Narcotics Anonymous provides support for those attempting to recover from drugs other than just alcohol. NA was officially founded in Los Angeles in 1953 and has spread to thousands of locations in 129 countries. The only requirement to become a member of NA is a desire to overcome your addiction. NA groups don’t make a distinction between any drug, including alcohol. They also recognize that polysubstance dependence is common. Therefore, any addict who wants to recover is welcome. [1]

NA offers addicts a way to live drug-free. but if you are not sure you’re an addict, don’t worry about it; just keep coming to the meetings. Regular meetings, hosted by NA groups, are the basic unit of the NA fellowship. Meetings are held in a variety of places such as church meeting rooms, libraries, hospitals, community centers, parks, or any other place that can accommodate a meeting.

Expectation from an NA Meeting

The primary purpose of NA world services is communication, coordination, information, and guidance. We provide these services so that our groups and members can more successfully carry the message of recovery. Our program of recovery can be made more available to addicts everywhere.

Narcotics Anonymous and Religion

Narcotics Anonymous
Parts of the NA meeting usually include references to “God” and a prayer at the closing of the meeting.

This refers to a higher power without defining it, as it can be different for everyone. Parts of the NA meeting usually include references to “God” and a prayer at the closing of the meeting. However, some people replace “God” with “higher power” or “good orderly direction.” The higher power aspect is meant to guide morality and strength and is not based on any religion.

Narcotics Anonymous Program

NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a significant problem. These people are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. They suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a break. The program is a set of principles written so simply that you can follow them in your daily lives. The most important thing about them is that they work. There are no strings attached to NA. They are not affiliated with any other organizations.

Narcotics Anonymous
NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a significant problem.

NA have no initiation fees or dues, no pledges to sign, no promises to make to anyone. They are not connected with any political, religious, or law enforcement groups and are under no surveillance at any time. Anyone may join regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion, or lack of faith.

NA members are not interested in what or how much you used or who your connections were, what you have done in the past, how much or how little you have, but only in what you want to do about your problem and how the meetings can help.

Does NA Work?

For many members of NA, the program is the only thing they’ve found that did work. Anyone who has dealt with addiction knows that it is a struggle that can seem hopeless at times. Treatment centers and rehab, therapy and counseling, and going at it alone does not work for everyone. For some, NA is a continuance of recovery in everyday life. The community support and 12 steps found at NA meetings seem to be the missing link for many people addicted to substances who wish to stay sober. Of course, there is never a guarantee that you will never use again. However, as they say in NA, “We can do together what we could not do alone.”

Terminology for Your First Meeting

Here’s a quick glossary of terms used in NA meetings, as listed in the NA official “Intro to NA” material.

  • Addict: The term we use to refer to ourselves is because we see addiction as the problem rather than using a specific drug.
  • Basic Text: The book that contains our core ideas, titled Narcotics Anonymous.
  • Group: Members who hold one or more regularly scheduled NA meetings.
  • Higher Power: Any loving force that helps a member stay clean and seek recovery.
  • IPs: Information pamphlets about NA.
  • Newcomers: New NA members.
  • Relapse: When a lapse in recovery results in a brief.
  • Sharing: Offering personal experience with addiction and recovery.
  • Sponsor: Experienced member who offers guidance and support through the 12 Steps.
  • Trusted Servants: Members who have service positions in NA.

“Closed” vs. “Open” Meetings

As in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, Narcotics Anonymous meetings can be either “open” or “closed.” In open meetings, anyone may attend, including those interested in the group and how it works or who want to listen to support a loved one. Closed meetings are only for recovering addicts.

The 12 Steps

Narcotics Anonymous bases its treatment on the AA-established 12 steps. The only difference is that the NA terminology replaces references to “alcohol” with simply “addiction,” as NA doesn’t distinguish between addictions.

Strength and Accountability in Numbers

One of the most potent aspects of NA is the community. Once a new attendee is familiar with the structure of NA and has established a relationship with the group, they can start looking for a sponsor. A sponsor is already established in NA and well-versed in the 12 Steps who can act as a mentor. It is usually advised to find a sponsor who also has a sponsor, so there are multiple layers of accountability.

Narcotics Anonymous
Narcotics Anonymous members are all recovering addicts who want to help others recover.

Finding a Narcotics Anonymous Group

Most drug addiction treatment programs encourage clients to participate in a self-help group during and after formal treatment. [2]

Are you ready to find a Narcotics Anonymous group to help you overcome your addiction? With more than 61,000 meetings held every week worldwide, many options can fit your needs and lifestyle. You can search for meetings at the Narcotics Anonymous website. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our specialists know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

Your call is private and confidential, and there is never any obligation.


[1] Narcotics Anonymous –

[2] NIDA – If Your Adult Friend or Loved One Has a Problem with Drugs: Support Groups | NIDA (