Greater London Area of Narcotics Anonymous
Information About NA
Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of
the late 1940s, with meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles
area of California, USA, in the early Fifties. The NA program
started as a small US movement that has grown into one of
the world's oldest and largest 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. In 1983, Narcotics Anonymous published its self-titled
Basic Text book, which contributed to tremendous growth. Within
a few years, groups had formed in Brazil, Colombia, Germany,
India, the Irish Republic, Japan, New Zealand, and the United
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NA’s earliest self-titled pamphlet, known among members as “The White Booklet,” describes Narcotics Anonymous this way:
“NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We ... meet regularly to help each other stay clean. ...
We are not interested in what or how much you used ... but only in what you want to do about your problem and how we can help.”
Membership is open to all drug addicts, regardless of the particular drug or combination of drugs used. When adapting AA’s First Step, the word “ad- diction” was substituted for “alcohol,” thus removing drug-specific language and reflecting the “disease concept” of addiction.
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. These principles are the core of the Narcotics Anonymous recovery program. Narcotics Anonymous itself is a non-religious program of recovery; each member is encouraged to
cultivate an individual understanding religious or not of the spiritual principles and apply these principles to everyday life.
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.