Entities tend to post disclaimers when they are afraid of legal action. This is more about educating others to the truth. No, we are not afraid of any corporate entity that has stolen the NA name coming after us or any of our "malcontent cohorts". They have had ample opportunity to do so. We simply do not know to whom the World Board is referring when they claim to have contacted Groups and services asking them to cease publication of the literature the Groups own.
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Narcotics Anonymous program[ edit ] Membership and organization[ edit ] The third tradition of NA states that the only requirement for membership is "a desire to stop using. All facts and quotes presented in "The Narcotics Anonymous program" section, unless otherwise sourced, come from the Narcotics Anonymous Basic Text.
According to the Basic Text, Narcotics Anonymous "has no opinion on outside issues", including those of politics , science or medicine , and does not endorse any outside organization or institution. The fellowship does not promote itself, but rather attracts new members through public information and outreach.
Individuals can also be compelled to attend by courts or rehab programs. Even if other people pointed out they may have a drug problem they were convinced otherwise. But once an addict on his or her own tries to stop and realizes they cannot, they finally see that drugs have been controlling them. Addicts lived to use and used to live. NA helps show them a different way of life and helps them fight their disease. NA suggests that the disease of addiction can be arrested, and recovery is possible through the NA twelve-step program.
The steps never mention drugs or drug use, rather they refer only to addiction, to indicate that addicts have a disease of which drug use is one symptom. In the NA program all drugs are considered equal, and alcohol is also a drug. Other symptoms include obsession , compulsion , denial , and self-centeredness. Meetings are held in a variety of places such as church meeting rooms, libraries, hospitals, community centers, parks, or any other place that can accommodate a meeting.
Members who attend the same meeting on a regular basis to establish a recovery network and reliable routine understand this to be their "Home Group". Formats[ edit ] There are two basic types of meetings, "open" and "closed". Anyone is welcome to attend an open meeting, while closed meetings are limited to addicts and to people who think they may have a problem with drugs.
Meeting formats vary, but often include time devoted to the reading aloud of NA literature regarding the issues involved in living life clean which is written by and for members of NA.
Many meetings are conducted by the chairperson who chooses the speakers. Other meetings include an "open sharing" component, where anyone attending has the opportunity to share. There is usually no direct feedback during the "share"; thus only one person ever speaks at any given time during this portion of the meeting. Some groups choose to host a single speaker such meetings are usually denoted "speaker meetings" to share for the majority of the meeting time.
Other meeting formats include: round robin sharing goes around in a circle , tag meeting each speaker picks the next person to share. Some meetings are "common needs" also known as special-interest meetings, supporting a particular group of people based on gender, sexual identity , age, language or other characteristic.
These meetings are not exclusionary, as any addict is welcome at any NA meeting. NA communities will often make an effort to have a separate meeting run at the same time for members who do not identify with the common-needs meeting.
During the meeting, some groups allot time for NA-related announcements, and many meetings set aside time to recognize "anniversaries" or "birthdays" of clean time. Individuals are sometimes given an opportunity to announce their clean time to the group. In some areas, the addict who is celebrating a "clean anniversary" will be able to have support group members read the readings for the meeting and he or she will have a speaker carry the NA message.
Then the addict celebrating can share his or her experience, strength, and hope with the group on how they did it. The NA message is hope: that there is another way to live. The one promise of NA is that "an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live" Basic Text. Service[ edit ] NA literature suggests that service work is an essential part of a program of recovery.
Service is "doing the right thing for the right reason," and is the best example of "good will", which is the basis for the freedom only from active addiction by the NA program.
Service work is usually chairing a meeting but may be as simple as cleaning up after the meeting, putting away chairs, or answering a phone. Additionally, there are basic, formalized service positions at the group level to help the group perform its function: examples include treasurer, secretary and Group Service Representative GSR who represents the group in the larger service structure.
The NA service structure operates at area, regional and world levels. These levels of service exist to serve the groups and are directly responsible to those groups; they do not govern. World services is accountable to its member regions, who are in turn responsible to member areas. Area service committees directly support member groups and often put on special events, such as dances and picnics. Area service committees also provide special subcommittees to serve the needs of members who may be confined in jails and institutions, and will also provide a public interface to the fellowship.
Book one discusses the basics of the NA program and the twelve steps and traditions. Book two is composed of many personal stories. The Step Working Guides is a workbook with questions on each step and is often called the "Flat Book". Miracles Happen describes the early years of the NA organization. This book contains many photographs of early literature and meeting places. The book explores the principles found in the 12 Traditions of NA, and is a resource for members of NA to learn what the essence of the Traditions are, as well understanding their application for NA groups, members, and service committees.
