There are probably as many ways to be of service in NA as there are different personalities among our members. Sponsorship, service at the group level, speaking with newcomers and other forms of service are the backbone of the NA program.
This page does not address these forms of NA service. Rather, it describes the formal service structure of our local fellowship. Much of the information contained on this page is excerpted from: “A Guide to Local Services in Narcotics Anonymous”. copyright 1989, 1990, 1993, 1995, 1996 by World Service Office, Inc.
There is only one requirement for NA membership, “a desire to stop using,” but there are many benefits. One of these benefits is the privilege of service.
We who have the disease of addiction spent years of our lives locked up in ourselves. We were cut off from the warmth and fellowship of other human beings; our lives revolved almost exclusively around “getting and using and finding ways and means to get more.” The love that connects one person to another to the next, the selfless service that feeds and houses and clothes and warms and nurtures humankind — of that love, of that selfless service we had no part. That’s why it’s such a privilege in our recovery to be able to serve others, for we come to know ourselves only in looking beyond ourselves, and we keep what we have only by giving it away. By empathizing with other members, by learning to appreciate their needs, by placing them ahead of our own — by these things we learn to love others, and in so doing we learn to love ourselves.
The service we do in our recovery is many things. We take a more active role in our everyday lives, serving others as better friends, better family members, better workers and better citizens. When we find an NA meeting where we feel at home and NA friends with whom we identify, we’ve found a home group, a base for our own recovery and a place where we can serve other addicts by sharing our recovery with them. The time, the experience, the empathy we offer others in our home group we extend even further to those we serve in NA sponsorship. All these way of serving others demonstrate the spiritual awakening of our Twelfth Step, evidenced in our efforts “to carry this message to addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” The information that follows describes additional ways recovering addicts can be of service in NA. Our hope is that this information will serve as a portal to new paths of service for many, many NA members.
All subcommittees can be contacted through our contact form. Click on any item below to see additional information on each.
at the Hanley Center 933 45th Street , WPB 33407
Workhorse of the service structure — maybe that’s the best way to describe the Area Service Committee (ASC). Most of the hands-on work of delivering NA services to the groups and the community occurs at the area level.
NA groups support meetings where addicts can share their recovery with one another. Only minimal organization is necessary to hold these meetings. But there’s lots more that can be done to further the aims of Narcotics Anonymous:
• NA panel presentations at addiction treatment centers and correctional facilities can reach addicts particularly in need of what we have to offer.
• Public information presentations to schools and community groups, mailings to addiction treatment professionals, meeting notices in newspapers and public service announcements on local radio and television stations can help direct people to NA.
• Directories showing where and when NA groups in the area hold their recovery meetings can help addicts and others find nearby meetings being conducted at times convenient to them.
• A phoneline service can help addicts seeking recovery find a meeting in their area. It can also provide information about NA to interested community members.
• A ready supply of NA books and pamphlets can make it easier for gropus to stock their literature tables.
• Social activities can help addicts feel more comfortable in their local NA community and increase unity and camaraderie among area members.
All of these services require a certain degree of organization, the comlexity of which could easily divert NA groups from the week-in, week-out task of conducting Narcotics Anonymous meetings for their members. Most of these services also require more money and manpower than any single group could possibly muster. How do groups stay focused on their primary purpose and still see that these other services are developed and maintained? In the words of NA’s Ninth Tradition, they “create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.” And the service committee closest to home, the committee best situated to provide the most direct service to the groups and the community, is the Area Service Committee.