What is Narcotics Anonymous?

N.A. is a nonprofit 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. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. We suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a break. Our program is a set of principles written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives. The most important thing about them is that they work. We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regularly stay clean.

Just for Today

June 15, 2024
Resistance to change
Page 173
"Many of us cling to our fears, doubts, self-loathing, or hatred because there is a certain distorted security in familiar pain. It seems safer to embrace what we know than to let go of it for the unknown."
Basic Text, p. 34

We have often heard it said that "when the pain of remaining the same becomes greater than the pain of changing, we will change." Our fear can keep us from growing, afraid to end relationships, change careers, attend new meetings, begin new friendships, or attempt anything out of the ordinary. We stay in situations that are no longer working far longer than we have to simply because what is familiar feels safer than the unknown.

Any change involves overcoming fear. "What if I'm alone forever?" we might think if we consider leaving our lover. "What if I find out I'm incompetent?" we may wonder when we contemplate changing careers. We may balk at attending new meetings because we will have to reach out. Our minds manufacture a hundred excuses for remaining right where we are, afraid to try something new.

We find that most of our pain comes not from change, but from resistance to change. In NA, we learn that change is how we move forward in our lives. New friends, new relationships, new interests and challenges will replace the old. With these new things in our lives, we find new joys and loves.

Just for Today: I will release the old, embrace the new, and grow.

Spiritual Principle a Day

June 15, 2024
Finding and Extending Acceptance
Page 172
"Regardless of who we are, where we've been, or what we've done, we find in Narcotics Anonymous a place of empathy, acceptance, welcome, and belonging."
Guiding Principles, Tradition Two, "Spiritual Principles"

When we get to NA, so many of us are thinking, Oh, man, what happens when they find out I did THAT?

Or maybe it's What if they find out I wasn't THAT bad?

Either way, and everywhere in between, most of us come to Narcotics Anonymous in fear. We are afraid of being judged for who we are and what we've done. We're concerned we'll be asked, "Why are you here?" There would be no point in answering that question since we're already convinced that we'll be misunderstood. We fear that we won't belong in NA, and in many cases, we hope that we don't, so we can carry on using and not have to face our problems.

Instead of being denied entry, we hear that the only requirement for us to belong is a desire to stop using. All the group wants to know is what we want to do about our problem and how they can help. No one asks us for our addiction resume.

If we said that we leave all judgments at the door, we'd be kidding ourselves. We are human beings, after all. Instead, despite our judgments, our differences, and our histories, we are welcomed and accepted. People have compassion for us, and it seems genuine.

Later, we begin to see ourselves in newcomers. We empathize with them and welcome them just as we were welcomed. They are enveloped in the love members show one another as they learn to love and accept themselves.

NA accepted me. Today I will ask myself, "What can I do to be more welcoming to my fellow addict?"
cover of the Spiritual Principle a Day book