NA has also produced dozens of "Informational Pamphlets," or "IPs," of varying length that cover a wide range of recovery-related topics, including questionnaires for those who think they may have a drug addiction and information for those addicts trying to stay clean while still inside hospitals or institutions.
Spirituality[ edit ] NA calls itself a spiritual program of recovery from the disease of addiction. The NA program places importance on developing a working relationship with a " higher power ". Members are given absolute freedom in coming to an understanding of a higher power that works for them.
Individuals from various spiritual and religious backgrounds, as well as many atheists and agnostics, have developed a relationship with their own higher power. 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.
These three are hardly exhaustive. The Basic Text of NA says, in Chapter Four, in reference to all twelve steps, "These are the principles which made our recovery possible".
NA meetings usually close with a circle of the participants, a group hug and a prayer of some sort. Prayers used to close meetings today include the "we" version of the " Serenity Prayer " "God, Grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Guide me in my recovery. Show me how to live. A sponsor is a member of NA who helps another member of the fellowship by sharing their experience, strength and hope in recovery and serves as a guide through the Twelve Steps.
To feel most comfortable, many NA members have sponsors of the same sex although members are free to choose any other member as a sponsor. It is also suggested that one should find a sponsor who has not only worked the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous, but that person also have a sponsor who has worked the 12 traditions of Narcotics Anonymous. Anonymity[ edit ] " Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
The spirit of anonymity is about placing "principles before personalities" and recognizing that no individual addict is superior to another, and that individual addicts do not recover without the fellowship or its spiritual principles. The Eleventh Tradition states that NA members "need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films". The NA program, officially founded in ,  started as a small U.
Predecessors[ edit ] Alcoholics Anonymous was the first step program, and through it many with drug and drinking problems found sobriety. At "open" AA meetings, non-alcoholics are welcome. Jimmy K. Because that fellowship did not want to follow the 12 traditions written by AA, the two NA fellowships never united. Founding members, most of whom were from AA, debated and established the 12 Traditions of the NA fellowship. It contained the 12 steps, and early drafts of several pieces that would later be included in subsequent literature.
The first meetings of Narcotics Anonymous were held in the basements of churches for the members protection because at that time an old law prohibiting convicted felons from congregating was still being upheld and churches offered their basements as a sanctuary.
Addicts would have to cruise around meeting places and check for surveillance, to make sure meetings would not be busted by police. It was many years before NA became recognized as a beneficial organization, although some early press accounts were very positive. These groups were at times accepting money from outside entities, conflating AA with NA, or even adding religious elements to the meetings.
For a variety of reasons, meetings began to decline in the late s, and there was a four-month period in when there were no meetings held anywhere at all. Resurgence[ edit ] In the late , meetings began to form again and grow. This booklet was republished in as the NA White Book, and included the personal stories of many addicts.
That year a "Parent Service Board" later renamed the World Service Board was formed to ensure that NA stayed healthy and followed closely to the traditions. Confusingly, in , the Salvation Army started a group also called "Narcotics Anonymous" that followed a different "step" program, but this program soon died out.
The NA program grew slowly in the s. 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. In , 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. In , the first London meeting opened in Millman Street, Chelsea, with around six members and a second followed months later.
By , there were 1, different meetings all over the world. A World Service Office was officially opened in Unfortunately, the process of creating and approving official NA literature has seen some of the most contentious periods of debate within the fellowship.
Although the Yellow Booklet, Little White Booklet, and Little White Book were used in the s and s, many people desired to have a more detailed book on recovery, paralleling the "Big Book" of Alcoholics Anonymous. Some meetings offered AA literature at meetings, while others considered writing their own books on recovery.
While previous literature had been written by just a few addicts primarily by Jimmy Kinnon , the NA Basic Text was written as a massive collaboration between hundreds of people. There were a total of seven World Literature Conferences within three years, all of them open to any addict who wished to help. It was decided that the book would use the Little White Book as its outline, filling in and expanding on the subjects discussed in that text. After passage, however, publication was held up due to a spirited disagreement between the World Service Office and the members who wrote the book regarding a few key sentences which described the nature of the World Service Organization and other NA service entities.
The book was printed in with the passages removed. A second edition that restored the passages quickly followed at the demand of the fellowship. A hasty vote which required Regional Service Representatives to respond within 60 days even though most regions only met every 90 days making it impossible to actually poll the NA Groups and membership again removed the sentences in a third edition.
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