“If you’re new to NA or planning to go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting for the first time, it might be nice to know a little bit about what happens in our meetings. The information here is meant to give you an understanding of what we do when we come together to share recovery. 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 or help you feel more comfortable as you keep coming back. Showing up early, staying late, and asking lots of questions before and after meetings will help you get the most out of every meeting you attend….
…People have all sorts of reasons for attending NA meetings, but the purpose of 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 non-addicts. If you’re an addict or think you might have a drug problem, we suggest a meeting every day for at least 90 days to get to know NA members and our program…”
(Excerpts from IP# 29, “An Introduction to NA Meetings “)
If you are like many of us when we attend our first NA meeting, you may be feeling pretty nervous and think everyone at the meeting is focusing on you. If so, you are not the only one. Many of us have felt the same way. It has been said, “If your stomach’s all tied up in knots, you’re probably in the right place.” We often say that no one comes through the doors of NA by mistake. Nonaddicted people don’t spend their time wondering if they are addicts. They don’t even think about it. If you’re wondering whether or not you’re an addict, you might be one. Just allow yourself the time to listen to us share about what it has been like for us. Perhaps you will hear something that sounds familiar to you. Most addicts experience very similar feelings, and it is in focusing on our similarities, rather than our differences, that we are helpful to one another.
At your first meeting, you will meet people with various lengths of clean time. You may wonder how they could remain clean for that period of time. If you keep coming to NA meetings and stay clean, you will come to understand how it works.
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. To begin, we invite you to read IP #22, “Welcome to Narcotics Anonymous“. Please come to our meetings and keep coming back. It works if you work it.