Overcoming Drug Addiction
Overcoming a drug addiction can be difficult, but support is available through special programs like Narcotics Anonymous. To help educate readers about the program, LoveToKnow Recovery recently interviewed a Fellowship Services Team Leader at NA World Services. We learned quite a bit about the Narcotics Anonymous Program, how it works, and how one can join.
Interview with NA World Services
What is Narcotics Anonymous (NA)?
NA is a global multilingual fellowship of recovering addicts formed back in 1953 in Los Angeles, CA. Currently, we have over 40,000 weekly meetings in over 125 countries.
Does NA follow a 12-step program?
Yes, our program of recovery is based on the steps and traditions adapted from AA, with their permission. Our first step is based on recovery from the disease of addiction. NA members view drug use, including alcohol as a symptom of their disease and recovery is possible through application of NA's 12 steps.
What happens at a Narcotics Anonymous meeting?
NA meetings are where members come together to share their experience, strength, and hope with one another in our common efforts to face life's situations drug-free. There are a variety of formats, for example some meetings have one main speaker who shares some of their recovery experience, while other meetings may focus on a piece of NA literature for discussion by the group. Typically meetings last 1-1.5 hours.
Can anyone attend a meeting or do you have to be an "official member"?
Yes anyone is welcome to attend an NA meeting and there are no rules for membership beyond the desire to stop using drugs. There are two basic types of NA meetings: "open" meetings who welcome addicts and other interested individuals; "closed" meetings who welcome only addicts or people who think they may have a drug problem.
Are members allowed to bring family members or friends to meetings for additional support?
Yes, that would be appropriate at an open NA meeting. But generally non-addicts are asked to refrain from participating in the meeting.
Is there any cost involved with joining NA?
No. There are no dues or fees for membership. With that said, we are self-supporting through our member's voluntary contribution.
How can readers learn more about Narcotics Anonymous?
Attend an NA meeting. We encourage anyone interested to visit our website or to call their local NA helpline for meeting information in their community. Additionally, on our site is a variety of NA recovery literature that would also be helpful in beginning to get to know NA.