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.

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Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community-based, association of recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. We have over 70,000 weekly meetings in over 144 countries worldwide. 

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CT History Project

Explore the history of Narcotics Anonymous in Connecticut. This captivating history project sheds light on the transformative journey of addiction recovery in Connecticut.

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For Newcomers

The simple message of Narcotics Anonymous is… “That an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live” 

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Just For Today

September 25, 2023
The Fourth Step - fearing our feelings
Page 279
"We may fear that being in touch with our feelings will trigger an overwhelming chain reaction of pain and panic."
Basic Text, p.30

A common complaint about the Fourth Step is that it makes us painfully conscious of our defects of character. We may be tempted to falter in our program of recovery. Through surrender and acceptance, we can find the resources we need to keep working the steps.

It's not the awareness of our defects that causes the most agony-it's the defects themselves. When we were using, all we felt was the drugs; we could ignore the suffering our defects were causing us. Now that the drugs are gone, we feel that pain. Refusing to acknowledge the source of our anguish doesn't make it go away; denial protects the pain and makes it stronger. The Twelve Steps help us deal with the misery caused by our defects by dealing directly with the defects themselves.

If we hurt from the pain of our defects, we can remind ourselves of the nightmare of addiction, a nightmare from which we've now awakened. We can recall the hope for release the Second Step gave us. We can again turn our will and our lives over, through the Third Step, to the care of the God of our understanding. Our Higher Power cares for us by giving us the help we need to work the rest of the Twelve Steps. We don't have to fear our feelings. Just for today, we can continue in our recovery.

Just for Today: I won't be afraid of my feelings. With the help of my Higher Power, I'll continue in my recovery.

Spiritual Principle a Day

September 25, 2023
Honesty and Self-Awareness
Page 277
"Honesty is the antidote to our diseased thinking."
Basic Text, Chapter 9: Just for Today—Living the Program

Looking back at our using days, it's easy to see how our outlook on life morphed to accommodate and justify our choices. Self-delusion had become second nature. It takes effort and practice to embrace honesty instead.

Even before we got clean, there were clues that honesty might have helped to counter our distorted thinking. At some point in our using, many of us experienced a "moment of clarity"—although we probably didn't have those words to describe it. Instead of the usual lies we told ourselves, we encountered a sudden wave of understanding in which we realized some essential truths about our lives. The veil of denial lifted, if only for a moment, to give us an undistorted view of ourselves and the mess we'd made. It wasn't pretty. That brief encounter with reality stuck with us and wore us down until we were ready to try something new.

Eventually, we make it to the rooms and identify ourselves as newcomers. We give our real name, take a breath, and add: "I am an addict." This admission transforms a tired old excuse into an affirmation and positions us for the first of the Twelve Steps. With the Steps as our guide, we honestly confront the wreckage of our past and establish practices that help us maintain our connection to reality.

Recovery is a collective practice, and community is essential to learning about honesty. Real friends support our efforts to be true to ourselves, to choose actions that align with our aspirations, and to help us spot when we're in trouble. "I surround myself with people who aren't satisfied when I tell them I'm fine, when they know better. In public, they let that slide—they give me the side-eye and say 'really.' In private, they ask questions that challenge me to get honest, like 'What are you afraid of?' and 'Where would you be without that defect?'" Our delusions crumble under such scrutiny. Resisting well-rehearsed, unhealthy patterns takes this kind of support and a whole lot of courage. Honesty frees us from diseased thinking each time we choose to voice our concerns instead of censoring ourselves, reveal our insecurities instead of acting like a know-it-all, or practice some humility instead of thinking we're too good or not good enough.

———     ———     ———     ———     ———
I'll take some time to honestly evaluate any feelings and behavior I've avoided looking at. I will get a better perspective by putting pen to paper and talking to another addict in recovery.