Author: Charles Frank

Narcotics Anonymous Inclusive 12-Step Program for Drug Addicts

what is a na meeting

Within the 12 steps of NA, members are asked to admit they are powerless over their addiction and that their recovery relies on a “higher power.” This phrase can mean a variety of things and up to personal interpretation. “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” Members understand and agree that what is said in meetings and who they see there stays there. This commitment to privacy creates an environment of security where everyone can feel comfortable opening up and sharing their experiences and feelings.

what is a na meeting

This service conference has the executive right to make decisions for the entire NA Fellowship. This includes electing members to serve on the World Board, approving all new NA Literature, service material, and making policy decisions that affect the fellowship including the organizational structure. From the beginnings of NA, the need for official NA literature was evident. Unfortunately, the process of creating and approving official NA literature has seen some of the most contentious periods of debate within the fellowship.

Zonal Forums

To more effectively serve the fellowship, World Services and the Zonal Forums maintain an ongoing partnership to plan and conduct the Worldwide Workshop system. In 1970, there were only 20 regular, weekly meetings, all of them in the United States. Within two years there were 70, including meetings in Germany, Australia, and Bermuda.

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities. Our free email newsletter offers guidance from top addiction specialists, inspiring sobriety stories, and practical recovery tips to help you or a loved one keep coming back and staying sober. For almost 70 years, NA has been helping those suffering from substance abuse and addiction by providing a safe and supportive group environment to focus on their sobriety. Generally speaking, members recommend in-person meetings over virtual or phone meetings for new members. The coronavirus pandemic, for example, made in-person attendance impossible for a while due to lockdowns and so on.

  1. The only rules in a meeting are that drugs and drug paraphernalia are not allowed.
  2. Instead, the purpose of NA is to share the trials and triumphs that come with addiction and recovery.
  3. Regions then pass funds to Zonal Forums and also the World Service Conference via the World Service Office according to the decision of the Region.
  4. Narcotics Anonymous has made it easy to locate meetings in your area through the “For the Public” tab on their website.
  5. The program emphasizes spirituality, resilience, and peer support.
  6. Like AA, NA World Services is a nonprofit fellowship whose primary purpose is to encourage those in active addiction to stop using drugs and to provide accountability and support for recovering drug addicts.

Confusingly, in 1962, the Salvation Army started a group also called “Narcotics Anonymous” that followed a different “13-step” program, but this program soon died out. Members of the program learned what was effective and what was not. Relapse rates declined over time and friction between NA groups began to decrease. NA started in California in the 1950s as an offshoot of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Today, it holds more than 70,000 regular meetings in 144 countries. There are no membership fees, and NA is an independent organization with no links to any treatment centers or religious groups.

Membership demographics

Typically NA groups will purchase literature using group funds from local (area or regional) service offices, or direct from NAWS. In addition, many NA groups were not following the 12 traditions very closely (which were quite new at the time). These groups were at times accepting money from outside entities, conflating AA with NA, or even adding religious elements to the meetings. The twelve steps of the NA program are based upon spiritual principles, three of which are honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness, embodied in the first three steps.

Members meet regularly to share their experiences and support each other to quit drugs. If you are ready to work toward recovery from drugs or alcohol, treatment options are available to help. Twelve-step programs such as Narcotics Anonymous can be helpful, but you should start by talking to your doctor about your first steps.

Meetings are either “open,” for members and non-members, or “closed” (for members and prospective members only). Support people and loved ones who are not in recovery themselves are typically welcome to attend open meetings. In addition to talking about the challenges of drug recovery, NA meetings are also a place for members to offer advice to others, share their success stories, and celebrate their recovery milestones. The only way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that first drug. If you are like us you know that one is too many and a thousand never enough. We put great emphasis on this, for we know that when we use drugs in any form, or substitute one for another, we release our addiction all over again.

It is customary to take up collections to help cover some of the basic expenses of the NA meeting like rent, snacks, drinks, etc. There is no financial requirement to be a member of NA, and any contribution is 100% voluntary. It’s often suggested that newcomers call fellow addicts when they want to use their drug of choice. The term “dial it, don’t file it” is based on the concept that urges can be overcome by group support. The 12 steps of NA are a step-by-step checklist to help you on your recovery journey. NA members will complete each step before moving on to the next in line.

NA Meetings – What are they, How Can they Help Me & Where Can I Find a Meeting?

Because no attendance records are kept, it is impossible to estimate what percentages of those who come to Narcotics Anonymous remain active in NA over time. The only sure indicator of the program’s success in attracting members is the rapid growth in the number of registered Narcotics Anonymous meetings in recent decades and the rapid spread of Narcotics Anonymous outside North America. The 6th edition of the NA Basic Text was approved with over forty new “personal stories” from around the world. Because of the addition of so many new stories of NA member experiences, it is larger in size than all earlier editions. After the rapid succession of five editions during the 1980s, this was the first new edition in twenty years.

This new edition would remove some of the personal stories from the 5th edition, and supplement the remainder of the original stories with more diverse personal stories from around the world. Also, the preface would remain the same, as well as the “Symbol” page. There is a new preface but the original preface will be called “preface to the 1st edition”. There were some other changes to the structure of the book, including the layout and flow of the book, while keeping the original message clear and unchanged. The NA White Booklet was written in 1962 and became the heart of NA meetings and the basis for all subsequent NA literature. NA was called a “hip pocket program” because the entire literature could fit into a person’s hip pocket.

FAQs about Narcotics Anonymous

These member claims are evidential proof, if by survey, that the support sought by addicts in NA, has helped them to begin the arduous process of rebuilding a positive, drug-free life. When you enter a meeting you are surrounded by a group of peers that are addicts and have been through and survived similar experiences with their addictions. This is an environment that is “judgment-free” and is for the support of a lifestyle that abstains from drugs and faces the challenges presented in everyday life with the goal of recovery in sight.

NA is unusual but not unique in its focus on the symptom/substance not being the core problem, but rather the disease of addiction, as is stated in the NA Step 1. In NA, it does not matter what substance you used, and alcohol is seen as a drug. 12-step groups differ in their approach to the treatment of addiction and recovery. NA has no opinion on these groups, as these are outside issues and the traditions suggest against taking a definitive stand on outside issues. NA is a support group that focuses on helping people recovering from drug addictions. An NA meeting involves meeting with peers to discuss experiences, share advice, and offer encouragement.

This often helps members feel more comfortable about opening up. In 1944, AA’s co-founder Bill Wilson discussed a separate fellowship for drug addicts.[19] In 1947, NARCO (also called Addicts Anonymous) met weekly at the U.S. Jimmy K., who is credited with starting the NA as we know it today, did contact Rae Perez, a leading member of this NA fellowship. Because that fellowship did not want to follow the 12 traditions written by AA, the two NA fellowships never united. You can find an AA or NA meeting just about anywhere in the world, almost any time you need one. You may want to try out many sessions to find ones where you feel most comfortable with the meeting’s style, location, schedule, and members.