Narcotics Anonymous

From Academic Kids

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a support group for people who are addicted to drugs, clean addicts and active drug users, to help them learn how to live without using mind- and mood-altering chemicals. It uses a 12 step program modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. There are subtle differences between the steps used by members of Alcoholics Anonymous and by the members of Narcotics Anonymous. The steps were changed to reflect an all-inclusive program that does not cater to one specific substance problem. NA members believe that the underlying disease of addiction is the problem -- and the problem doesn't disappear just because they stop using. NA members believe addiction is a fourfold disease -- physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. They also believe the spiritual path laid out by the 12 steps provide recovery.



Meetings are held regularly, and can be either open (where non addicts can attend) or closed (where only addicts are welcome). NA meetings are held in many places such as local parks, community centers, or any place that can accomodate a meeting for that matter. Meetings have trusted servants who are members of the fellowship of NA such as a secretary, a GSR(group service representative), a coffee maker, a treasurer. Some meetings even have a "greeter" who greets other members as they come into the meeting.

A leader is chosen by the secretary to lead the meeting and is begun with a moment of silence for the addict that still suffers followed by the serenity prayer. Most meetings have readings such as "Who is an addict", "Why are we here", "What is the NA program", "How it works", and "The 12 Traditions". These readings basically explain the program and can be found in "The Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous". Most meetings celebrate periods of "clean time" such as 30, 60, 90 days, 6, 9, and 18 months with a token and 1 year and every year thereafter with a cake, a token, and a song. Each meeting is a little different in format and how they celebrate "clean time". There are also many types of meetings such as topic discussion, basic text study, step study, speaker. Other formats at meetings are candle light, tag, podium, leader picks. When the sharing begins, members introduce themselves by first name only and call themselves addicts. They share their experience, strenght, and hope so that others such as newcomers(who have less than 30 days clean) can stay "clean" another day. Members share about how Narcotics Anonymous has changed their lives and how the 12 steps have worked in their lives. They say that you have to "work" the steps and do it with a sponsor who will guide you through the 12 steps. Sharing differs from member to member but the bottom line is that they share the message. The message is "That an addict seeking recovery, can stop using drugs, loose the desire to use, and find a better way to live". Those exact words do not have to be shared, but if you pay attention to the sharing, that "message" is carried.

Sometime during the meeting the 7th tradition basket is passed around. The 7th tradition states that "Every NA group ought to be fully self supporting declining outside contributions". Donations are made by members and the money is used to pay rent on the meeting place, buy tokens and literature, coffee and supplies and any money left over is donated to the area to help carry the message of recovery. It doesn't cost anything to be a member of Narcotics Anonymous. As stated in tradition #3, "The only requirment for membership, is a desire to stop using".

At the end of the meeting the secretary asks for any NA announcements. Narcotics Anonymous areas have functions such as BBQ's, dances, and other such functions. Each particular area have many different functions and is basically set up to promote "unity" within the fellowship. Other internal meeting announcements are made such as the treasurers report and a GSR(group service representative) report. Once announcements are done, the group circles up and embrace each other arm to arm to connect the circle. Some meetings end with a reading called "Just for Today" and all are finally closed with a closing prayer such as "The Serenity Prayer" or the "3rd step prayer". At the end of the prayer everyone(all together) says, "Keep coming Back, It works if you work it". Those are very important words. In the reading "What is the NA Program", the last line states "We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regulargly, STAY CLEAN".

After the closing members help clean up the room, put chairs away, etc. and then there are the meetings after the meeting. These are the one on one or small group conversations. These are the "get to know you" or "how ya doing" talks and it's a good way for newcomers to get known by the fellowship.


Another important fact is that Narcotics Anonymous is a spiritual program, not a religious program. Each member is entitled to freely choose their own understanding of a "Higher Power". In the reading "How it works", the end of step 3 states GOD as we understood Him. Although there is a gender implied, it is understood by members of NA that it's your choice. The word "GOD" isn't always used by members and some simply choose to use "higher power".

NA is neither a sect nor a cult, and is absolutely not a religious program.

Narcotics Anonymous is not related to Narconon. Narconon is a branch of the Church of Scientology, presenting Scientology doctrine.


It is recommended that addicts recovering in Narcotics Anonymous find a sponsor. A sponsor is someone who helps another addict by guiding them through the 12 steps by sharing their own personal experience with recovery.

See also

External links

de:Narcotics Anonymous nl:NA-Anonieme Verslaafden


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