Narcotics Anonymous meetings are a gathering of recovering addicts, who meet regularly for the purpose of recovery from the disease of addiction. If you’re planning to go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting for the first time, it might be nice to know what to expect. The information in this section is meant to give you an understanding of what happens in our meetings. The words we use and the way we act might be unfamiliar to you at first, but hopefully this information can help you get the most out of your first NA meeting. If you show up early, leave late, and ask lots of questions before and after the meeting, you’ll probably get the most out of every meeting you attend..
Although meetings may be located at a variety of publicly accessible buildings, meeting locations do not imply affiliation. Meetings use a variety of formats such as Participation, Speaker, Topic Discussion, Book Study, New Comer, Question and Answer, etc. There are no attendance monitors at meetings and we are under no surveillance at any time. Most meetings last from 1 to 1 ½ hours. When you arrive at your first meeting you can expect to see recovering addicts welcoming each other and socializing. It is not uncommon for new members to be warmly welcomed.
You may see information pamphlets, books and activity flyers. Feel free to take pamphlets and flyers. Books are for sale at cost. The leader typically will open the meeting with a moment of silence followed by readings, and announcements. The leader will then ask if newcomers and visitors would like to introduce themselves. Participation in meetings is voluntary. The leader opens up the meeting for members to speak on any subject related to recovery. Members will speak, sharing their experience, strength and hope. Sharing is voluntary. We do not respond to other people’s shares (as in conversation) but from his or her own experience. While members are sharing we refrain from side conversations and other distracting activities that may disrupt the meeting.
There are no fees or dues to attend a NA meeting. We are self supporting through our own contributions. You will see a basket being passed, to collect donations from members to pay rent for the meeting place, purchase literature, refreshments, etc.
As Narcotics Anonymous continues to grow as a worldwide fellowship we have found it difficult to obtain and keep suitable meeting locations. With that in mind we ask that members please:
Be quiet when arriving and departing from meeting facilities
Remember that others may be offended by our tone and language.
Dispose of trash and cigarette butts appropriately.
"...People have all sorts of reasons for attending NA meetings, but the reason for each meeting is to give NA members a place to share recovery with other addicts. If you are not an addict, look for an open meeting, which welcomes nonaddicts. If you’re an addict or think you might have a drug problem, we suggest a meeting every day for at least ninety days to get to know NA members and our program..."
NA literature is also a great source of information about our program. Our Basic Text, Narcotics Anonymous, or our information pamphlets (IPs) are a good place to start. Most meetings offer IPs for free, while books are generally sold at the group’s cost. Most of our literature is also available to read on this website.
Please come check out a meeting and "Keep Coming Back!"