What Is NA?
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is a global organisation of recovering addicts. NA members are men and women from all walks of life for whom drugs had become a major problem, who meet regularly to help each other stay clean, and recover from the effects of addiction in their lives. The NA programme is one of complete abstinence from all drugs, following a twelve-step programme, and regular attendance at meetings. It is based on a set of spiritual principles that are not associated with a particular religion. Although our steps call for finding and believing in a “power greater than oneself”, this is a personal decision for each and every member to make. Experience of our members has shown that the spiritual principles work for all members, from the devoutly religious to the atheist and agnostic.
NA is not affiliated with any other organisation or institution. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. There is no cost to attend meetings.
The basic premise of anonymity allows addicts to attend meetings without fear of legal or social repercussions. This is an important consideration for an addict thinking about going to a meeting for the first time. Anonymity also supports an atmosphere of equality, meaning that no individual’s personality or circumstance will be considered more important than the message of recovery shared in NA.
Even though our members used a variety of drugs, in NA we speak of recovery from the disease of addiction, rather than specific drugs. We believe that drugs are a symptom of our disease, and recovery from the disease of addiction is through application of the principles contained in the Twelve Steps.
Someone who is still using drugs is welcome to attend NA meetings. Many NA members came to meetings while still using drugs and are now drug-free and recovering today. Often, if a member is still using, he or she will be asked to refrain from speaking during a meeting. Instead, these addicts are encouraged to speak with members before or after the meeting.