An Introduction to NA
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 pamphlet to the left is a clickable link 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 hep 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.
“Effective meeting formats keep the primary purpose in focus and encourage members to participate in a way
that expresses recovery”.
Tradition Five, It Works: How and Why
Our Basic Text, Narcotics Anonymous, provides the best description of who we are and what we do: “NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.” The Twelve Steps of NA are the basis of our recovery program. Our meetings are where we share recovery with one another, but applying our program consists of much more than simply attending NA meetings.
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. NA literature is also a great source of information about our program. Our Basic Text (Narcotics Anonymous) or our informational pamphlets (IPs) are good places to start. Most meetings offer IPs for free, while NA books are generally sold at the group’s cost. Much of our literature is also available to read or order online at www.na.org.
General information that applies
to NA meetings
Cultivating an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings
Groups may vary on how they choose to address some meeting-related matters. We encourage you to check each meeting out for yourself to get a better idea of what is expected at that meeting. The following basics are common in many meetings.
Our meetings vary widely in size and style. Some are small and intimate; others are large and loud. The practices and terms used in our meetings also vary widely from one place to another. Most importantly, our meetings are where we share our experience, strength, and hope. If you’re an addict, keep coming back and share recovery with us!
Some helpful NA terms
Addict—the term we use to refer to ourselves because we see addiction itself as the problem, rather than the use of a specific drug
Basic Text—the book that contains our core ideas, entitled Narcotics Anonymous
Closed Meeting—meeting only for addicts or those who think they might have a drug problem
Group—members who hold one or more regularly scheduled NA meetings (see IP #2, The Group)
Higher Power—any loving force that helps a member stay clean and seek recovery
IPs—information pamphlets about NA
Newcomers—new NA members
Open Meeting—meeting that welcomes anyone to attend, including interested non-addicts
Relapse—a brief or extended return to drug use
Sharing—offering personal experience with addiction and recovery
Sponsor—experienced member who offers guidance and support through the Twelve Steps (see IP #11, Sponsorship)
Trusted Servants—members who have service positions in NA
Copyright © 2014 by
Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.
World Service Office
PO Box 9999
Van Nuys, CA 91409 USA
TEL (818) 773-9999 FAX (818) 700-0700 WEB www.na.org