Narcotics Anonymous is a completely voluntary organisation. Membership is open to anyone with a drug problem seeking help, regardless of what drug or combination of drugs have been used, and irrespective of age, sex, religion, race, creed or class. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using drugs.
The basic premise of anonymity allows addicts to attend meetings without fear of legal or social repercussions. This is an important consideration for an addict thinking about going to his first meeting. Anonymity also supports an atmosphere of equality in meetings. It helps insure that no individual’s personality or circumstance will be considered more important than the message of recovery shared in NA.
We ask your help in maintaining our tradition of personal anonymity by not identifying our members by name or in full face photos as members of Narcotics Anonymous, or by describing details of their personal circumstances which could reveal their identities.
In carrying our message of recovery, we welcome articles about our fellowship, but not in terms of personalities. We are not secret, just anonymous. Cooperation by the press has been very good, and we hope that continued exposure given to the Narcotics Anonymous program will play a major role in attracting the many thousands of addicts who need help. We thank you for your understanding.
Narcotics Anonymous encourages its members to abstain completely from all drugs including alcohol because NA members have discovered that complete and continuous abstinence provides the best foundation for recovery and personal growth. Narcotics Anonymous however, takes no stand on the use of caffeine, nicotine, or sugar. Similarly the use of prescribed medication for the treatment of specific medical or psychiatric conditions is neither encouraged nor prohibited by NA. While recognising numerous questions in these areas, Narcotics Anonymous feels they are matters of personal choice and encourages its members to consult their own experience, the experience of other members, and the opinions of qualified health professionals to help them make up their minds about these subjects.
The primary service provided by Narcotics Anonymous is the local meetings (held weekly). Each group is autonomous, organising itself according to a series of 12 principles common to the entire organisation. Meetings, which take place in rooms rented from public, religious or other organisations, may be ‘open’, meaning anyone can attend or ‘closed’, meaning only for people who want to address their own drug problems. Meetings are facilitated by NA members. Other members may take part by talking in turn about their experiences of addiction and the recovery, strength and hope they’ve discovered through NA. Please check out the Meetings section for more information about them plus how to find and attend them.
Narcotics Anonymous believes one of the cornerstones of its success is the therapeutic value of addicts working with each other to achieve recovery. In meetings members regularly share their personal experiences with each other, not as professionals but as ordinary people who have discovered that sharing brings about solutions to their problems. Narcotics Anonymous has no professional therapists, no residential facilities and no clinics. NA provides no vocational, legal, financial, psychiatric or medical services.
Narcotics Anonymous is a non-religious fellowship, encouraging each member to cultivate an individual understanding, religious or not, of a ‘spiritual awakening’.