Group Readings For NA Meetings
Most of us do not have to think twice about this question. We know! Our whole life and thinking was centered in drugs in one form or another—the getting and using and finding ways and means to get more. We lived to use and used to live. Very simply, an addict is a man or woman whose life is controlled by drugs. We are people in the grip of a continuing and progressive illness whose ends are always the same: jails, institutions, and death.
Who Is an Addict?
Before coming to the Fellowship of NA, we could not facing life on its own terms. Most of us realized that in our addiction we were slowly committing suicide, but addiction is such a cunning enemy of life that we had lost the power to do anything about it. Many of us ended up in jail or sought help through medicine, religion, and psychiatry. None of these methods was sufficient for us. Our disease always resurfaced or continued to progress until in desperation we sought help from each other in Narcotics Anonymous. After coming to NA, we realized we were sick people. We suffered from a disease from which there is no known cure. It can, however, be arrested at some point and recovery is then possible.
Why Are We Here?
NA 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. There are no strings attached to NA. We are not affiliated with any other organizations. We have no initiation fees or dues, no pledges to sign, no promises to make to anyone.
What Is the Narcotics Anonymous Program?
We are not connected with any political,, or law enforcement groups, and are under no surveillance at anytime. Anyone may join us regardless of age, race, sexual identity, creed, religion, or lack of religion. 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. The newcomer is the most important person at any meeting, because we can only keep what we have by giving it away. We have learned from our group experience that those who keep coming to our meetings regularly stay clean.
What Is the Narcotics Anonymous Program? (Continued)
If you want what we have to offer, and are willing to make the effort to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps. These are the principles that made our recovery possible: 1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, thatour 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.
How It Works
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.
How It Works (Continued)
The Twelve Traditions of NA
We keep what we have only with vigilance, and just as freedom for the individual comes from the Twelve Steps, so freedom for the group springs from our Traditions. As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that would tear us apart, all will be well. 1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on NA unity. 2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our groupconsc ience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern. 3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using. 4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or NA as a whole. 5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.
The Twelve Traditions of NA (Continued)
6. An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose. 7. Every NA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions. 8. Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers. 9. NA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve. 10. Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the NA name ought never be drawn into public controversy. 11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films. 12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Understanding these Traditions comes slowly over a period of time. We pick up information as we talk to members and visit various groups. It usually isn’t until we get involved with service that someone points out that “personal recovery depends on NA unity,” and that unity depends on how well we follow our Traditions. The Twelve Traditions of NA are not negotiable. They are the guidelines that keep our Fellowship alive and free. By following these guidelines in our dealings with others, and society at large, we avoid many problems. That is not to say that our Traditions eliminate all problems. We still have to face difficulties as they arise: communication problems, differences of opinion, internal controversies, and troubles with individuals and groups outside the Fellowship. However, when we apply these principles, we avoid some of the pitfalls.
The Twelve Traditions Of NA (Continued)
The Twelve Traditions Of NA (Continued)
Many of our problems are like those that our predecessors had to face. Their hard won experience gave birth to the Traditions, and our own experience has shown that these principles are just as valid today as they were when these Traditions were formulated. Our Traditions protect us from the internal and external forces that could destroy us. They are truly the ties that bind us together. It is only through understanding and application that they work.
We Do Recover
When at the end of the road we find that we can no longer function as a human being, either with or without drugs, we all face the same dilemma. What is there left to do? There seems to be this alternative: either go on as best we can to the bitter ends—jails, institutions or death—or find a new way to live. In years gone by, very few addicts ever had this last choice.Those who are addicted today are more fortunate. For the first time in man’s entire history, a simple way has been proving itself in the lives of many addicts. It is available to us all. This is a simple spiritual—not religious—program, known as Narcotics Anonymous.
Take 12 Steps To Freedom
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