What is NA
What is Addiction
Narcotics Anonymous values building relationships with those in government, the clergy,
medical professionals, including physicians, psychiatrists, therapists and drug counselors,
as well as private voluntary organizations. We believe that the maintenance of successful relationship involves ongoing dialogue and mutual communication. Our experience shows that we have many non-addict friends that can advocate for NA.
The Hawaii Region of Narcotics Anonymous cooperates with professionals and organizations, by providing information about recovery through the NA Fellowship. Additionally, NA members are often available to make panel presentations in educational facilities, treatment centers and correctional facilities as well as other public venues. The Hawaii Region also makes available Narcotics Anonymous literature for sale to professionals and facilities.
Who Are Members Of NA?
Anyone who wants to stop using drugs may become a member of Narcotics Anonymous. Membership is not limited to addicts using any particular drug. Those who feel they may have a problem with drugs, legal or illegal, including alcohol, are welcome in NA. Recovery in NA focuses on the problem of addiction, not on any particular drug.
NA’s primary approach to recovery is its belief in the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. Members take part in NA meetings by talking about their experiences and recovery from drug addiction. NA meetings are informally structured, held in space rented by the group, and are led by members who take turns opening and closing the meeting. NA meetings and other services are funded entirely from donations by addict members and the sale of recovery literature. Financial contributions from non-members are not accepted. Most NA meetings are held regularly at the same time and place each week, usually in a public facility.
How Does NA Work?
Addicts helping each other recover are the foundation of NA. Members meet regularly to talk about their experiences in recovery. More experienced members (known as sponsors) work individually with newer members.
The core of the NA program is the Twelve Steps. These “steps” are a set of guidelines outlining a practical approach to recovery. By following these guidelines and working closely with other members, addicts learn to stop using drugs and face the challenges of daily living.
Narcotics Anonymous is not a religious organization and does not mandate any particular belief system. It does teach basic spiritual principles such as honesty, open-mindedness, faith, willingness, and humility that may be applied in everyday life. The specific practical application of spiritual principles is determined by each individual. Recovery in NA is not a miracle cure that happens within a given period of time. It is a process, ongoing and personal. Members make an individual decision to join and recover at their own pace.
How can NA help with a Drug Problem?
We in NA know what it is like to be Addicted to Drug's, and to be unable to keep promises made to others and ourselves, that we will stop using Drug's. We are not professional therapists. Our qualification for helping others to recover from Drug Addiction is that we have stopped using Drug's ourselves.
Where are NA Meetings held?
Various places. There is no certain kind of facility in which NA meetings are held. Regardless of where our meetings are located, they are in no way affiliated with any facility.
What happens at NA Meetings?
There are many different kinds of meetings. Some are topic discussion meetings, some are speaker meetings, some are literature discussion meetings and some are part of or combinations of these and perhaps other variations. Many are open to the public and others are for addicts only. There are no counselors or professional people present at closed meetings; unless they are addicts and there for their own recovery. NA meetings are run by addicts for addicts. Regardless of format, NA meetings usually start with readings from our literature. 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
What does it cost?
Nothing. There are no initiation fees or dues. We take a collection at every meeting from members (only) who wish to contribute. NA members can donate as much or as little as they want or nothing at all. This money pays the groups expenses: rent, tea and literature. The balance is sent to other levels of service to help carry the NA message to the addict who still suffers. In this way we remain free of outside control and self-supporting through our own contributions. NA accepts no grants, gifts or contributions from any outside sources. NA is fully self-supporting.
Is NA only for Narcotics Addicts?
No. When our Fellowship was named in the 1950s the understanding of the words Narcotic and Addict was different than today. The influence of the drug culture in the 1960s and the 1970s changed that understanding. A greater variety of drugs are in use today. Only a few are known commonly as Narcotics. Over the same period of time the program of Narcotics Anonymous has remained the same. We believe our problem is not the use of any specific drug or group of drugs. Our problem is the disease of addiction, and our program is one of abstinence from all drugs.
Who are the Members of Narcotics Anonymous?
Our members come from all walks of life. Anyone with the desire to stop using may join our fellowship. We seem to have many differences; the drugs we used, the circumstances of our lives and the degree to which our disease had progressed may have been different. We do share two important things in common: the disease of our addiction and the desire to stop using drugs. We concentrate on our similarities, not our differences.
How do I become a Member?
You are an NA Member if and when you say so. Membership, however, is restricted to addicts or people who have a desire to stop using drugs.
What do you mean when you say "Clean"?
"Clean" is a term that refers to being abstinent or free of any type of mind or mood altering chemicals.
What about Dual Addiction?
The term dual addiction has no application for us. We believe there is one disease, regardless of drugs used and we do not differentiate between drugs. All addicts are welcome in NA
Does a person have to be Clean to attend an NA Meeting?
Newcomers don't have to be Clean when they get here but after the first meeting we suggest that they Keep Coming Back and come back Clean. We want the place where we recover to be a safe place. For that reason we ask that no drugs or paraphernalia be brought to any meeting. If you can't stop using for now, don't stop attending meetings or not attend them. We do not turn people away from meetings because they are not yet Clean or because they Relapsed.
Is NA a Religious Organization?
No. NA is not associated or affiliated with, nor endorses any religious organizations and espouses no religious beliefs. Our program is a set of principles; Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions which are spiritual in nature. While these principles mention God, each member is free to develop their own concept of a higher power. What is important to us is that our recovery is based on these principles and they work.
Does NA operate Detox or Treatment Facilities?
No. NA is not a professional organization and we are not affiliated with any professional agencies or facilities. We employ no counselors or treatment staff. Many treatment centers introduce their patients to NA before they release them. We are grateful for their cooperation, but cannot allow this to influence us in any way. We remain, simply, a fellowship of recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other to stay clean.
Why is it Anonymous?
The principle of anonymity protects the membership and reputation of the fellowship and provides a safe setting for each and every member to seek recovery on an equal basis. We do not disclose what you share to anyone.
Why do people continue to go to meetings after they are cured?
We in NA believe there is no such thing as a cure for addiction. Our disease can be arrested but we can never return to normal using and our ability to stay away from drugs depends on maintaining our physical, mental, and spiritual health. We can achieve this by going to meetings regularly and putting into practice what we learn there. In addition, we find it helps us to stay clean if we help other addicts.