Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Fellowship

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) Header
Last Edited: February 27, 2020

Author
Claudia Rose

Clinically Reviewed
Edward Jamison, MS, CAP, ICADC, LADC

All of the information on this page has been reviewed and certified by an addiction professional.

What is Narcotics Anonymous?

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) fellowship focuses on providing a safe environment where recovering drug addicts can share their experiences with one each other. Narcotics Anonymous offers a recovery process and a peer support network that are linked together to ensure a long life of recovery. The therapeutic value of members working with other each other is key to NA’s success.

The NA fellowship is a worldwide multilingual, multicultural with more than 63,000 weekly meetings in over 130 countries. This fellowship has been a beacon of hope for others who are suffering and for the families struggling to understand.

It has been a long road to recovery, but those who have benefited from the NA organization go on to live a life that is fulfilling surrounded by a sober community that cares. Today, Narcotics Anonymous is a national organization with meeting locations, literature, and web content to continue to help those suffering with addiction across the globe. NA communities and groups continue to save lives and evolve as more people fall prey to narcotic addiction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I still go to an NA meeting if I am recovering from a drug other than narcotics?
NA welcomes everyone who is suffering to sustain a sober lifestyle. Narcotics, meth, party drugs, NA meetings are a safe environment for those who just want to stay clean and sober. There are other fellowships that are drug specific if you are interested, but NA will welcome you without prejudice.

Will everyone know I have a drug problem if I attend NA meetings?
NA is entirely anonymous with the intentions of keeping your identity and experiences private. You are not required to share your experiences with others and your involvement within the meeting is entirely up to you.

Does NA members have to attend meetings for the rest of their life?
Not necessarily, but — as one member has suggested — “Most of us want to, and some of us may need to.” Those who attend meetings enjoy them and keep coming back to help them stay on the right path.

NA Fellowship Traditions and Values

Narcotics Anonymous focuses on the NA traditions of nonendorsement and does not express opinions— either pro or con—on civil, medical, legal, social, or religious issues. Furthermore, the fellowship does not take a stand on addiction-related issues such as criminality, drug legalization or penalties, prostitution, law enforcement, HIV/HCV infection, or syringe programs.

Narcotics Anonymous focuses their efforts to be entirely self-sufficient through member contributions and does not accept financial contributions from non-members. Narcotics Anonymous neither endorses nor opposes other fellowship philosophy or methodology. NA’s primary focus is in providing a safe recovery environment where recovering drug addicts can share their experiences with one each other.

Narcotics Anonymous Program

NA’s earliest publication, known as “The White Booklet,” describes Narcotics Anonymous as a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women who struggle with a drug problem. Those who choose to be a member meet regularly to help each other stay clean, are not interested in what or how much used, and focus on continuing a lifestyle without drug abuse.

Membership is open to all recovering drug addicts who are seeking support for a drug free lifestyle. Narcotics Anonymous offers a recovery process and a peer support network that are linked together to ensure a long life of recovery. The therapeutic value of members working with other each other is key to NA’s success.

By working together, sharing their success with the fellowship, and working through their daily challenges in overcoming active addiction, members can rely on each other to get through triggers or stressful situations that could cause relapse. The core principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA help those in need live a drug-free, productive life with a dependable support network during times of crisis.

Narcotics Anonymous is a non-religious program of recovery that encourages an individual understanding—religious or not—of the spiritual principles and apply these principles to everyday life. There are no social, economic, religious, racial, gender, ethnic, national, or class-status membership restrictions in the NA fellowship. There are no dues or fees for becoming a member and NA does not employ professional counselors or therapist.

The Narcotics Anonymous has only one mission and that is to provide an environment in which addicts can help one another stop using drugs and find a new way to live.

In the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship, membership is based on the principle of complete abstinence, a desire to stop using drugs and alcohol as a foundation of their new way of life. The use of psychiatric medication and other medication when prescribed by a physician and taken under medical supervision is not seen as compromising a person’s recovery.

NA’s Brief History in Time

Narcotics Anonymous (NA) was established from the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Program in the late 1940s. In the early 1950’s NA meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles area of California, for those struggling with an addiction to narcotics like heroin and prescription pills. The NA program began as a small US organization that provided a fellowship for those who did not find results in the AA program. The NA fellowship has grown into one of the world’s largest and oldest international fellowships of its type.

As a world organization, NA grew slowly originating in Los Angeles, slowly spreading across major North American cities as more people began to find help they needed with NA. Narcotics Anonymous did not expand to another continent until the early 1970’s where Australia began to adopt the NA fellowship literature.

Within a few years, NA groups began to form across all continents in Brazil, Germany, Ireland, India, Great Britain, New Zealand, Colombia, and Japan. With the publication of its self-titled Basic Text book in 1983, NA grew to have a presence in more than a dozen countries with 2,966 meetings worldwide.

Today, Narcotics Anonymous is a national organization with meeting locations, literature, and web content to continue to help those suffering with addiction across the globe. NA communities and groups continue to save lives and evolve as more people fall prey to narcotic addiction.

The NA fellowship is a worldwide multilingual, multicultural with more than 63,000 weekly meetings in over 130 countries. Narcotics Anonymous books, literature, and information pamphlets are currently available on their website.

Sponsorship & Meetings

Establishing a strong support system within the NA local community is key to a long lasting sobriety. NA focuses on peer to peer sponsorship and having a recovering addict host meetings to demonstrate and install hope of their success in others. After living in a world where substance abuse has been their entire life, seeing that treatment and recovery is possible inspires hope in someone who has none.

NA has found this method extremely effective in sustaining a life style that is drug free. Those who are new to a NA meeting, clean or still struggling, will be given a list of phone numbers to call with a warm invitation to return to the next meeting. It is highly encouraged that they return without drugs in their system, however, NA does not turn down those who are still struggling with addiction and try to show them that there is hope and the people around them have the history of sobriety to prove it. Witnessing the success of NA’s fellowship often inspires, lifts people up from the gutter that is their addiction and surround them with a sober community that will sponsor their recovery if they want to.

Disclaimer: DetoxtoRehab.com is in no way affiliated with Narcotics Anonymous nor do we receive funding from the organization for endorsing their fellowship. Our goal is to educate those in need about aftercare programs that help maintain sobriety and help those struggling with addiction find a meeting. Please attend an NA meeting for literature or visit their website for more information.