Narcotics Anonymous is a twelve step program for individuals addicted to drugs or suffering from substance abuse who desire recovery. The program is based on Alcoholics anonymous, is non-profit, and the second largest recovery organization in the world.
Historically, Narcotics anonymous developed in the late 1940’s in Los Angeles, California. The first NA (Narcotics anonymous) text was published in 1983, and it aided in the remarkable progression of NA meetings in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, India, Africa, Japan, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Currently, NA has expanded all over Western Europe, India, and Africa. Texts and pamphlets are available in thirty-four languages throughout the world.
NA meetings are free of “dues and fees” and membership is accomplished simply through having “a desire to stop using.” Narcotics anonymous member hold habitual meetings “to help each other stay clean.” Clean is defined by NA terminology as “complete abstinence from all mood and mind altering substances, including alcohol.” The core of NA is rooted in the twelve steps and twelve traditions.
The 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous
1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Narcotics Anonymous is spiritual, rather than religious, program. Admitting powerlessness over substances, finding help, thorough self-examination, making amends at harms done to others, and aiding other addicts in their recovery are the major spiritual foundation of the program.
While meetings are held regularly in rented rooms such as churches, parks, civic buildings, and schools, Narcotics anonymous does not claim any affiliation with treatment centers or other institutions. Medical, legal, therapeutic, or vocational services are not provided through NA.
Sponsorship is a key component of NA. An addict, who has practiced the twelve steps and twelve traditions of NA, takes a new member of Narcotics Anonymous through the steps. Sponsors also sometimes give the newly clean member suggestions about life choices and how to work the program.
Nar-anon is a twelve step program, reinstated in 1968, for the friends and family members of addicts. Nar-anon meetings differ from NA meetings, but both help individuals to understand addiction and have hope.