased sobriety: NA may be an effective tool for helping people stay sober one day at a time. In general, 12-step programs have some support from the scientific literature in terms of their effectiveness.
  2. Improved mental health: NA has been shown to improve mental health outcomes in those who are recovering from addiction. The program helps to reduce stress and anxiety, two of the most common triggers for relapse.
  3. Greater sense of purpose: NA also helps participants to develop a greater sense of purpose in life through spiritual awakening. The program helps individuals to see that there is more to life than drugs and alcohol, and that sobriety is possible.
  4. Improved relationships: Finally, NA can also help to improve relationships which may increase sobriety. The program teaches individuals how to communicate more effectively, how to set boundaries, and how to resolve conflict in a healthy way.

Tips for Just for Today in NA

Are you ready to give Just for Today a try? Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1. Find a quiet place: When you're ready to start your day, find a quiet place where you can sit down and read the meditation or reflection without being interrupted.
  2. Set aside some time: Make sure you set aside enough time to really think about the reading and what it means to you. It's important not to rush through the process.
  3. Be honest with yourself: When reflecting on your day, be honest with yourself about how you're doing. This is not a time for self-judgment—simply observe how Just for Today is impacting your day-to-day life.
  4. Seek out support: Finally, don't forget that you're not alone in this process. There are many other people in recovery who are also doing Just for Today. Seek out their support and advice—they can be a great source of inspiration and motivation.

Pitfalls of Just for Today in NA

There are also a few pitfalls to be aware of when doing Just for Today in NA. First, it's important to remember that this program is not a substitute for professional help.

JFT Is Not a Substitute for Therapy Services

Just for Today should be used as a supplement to professional care, not as a replacement.

Just for Today can also be difficult to stick with if you're not committed to the process. It's important to be patient and consistent with the program. Don't give up if you don't see results right away.

Finally, some people may find that the self-reflection component of Just for Today can be difficult or uncomfortable. If this is the case, simply skip over that part of the program and focus on the other parts that are more helpful to you.

Despite these potential pitfalls, Just for Today is a valuable program for those recovering from addiction. If you're struggling with addiction, give Just for Today a try. It just might be the tool you need to help you achieve sobriety.

Finding an NA Meeting

If you're looking for an NA meeting near you, check out the NA website or look for a local Narcotics Anonymous group.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

5 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  3. Green CA, Yarborough MT, Polen MR, Janoff SL, Yarborough BJ. Dual recovery among people with serious mental illnesses and substance problems: a qualitative analysisJ Dual Diagn. 2015;11(1):33-41. doi:10.1080/15504263.2014.975004

  4. Galanter M, Dermatis H, Post S, Sampson C. Spirituality-based recovery from drug addiction in the twelve-step fellowship of narcotics anonymousJ Addict Med. 2013;7(3):189-195. doi:10.1097/ADM.0b013e31828a0265

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By Arlin Cuncic
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety."