» About NA
Narcotics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship of recovering addicts whose primary purpose is to help addicts stop using drugs by utilizing a twelve step approach. NA is not a religious organization and does not require any particular belief system. It teaches basic spiritual principles such as honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness, to name a few. The specific practical application of these principles is determined by the individual member.
NA members learn from one another how to live drug-free and recover from the effects of addiction. Although not associated with any religion, political group, organization, or institution, NA cooperates with professionals and the public by providing information about the fellowship.
Membership is open to all drug addicts, regardless of the particular drug or combination of drugs used. Narcotics Anonymous provides a recovery process and peer support network that are linked together. One of the keys to NA’s success is the therapeutic value of addicts working with other addicts. Members share their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free, productive lives through the application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA.
There are no social, religious, economic, racial, ethnic, national, gender, or class-status membership restrictions. There are no dues or fees for membership; most members regularly contribute in meetings to help cover the expenses incurred for the rent of facility space.
Narcotics Anonymous is not affiliated with other organizations, including other twelve step programs, treatment centers, or correctional facilities. As an organization, NA does not employ professional counselors or therapists nor does it provide residential facilities or clinics. Additionally, the fellowship does not offer vocational, legal, financial, psychiatric, or medical services. NA has only one mission: to provide an environment in which addicts can help one another stop using drugs and find a new way to live.
Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s, with NA meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles area of California, USA, in the early 1950s. The NA program started as a small US organization that has grown into one of the world’s oldest and largest international organizations of its type. For many years, NA grew very slowly, spreading from Los Angeles to other major North American cities and Australia in the early 1970s. Within a few years, groups had formed in Brazil, Colombia, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, and Great Britain. In 1983, Narcotics Anonymous published its self-titled Basic Text book, which contributed to NA’s tremendous growth; by year’s end, NA had grown to have a presence in more than a dozen countries and had 2,966 meetings worldwide.
Today, Narcotics Anonymous is well established throughout much of North and South America, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, New Zealand, and Russia. Groups and NA communities continue to grow and evolve throughout the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and Asia. Today the organization is truly a worldwide multilingual, multicultural fellowship with more than 63,000 weekly meetings in 132 countries. Narcotics Anonymous books and information pamphlets are currently available in 45 languages, with translations in process for 16 languages.*
*As of May 2014.