Who's an addict?
What is the Narcotics Anonymous program?
NA is a non-profit organization, a community of men and women who have had great difficulties with drugs. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean of drugs. This is a program that requires abstinence from all drugs. The only requirement for entry is the desire to stop eating. We suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a chance. Our Program is based on principles that are set forth in a simple manner, so that they can be easily followed in everyday life. Their importance lies in the simple fact that they work.
NA does not set any terms. We are not affiliated with any other organisation, we do not demand membership fees or entrance fees, no papers need to be endorsed, no promises to make. We have no affiliation with any political, religious or law enforcement groups and are not subject to surveillance in any way. Anyone can join us regardless of age, race, gender, or religious belief.
We have no interest in what or how much you used or what your relationships were, what you've done and how much or little you had; All we want is to know how you want to deal with your problem and how we can help you. The newcomer is the most important person in any meeting, because we can only retain what we have gained by passing it on. Experience within our departments is that those who continue to come to our meetings regularly stay clean.
Why are we here?
Before joining NA, we had no control over our own lives. We were unable to live and enjoy life like other people. We were all looking for something that was different and we thought we had found it in drugs. We put drugs before the well-being of our families, spouses and children. We had to get drugs, whatever it might cost us. We did a lot of damage, but most of the damage we did to ourselves. With our inability to take personal responsibility, we were actually creating our own problems. It seemed that we were incapable of dealing with life in life's terms.
Many of us realized that in our addiction we were actually committing slow suicide, but addiction is such a cunning enemy of life that we had lost the power to do anything about it. Many of us ended up in prison, but some of us sought help from doctors, religion, or psychology. None of these resources were enough for us. Our disease kept resurfaced and continued to develop, until we desperately sought each other's help at Narcotics Anonymous.
When we arrived in NA, it dawned on us, we were sick people, we were suffering from a disease that is incurable. However, the development of the disease may be stopped at some stage of the process and then recovery is possible.
How is this implemented?
If you are interested in what we have to offer and are willing to put in some effort to get it, you are willing to take a step. These are the principles that made our recovery possible:
- We acknowledged that we were powerless against our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
- We came to believe that a power greater than us could make us spiritually whole again.
- We made the decision to entrust our lives and want to care for God, according to our understanding of Him.
- We made searching and fearless moral accounts of ourselves.
- We acknowledged to God, ourselves, and another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- We were absolutely prepared to let God remove all these character defects.
- We humbly asked Him to remove our failures.
- We made a list of everyone we had harmed and were willing to make amends for our offenses against them.
- We compensated them all for our offences directly, whenever possible, except when it would have harmed them or others.
- We continued to prepare personal financial statements and when we made a mistake, we acknowledged it immediately.
- Through prayer and meditation, we sought to strengthen our conscious relationship with God according to our understanding of Him, praying only to understand His will for us and gain the power to carry it out.
- We had a spiritual awakening working these steps, so we tried to carry this message to other addicts, as well as strictly adhere to these principles.
These statements sound like a big order, and certainly we can't do it all in an instant. We didn't become addicts overnight, so remember – slowly it begins.
There is one thing that could easily stop our recovery. It is indifference or lack of tolerance for our spiritual principles. Three of these principles are indispensable; Honesty, an open mind and willingness. With their dedication, we are well on our way.
We feel that this approach to addiction is fully justified, because the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is unparalleled. We also consider this method of ours realistic, because one addict can best understand and help another addict. We believe that the sooner we confront our problems within our society, in our daily lives, the sooner we become eligible, responsible and efficient individuals in that society.
The only way to avoid returning to active addiction is not to take the first dose. If you are like us, then you know that one is too many and a thousand is never enough. We place enormous emphasis on these facts, because we know that when we use drugs in any form or substitute one substance for another, we release our addiction.
It has precipitated many addicts to believe that alcohol is different from other drugs. However, this was the attitude many of us had before joining NA. This is a misunderstanding we cannot allow. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addiction and must stay away from all drugs, if recovery is to be possible.
Twelve traditions of NA
We can only keep what we have acquired through vigilance. Just as individual freedom is born through the Twelve Steps, so our wards gain freedom through the practice of our traditions.
So long as the bond of loyalty that unites us is stronger than the forces that divide us, all will be well.
- Our collective well-being should be paramount. Each person's recovery depends on the unit of NA.
- For our departments there is only one authority; loving God, as He may appear in the conscience of our faculties. Our leaders are only loyal servants, they do not govern.
- The only requirement for entry is the desire to stop eating.
- Each department should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other departments or the NA as a whole.
- Each department has only one primary purpose; to carry the message to the addict who is still suffering.
- An NA faculty should never support, fund, or lend the name of the NA organization to other affiliated entities or external organizations, so problems related to funds, property, or uplift do not divert our attention from our primary purpose.
- Each NA department should stand totally on its own two feet and reject outside contributions.
- Narcotics Anonymous shall always be an amateur association, however, our service centres may employ special staff members.
- NA as such should never be organized, but we may form service councils or committees that are directly accountable to those they serve.
- Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; therefore, the name of the NA organization should never be dragged into general controversy.
- Our PR strategy is based on attractiveness rather than direct publicity; We should always maintain anonymity in the field of media; radio, newspaper and film.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions and constantly reminds us to put principles above our own interests.