Information About NA
Narcotics Anonymous is a global, community-based organization with a multi-lingual and multicultural membership. NA was founded in 1953, and our membership growth was minimal during our initial twenty years as an organization. Since the publication of our Basic Text in 1983, the number of members and meetings has increased dramatically. Today, NA members hold nearly 67,000 meetings weekly in 139 countries. We offer recovery from the effects of addiction through working a twelve-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings. The group atmosphere provides help from peers and offers an ongoing support network for addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. Our name, Narcotics Anonymous, is not meant to imply a focus on any particular drug; NA’s approach makes no distinction between drugs including alcohol. Membership is free, and we have no affiliation with any organizations outside of NA including governments, religions, law enforcement groups, or medical and psychiatric associations. Through all of our service efforts and our cooperation with others seeking to help addicts, we strive to reach a day when every addict in the world has an opportunity to experience our message of recovery in his or her own language and culture.
The Lie is Dead
We Do Recover
When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer
function as a human being, either with or without drugs, we all
face the same dilemma. What is there left to do? There seems
to be this alternative: either go on as best we can to the bitter
ends—jails, institutions or death—or find a new way to live. In
years gone by, very few addicts ever had this last choice.
Those who are addicted today are more fortunate. For the first
time in man’s entire history, a simple way has been proving
itself in the lives of many addicts. It is available to us all. This is
a simple spiritual—not religious—program, known as Narcotics
Information About NA
Includes facts about the history of NA, organizational philosophy, & membership demographics.
Información Sobre NA
Incluye datos sobre la historia de NA, la filosofía organizacional y la demografía de la membresía.
Most frequent questions and answers
This is a question every potential member must answer for themselves. It may help to read some of our informational pamphlets, starting with “Am I an addict?” and “Welcome to NA”.
If you’re an addict, NA can help. “Narcotics Anonymous offers recovery to addicts around the world. We focus on the disease of addiction rather than any particular drug. Our message is broad enough to attract addicts from any social class or nationality. When new members come to meetings, our sole interest is in their desire for freedom from active addiction and how we can be of help.” (It Works: How and Why, “Third Tradition”)
If you’re planning to attend your first meeting, you may also be interested in IP #29,“An Introduction to NA Meetings.”
“If you’re new to NA or planning to go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting for the first time, it might be nice to know a little bit about what happens in our meetings. The information here is meant to give you an understanding of what we do when we come together to share recovery. The words we use and the way we act might be unfamiliar to you at first, but hopefully this information can help you get the most out of your first NA meeting or help you feel more comfortable as you keep coming back. Showing up early, staying late, and asking lots of questions before and after meetings will help you get the most out of every meeting you attend….
…People have all sorts of reasons for attending NA meetings, but the purpose of each meeting is to give NA members a place to share recovery with other addicts. If you are not an addict, look for an open meeting, which welcomes non-addicts. If you’re an addict or think you might have a drug problem, we suggest a meeting every day for at least 90 days to get to know NA members and our program….”
(excerpts from IP #29, “An Introduction to NA Meetings”)
NA literature is also a great source of information about our program. Our Basic Text, Narcotics Anonymous, or our information pamphlets (IPs) are a good place to start. Most meetings offer IPs for free, while books are generally sold at the group’s cost. Most of our literature is also available to read on this website.
To begin, we invite you to read IP #22, “Welcome to NA”. Please come to our meetings and “Keep Coming Back!”
An NA meeting is where two or more addicts gather for the purpose of recovery from the disease of addiction. Members offer each other peer support by sharing experiences about how they manage life situations without returning to using drugs. Some meetings have speakers who share their experience with getting and staying clean, while others have structured formats that focus on NA literature (our Basic Text, informational pamphlets, or our Just for Today daily meditation book). All meetings focus on recovery and supporting each other in recovery.
Here are some other things that can occur at an NA meeting:
- During the course of a meeting, a basket is passed for our members to contribute money to support the cost of the meeting facility and other NA services such as literature distribution. One of our traditions speaks to our self-support through our own contributions.
- Meetings often open and close with the Serenity Prayer or some other NA
- Some meetings also provide keytags to recognize days, months, and years of
continuous abstinence from drugs.
Starting an NA meeting can be relatively easy. NA meetings may vary greatly in structure and format, however, there is always one constant: They are started so that the NA message of recovery can be carried to the still-suffering addict in the most effective way – addict to addict. If you are an addict, thinking about or planning to start a meeting, please review the Group QuickStart Guide:
** Attend our next Area Service Meeting, Which are held the 1st Sunday of every month **
As explained in our book and informational pamphlet, Sponsorship, this is a relationship between two members of NA—a more experienced member helping a newer member learn how to live life without the use of drugs and how to incorporate the principles of the Twelve Steps.
Yes, they are more than welcome to attend meetings. Many of our members actually 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 during break or before or after the meeting.
- Open Meeting: all are welcome. Addicts & non-addicts may attend.
- Closed Meeting: addicts only. Closed to the public.