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Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions that we are asked about in Narcotics Anonymous

We make a distinction between drugs used by drug replacement programs and other prescribed drugs because such drugs are prescribed specifically as addiction treatment. Our program approaches recovery from addiction through abstinence, cautioning against the substitution of one drug for another. That's our program; it's what we offer the addict who still suffers. However, we have absolutely no opinion on methadone maintenance or any other program aimed at treating addiction. Our only purpose in addressing drug replacement and its use by our members is to define abstinence for ourselves. --Excerpt from Bulletin #29 "Regarding Methadone and Other Drug Replacement Programs."

Our program of recovery begins with abstinence from all drugs, including alcohol… Newer members often have questions about prescribed medications. We encourage you to read NA literature including the Basic Text and the booklet In Times of Illness, which will explain NA’s approach to recovery. --Excerpt from "An Introduction to NA Meetings."

Yes, slightly. We are very grateful for the development of the step by our predecessors. Our steps are as follows: 1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable. 2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. 4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. 5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. 6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. 7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings. 8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all. 9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. 10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it. 11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

We 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 we can help ... Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse. Before we came to NA, many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover. --Excerpt from "White Booklet."

Our program of recovery begins with abstinence from all drugs, including alcohol. Sometimes people come to NA meetings while still using drugs, detoxing from drugs, or on drug replacement therapy. Regardless of what you may be taking when you first come to NA, you are welcome. --Excerpt from "An Introduction to NA meetings."

Anyone can attend an open Narcotics Anonymous meeting on the meeting list. If a meeting is marked as closed, only addicts or people who think they might have a problem may attend.
  • NA relies on the “therapeutic value of one addict helping another.” Nonmembers are asked not to share in meetings, though some groups may allow brief participation during NA birthday or anniversary celebrations.
  • Members are usually asked to share only once per meeting, mindful of the meeting’s time limitations. Many meetings ask members to limit sharing to five minutes or less.
  • Members are also encouraged to avoid “crosstalk,” which means we share our own experiences instead of responding to other members. Individuals can have conversations before or after meetings.
  • Some groups ask members to refrain from sharing explicit details and descriptions of drugs and using in meetings, and to focus instead on how addiction and recovery have affected us.
  • Newcomers are generally encouraged to focus on listening, but they are welcome to share during the participation portion of the meeting.
  • Newcomers are encouraged to listen closely to identify experienced members they can relate to who might make good sponsors or friends, or offer other guidance and support.

--Excerpt from ""An Introduction to NA Meetings."

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