The Narcotics Anonymous program
Narcotics Anonymous (N.A.) is a twelve-step program of recovery from drug addiction, modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. It describes itself as a nonprofit "fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem", and it is the second-largest 12-step organization in existence. The program is group-oriented, and is based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions, adapted from Alcholics Anonymous (A.A.).
The only requirement for membership is "a desire to stop using," and members "meet regularly to help each other stay clean," where "clean" is defined as complete abstinence from all mood and mind altering substances (including alcohol). Membership in N.A. is free, and there are no dues or fees. The foundation of the Narcotics Anonymous program is the twelve steps and twelve traditions.
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. N.A. groups and areas supply outside organizations with factual information regarding the N.A. program, and individual members may carry the N.A. message to hospitals and institutions, such as treatment centers and jails.
Regular meetings, hosted by N.A. groups, are the basic unit of the N.A. Fellowship. 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.
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.
Just For Today
A new influence
"Personality change was what we really needed. Change from self-destructive patterns of life became necessary."
Basic Text, p. 15
In early life, most of us were capable of joy and wonder, of giving and receiving unconditional love. When we started using, we introduced an influence into our lives that slowly drove us away from those things. The further we were pushed down the path of addiction, the further we withdrew from joy, wonder, and love.
That journey was not taken overnight. But however long it took, we arrived at the doors of NA with more than just a drug problem. The influence of addiction had warped our whole pattern of living beyond recognition.
The Twelve Steps work miracles, it's true, but not many of them are worked overnight. Our disease slowly influenced our spiritual development for the worse. Recovery introduces a new influence to our lives, a source of fellowship and spiritual strength slowly impelling us into new, healthy patterns of living.
This change, of course, doesn't "just happen." But if we cooperate with the new influence NA has brought to our lives, over time we will experience the personality change we call recovery. The Twelve Steps provide us with a program for the kind of cooperation required to restore joy, wonder, and love to our lives.
Just for today: I will cooperate with the new influence of fellowship and spiritual strength NA has introduced to my life. I will work the next step in my program.
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