Narcotics Anonymous (NA) - 12 Step Program


Why NA?

NA is an anonymous 12-step program. It offers a safe space where members do not have to give their name or any other identifying information. The program is open to people of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and religions. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve used or what you’ve done – only that you want help.2

NA’s drug recovery meetings are free to attend. There are no fees, dues, or pledges. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using drugs. The organization is not affiliated with any other organizations or political, religious, or law enforcement groups.2

Finding a Narcotics Anonymous meeting is usually not that difficult, as meetings are held in most communities in the United States and in other countries.

What Are the NA 12 Steps?

Similar to AA, NA helps participants recover by walking them through a process of 12 steps. Although the 12 steps of NA are meant to be explored in order, many people who are struggling with addictions will visit and revisit various steps over time:

Narcotics Anonymous 12 Steps to Recovery

1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives had become unmanageable.

When you see the disasters your addiction has caused and acknowledge your real need for help, you face reality with humility and open the door for a changed life.

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

You learn that your life can turn from hopeless to hopeful – because there is a stronger Power outside of yourself that is able to piece your life back together and renew you. You have the personal choice to decide what or who that Higher Power is for you.

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

Your heart, mind and will take action by surrendering to this Higher Power. You trust that this Higher Power will guide your behaviors with better wisdom and care than you can do by yourself.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

As you gently try to peel away the many layers of your being and better understand your depths, you allow yourself to experience a much fuller healing, restoration and freedom.

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

Now that you’ve more closely examined yourself, you gather your courage and confess – to yourself, to others and to your Higher Power – the darkness that you find inside yourself. By admitting what you’ve been previously hiding, you can better accept yourself and make changes in your relationships.

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

By working through your fears and uncertainties about becoming a better person and making the changes you need to make in your life, you prepare yourself to invite your Higher Power to change you.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

As you ask your Higher Power to remove your character flaws, you also take actions that give your Higher Power greater ability to work changes into your life.

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

Here, you assess all the ways you could have possibly caused harm to others and also to yourself. You then make yourself ready to restore these relationships through both words and actions.

9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

First, you need to face your fears and expectations in making these amends; you try to forgive anyone who needs your forgiveness and you sensitively evaluate where making amends would do more harm than good. You then take the risk of feeling vulnerable and make amends to these individuals.

10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

You make it a habit to reassess yourself for any future wrongs you may commit as you strive towards better behavior, and you confess your wrongs as soon as you become aware of them.

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.

In this step, you continue to increase your reliance on your Higher Power as your source of guidance and as your strength to walk according to this guidance.

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.

By this point in the Narcotics Anonymous 12 steps, you have renewed yourself through your unique spiritual pathway, having found genuine hope in being able to stay clean and recover. You aim to both continue this pathway, yourself, and also share your journey and hope with others.3

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