Reality 1 We are a private organisation. We do our best to protect the anonymity of our members, though we do not guarantee it. Anonymity makes it safer for people to share, and creates equality in meetings, regardless of background or circumstances.
Reality 2 There are no leaders in NA; neither do we have any central value system. The core of our programme is the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. Membership of NA is free, and any contributions towards our running costs collected at meetings are entirely voluntary. Our members are free to leave at any time.
Reality 3 NA is open to anyone, regardless of what they used. Our surveys show a membership with very diverse histories of drug use. NA is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs, including alcohol. NAs help is available to all, regardless of age, race, class, religion or sexual orientation
Myth 4 NA is not for those on prescribed medications, such as methadone.
Reality 4 The only requirement for membership of NA is a desire to stop using. NA pretends no medical expertise, and we encourage anyone coming to NA who is on any form of prescribed medication to seek medical advice before stopping.
Myth 5 Everyone in NA is using or dealing drugs.
Reality 5 This is not our experience: in hundreds of meetings we have never seen drugs used or sold. You do not have to be clean to attend NA meetings. If a person goes to an NA meeting seeking drugs, its possible that they might find what they are looking for (although this is true almost anywhere). At the same time, if a person goes to an NA meeting with a desire to stop using drugs, there will definitely be members in the meetings willing to help them.
Reality 6 The NA program is based on a set of spiritual principles that are not associated with a particular religion. Our steps call for finding and believing in a power greater than oneself. Members are free to choose a belief that works for them personally. There is no opposition to anyones choice within Narcotics Anonymous. Experiences of our members show that the spiritual principles work for all members, whether devoutly religious (in any faith), atheist, or agnostic.
Myth 7 NA is part of criminal justice ~ church ~ probation
Reality 7 We are not affiliated with any outside organisations. We have no opinion on outside issues. However, Narcotics Anonymous is keen to build co-operative relationships with any organisations, based on our common goals.
Reality 8 Whilst the program of NA may not suit everybody, we have found that regular exposure to NA has helped many people stop using drugs and find a new way of life. Many people who voluntarily commit to the program of NA have stopped using drugs; we see no reason why those who attend as part of a treatment order or DRR should not have the same success. Many of us first encountered NA when we were sent to meetings by treatment centres, or attended a meeting in prison. Once we learned that recovery is possible in NA, we continued to come of our own accord.
Myth 9 NA is not a safe place, especially for women.
Reality 9 One of the goals of NA is to establish and maintain a safe and welcoming environment, which we call an atmosphere of recovery. Meetings are facilitated by people with at least a years clean time in order to achieve this. There are a number of meetings such as women-only, men-only, and gay/lesbian and child friendly where some members may feel more comfortable. NA encourages members to support each other and often suggests that MEMBERS seek THE SAME SEX TO support in their recovery efforts.
Reality 10 NA, founded in 1953 is a fellowship in its own right, with 61,800 meetings worldwide (and over 800 in the UK). NA has adapted the 12 Steps and the 12 Traditions, for our own use. In particular, our first Step uses the word addiction rather than referring to any specific substance.
Reality 11 There are two kinds of NA meetings: A closed meeting is for people who think they may have a problem with drugs. An open meeting is exactly that; open to anyone who wishes to come..
Myth 12 Theres no point. Addicts always use again.
Reality 12 NA may not suit everyone, but we believe that those who apply themselves to our simple program can find freedom from active addiction. We believe the statement Once an addict, always an addict is a lie. Narcotics Anonymous has approximately 61,800 groups in 136 countries around the world; we have literature translated into 65 languages. This simple program, known as Narcotics Anonymous is proving itself in the lives of addicts around the world.
Thank you ! If you have any questions then please ask.