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• August 5, 2023

Narcotics Anonymous – What You Need to Know


In a world where substance abuse and addiction are prevalent challenges, finding a supportive community for recovery can make all the difference. 

In this article, we will explore what Narcotics Anonymous (NA) is, how it works, and the fundamental principles behind its 12-step program.

What is Narcotics Anonymous?

 Narcotics Anonymous is a global, non-profit organization that provides a supportive environment for individuals struggling with addiction to narcotics. It follows the Twelve Traditions and Twelve Steps, which are principles based on the program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Unlike professional treatment centers, NA is a fellowship of individuals who share their experiences, strengths, and hopes to support one another’s recovery journey.

NA is open to anyone with a desire to stop using narcotics. It is non-religious and does not affiliate itself with any political, religious, or law enforcement group. The organization operates independently and sustains itself through voluntary contributions from its members.

How Narcotics Anonymous Works

NA meetings are the core of the program and act as its foundation for recovery. These gatherings are held regularly, usually in local community centers, churches, or online platforms, and they provide a safe and confidential environment for participants to share their struggles and victories without fear of judgment. The focus is on support, understanding, and empathy.

Key Features of Narcotics Anonymous Meetings Include:

Sharing Stories 

Members share their personal experiences, discussing the challenges they face, the progress they’ve made, and the coping mechanisms they employ.


Participants build strong bonds with each other, fostering a sense of belonging and understanding that is often crucial for a successful recovery journey.


Experienced members, known as sponsors, mentor newcomers by offering guidance, encouragement, and support.


NA has its own literature, including the “Basic Text,” which contains the 12 steps, 12 traditions, and stories of recovery. Reading and discussing this literature are common practices during meetings.

The 12-Step Program

The 12-step program forms the cornerstone of Narcotics Anonymous, guiding individuals towards a life free from addiction. These steps are spiritual principles that encourage self-reflection, acceptance, and personal growth. While the specific language of each step may vary, it is essentially similar to the following:

1. Admitted we were powerless over narcotics—that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when doing so would harm them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. 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 the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Path to Recovery Starts Today

Narcotics Anonymous offers a lifeline to individuals seeking liberation from the clutches of narcotics addiction. Through its fellowship, support, and the 12-step program, NA provides a roadmap for personal growth, spiritual awakening, and lasting recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with narcotics addiction, consider Narcotics Anonymous, a community that exemplifies hope, strength, and courage in the face of adversity.

At Valley Forge Medical Center, we are here to help you develop effective prevention and treatment strategies. Contact us today.

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