There are many different kinds of NA meetings. Some are topic discussion meetings, some are speaker meetings, some are literature study meetings and some are part of or combinations of these and other variations. Some are open to the public (to listen) and others are for addicts only. Unless they are addicts and there for their own recovery, there are no counselors or addiction professionals present at closed meetings. NA meetings are run by addicts for addicts. Addicts share their successes and challenges in overcoming active addiction and living drug-free productive lives through application of the principles contained within the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA.
NA literature is a great source of information about our program. Our Basic Text or our information pamphlets (IPs) are a good place to start. Most meetings offer IPs for free, while books are generally sold at cost. Most of our literature is also available to read on this website. To begin, we invite you to read the following IPs, below are some excerpts with links to the full texts. Please come to our meetings and Keep Coming Back!
Basic Text V6
Many books have been written about the nature of addiction. This book primarily concerns itself with the nature of recovery. If you are an addict and have found this book, please give yourself a break and read it!
For the Newcomer
IP #16 (Copyright © 1983 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.)
You don’t have to be clean when you get here, but after your first meeting we suggest that you keep coming back and come clean. You don’t have to wait for an overdose or jail sentence to get help from NA, nor is addiction a hopeless condition from which there is no recovery. It is possible to overcome the desire to use drugs with the help of the Twelve Step program of Narcotics Anonymous and the fellowship of recovering addicts.
Welcome to Narcotics Anonymous
IP #22 (Copyright © 1986, 1987 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.)
You may be feeling hopeless and afraid. You may think that this program, like other things you have tried, will not work. Or you may think that it will work for someone else but not for you because you feel you are different than us. Most of us felt like that when we first came to NA. Somehow we knew that we couldn’t go on using drugs, but we didn’t know how to stop or stay clean. We were all afraid to let go of something that had become so important to us. It is a relief to discover that the only requirement for membership in NA is a desire to stop using.
Introduction to NA
IP #29 (Copyright © 2014 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.)
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 here is meant 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 help 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.
Am I an Addict?
IP #7 (Copyright © 1983, 1988 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Perhaps you admit you have a problem with drugs, but you don’t consider yourself an addict. All of us have preconceived ideas about what an addict is. There is nothing shameful about being an addict once you begin to take positive action. If you can identify with our problems, you may be able to identify with our solution. The following questions were written by recovering addicts in Narcotics Anonymous. If you have doubts about whether or not you’re an addict, take a few moments to read the questions below and answer them as honestly as you can.
Just for Today
IP #8 (Copyright © 1983 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved. )
When we came into the program of Narcotics Anonymous, we made a decision to turn our lives over to the care of a Higher Power. This surrender relieves the burden of the past and fear of the future. The gift of today is now in proper perspective. We accept and enjoy life as it is right now. When we refuse to accept the reality of today, we are denying our faith in our Higher Power. This can only bring more suffering.
IP #11 (Copyright © 1983, 2004 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.)
One of the first suggestions many of us hear when we begin attending NA meetings is to get a sponsor. As newcomers, we may not understand what this means. What is a sponsor? How do we get and use one? Where do we find one? This pamphlet is intended to serve as a brief introduction to sponsorship.
Our Basic Text tells us that “the heart of NA beats when two addicts share their recovery,” and sponsorship is simply one addict helping another. The two-way street of sponsorship is a loving, spiritual, and compassionate relationship that helps both the sponsor and sponsee.
IP #19 (Copyright © 1985 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All rights reserved.)
Before coming to NA, most of us spent our entire lives in self-rejection. We hated ourselves and tried every way we could to become someone different. We wanted to be anyone but who we were. Unable to accept ourselves, we tried to gain the acceptance of others. We wanted other people to give us the love and acceptance we could not give ourselves, but our love and friendship were always conditional. We would do anything for anyone just to gain their acceptance and approval, and then would resent those who wouldn’t respond the way we wanted them to.