Peer Recovery Specialists
Peer specialists help others find hope and healing. There are two types.
- Certified peer specialist: An individual with experience in the mental health and substance use services system trained to provide support to others struggling to find a path to recovery.
- Certified parent peer specialist: An individual with experience raising a child with behavioral health challenges trained to utilize their experience navigating services in support of other parents.
Certification is awarded after successful completion of a training course and passage of an exam.
Certified peer specialists and certified parent peer specialists are employed by providers of mental health and substance use services.
How NA Narcotics Anonymous Helps
Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s, with meetings first emerging in the USA in the early Fifties. The NA program started as a small US movement that has grown into one of the world’s oldest and largest organizations of its type.
Hopefully you are reading this in an effort to increase your awareness that Narcotics Anonymous is a viable recovery resource in your area. As your organization may interact with people with drug dependence, we believe it is important for you to be aware of Narcotics Anonymous as a community resource. Please feel free to refer people with drug problems to our meetings, or pass information about our program to those who may benefit from it. We hope you find the information and material on this web site helpful.
NA is a member-driven, international organization in which no dues or fees are charged for membership. All we ask is for a potential member to have a desire to stop using drugs. Members recover from the disease of addiction by application of the principles contained in the Twelve Steps. Our program is based on a set of spiritual principles, and we have no affiliation with any organized religion. Narcotics Anonymous is a twelve-step approach to recovery with the primary purpose of helping any individual stop using drugs. NA's program focuses on an addict's recovery from the disease of addiction, rather than any specific drug. Through our group meetings, and the therapeutic value of one addict helping another, addicts learn how to live drug-free and productive lives..
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Who can attend?
There are two types of meetings 'Open' or ''Closed'. 'Closed' meetings are only for addicts or those who think they may have a problem with drugs. 'Open'' meetings are open to anyone to attend, including family members, friends or professionals in the field, Check our NA Meeting Listings which specifies whether a meeting is 'Open' or 'Closed'. If there are no 'Open' meetings in your local area please go along anyway and ask one of those organising it if they can ask the group to make it 'Open' so you can attend.
Can I bring a client to a NA Meeting?Absolutely, you are welcome to bring clients to our 'Open' meetings. We would suggest that you arrive early and let one of those organising the meeting know who you are. Please feel free to ask questions before or after the meeting, but we would ask that you refrain from 'sharing' or talking during the meeting.
Can I attend NA Meetings myself?
Professionals are more than welcome at our 'Open' meetings. AODA guidelines recommend those working with addicts inform their clients about NA and also that they should attend and experience meetings themselves. Many professionals have said that attending meetings first hand helped to dispel myths about NA as they see first hand what happens at meetings and establish a more personal liaison with the local NA Community. Feel free to ask questions before or after the meeting.
Are there online 'Open' Meetings?
Currently there are many online NA meetings and many of those are 'Open' meetings. Please respect the individual meetings guidelines, i.e. some might require everyone to have video on. We would ask that you refrain from 'sharing' or talking yourself in the meeting.
Visit our NA Meeting Listings where local NA Members are encouraged to add their local name, number and email associated with each meeting.
Narcotics Anonymous is a non-religious fellowship, encouraging each member to cultivate an individual understanding, religious or not, of a 'spiritual awakening'.
Other things to note
PLEASE never repeat what you hear at an NA meeting – confidentiality is very important; Feel free to share your personal experience of attending with others; If you attend with others, try not to sit together instead spread out around the room; When there is a round of introductions just say “my name is (your name) and I am a visitor”; Reading cards are placed on seats and the people sitting in that seat are expected to read the card; Please do not give money when the basket is passed; contributions are for members only.
What does NA cost?
It costs nothing to attend Narcotics Anonymous and yet we don’t seek or take funding from any outside body. NA is not a commercial enterprise. At the end of each meeting, those attending are free to contribute voluntarily towards the cost of holding the meeting. The money is used to cover the cost of tea, coffee, NA literature and the rental of the room. No one is ever required or forced to contribute financially. Our ethos is if you have it and can contribute great, if you don’t, that’s OK, don’t worry about it. Our aim is simply to break even and cover our expenses as no one gets paid for facilitating a NA meeting.
Is NA Religious?
NA is not a religious organisation, nor does it discriminate against anyone holding religious, spiritual or secular views, you are free to believe, or not believe, anything you want. Though some of our meetings are held in church halls it is simply because they are available, amenable and affordable. We have no affiliation with any of these establishments we simply rent rooms as do many other community organisations.
What sort of Organisation is NA?
NA is not a government or social services body. We are not addiction professionals, nor do we purport to be. We don’t offer counselling, detoxes or advice. NA works simply through members sharing their experience of what has worked for them. NA helps addicts to stop taking drugs, get well and change the quality of their lives. We consider those that are new to NA to be the most important people in our meetings because we have learnt that helping others is a gift that reinforces our motivation and desire to stay drug-free.
Is NA solely for Opioid users?
In NA we are not concerned about what drugs people may have used, what they have done in the past or what their personal status might be, we are only interested in what they want to do to change their life and how we can help. Addiction cuts across all segments of society and age groups and affects people in differing ways. In the beginning many who come to our meetings think they are different and will not belong, but on attending meetings and hearing others talk about their experiences they often realise how similar these are to their own.
What is the referral process?
There are no waiting lists for NA. If one of your clients wants to attend a meeting they just need to show up. Anyone is welcome to attend our 'Open' meetings, We encourage professionals to experience NA meetings for themselves, or better still bring a client along.