The NA Way

What is NA

Narcotics Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. There is only one requirement for membership – the desire to stop using.

Although our name refers to narcotics, this is a remnant of the early days of NA and does not mean much today. Recovery in NA focuses on the problem of addiction, rather than on any particular drug. Membership is not limited to addicts who use one drug or another. Those who feel they may have a problem with any drug – legal or illegal, including alcohol – are welcome in Narcotics Anonymous. We are an anonymous fellowship.

Members are known by their first names only. This allows addicts to attend meetings without fear of social repercussions. This may be an important consideration for an individual who is thinking about going to an NA meeting for the first time. Anonymity also supports an atmosphere of equality in meetings. It helps to ensure that an individual’s personality or circumstance is not considered to be more important than the message of recovery shared in NA.

There are no dues or fees for NA membership, although most members regularly contribute small sums of money to help cover the expenses at group meetings. These contributions are voluntary.

NA is not a religious organization and doesn’t follow any particular belief system. Our program does emphasize the value of basic spiritual principles such as honesty, open-mindedness, willingness and humility, that may be applied in everyday life. But the specific practical application of these 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 ongoing, personal process. Members make an individual decision to join and recover at their on pace.


NA’s approach to recovery is guided by our belief in the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. Thus the primary service organized by Narcotics Anonymous members is the NA group meeting. Members take part in NA meetings by talking about their experiences of and recovery from drug addiction.

NA meetings are informally structured and are led by experienced members. These meetings and other NA services are paid for by donations by NA 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. There are two basic types of meetings, those which are open to the general public and those closed to the public (i.e., for addicts only).

In part, adapted from N.A., A Resource in your community, Copyright 1993 WSO Inc.