Keep membership records or case histories.
Follow up or try to control its members.
Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.
Provide hospitalization, medication, medical or psychiatric treatment.
Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or other such services.
Provide domestic or vocational counseling.
Engage in or sponsor research.
Affiliate with social agencies (though many members and service offices do cooperate with them).
Offer religious services.
Engage in any controversy about drugs, alcohol, or others.
Accept money for its services or contributions from non-N.A. sources.
Provide letters of reference to parole boards, attorneys, court officials, schools, businesses, social agencies, or any other organization or institution.
If you want what we have to offer, and are willing to make the effort to get it, then you are ready to take certain steps. These are the principles that made our recovery possible:
We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable.
We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
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.
Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
This sounds like a big order, and we can’t do it all at once. We didn’t become addicted in one day, so remember—easy
There is one thing more than anything else that will defeat us in our recovery; this is an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward spiritual principles. Three of these that are indispensable are honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.
With these we are well on our way.
We feel that our approach to the disease of addiction is completely realistic, for the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel. We feel that our way is practical, for one addict can best understand and help another addict. We believe that the sooner we face our problems within our society, in everyday living, just that much faster do we become acceptable, responsible, and productive members of that society.
The only way to keep from returning to active addiction is not to take that first drug. If you are like us you know that one is too many and a thousand never enough. We put great emphasis on this, for we know that when we use drugs in any form, or substitute one for another, we release our addiction all over again.
Thinking of alcohol as different from other drugs has caused a great many addicts to relapse. Before we came to NA, many of us viewed alcohol separately, but we cannot afford to be confused about this. Alcohol is a drug. We are people with the disease of addiction who must abstain from all drugs in order to recover.
We keep what we have only with vigilance, and just asfreedom for the individual comes from the Twelve Steps, sofreedom for the group springs from our Traditions.As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger thanthose that would tear us apart, all will be well.
Our common welfare should come first; personal recoverydepends on NA unity.
For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our groupconscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they donot govern.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.
Each group should be autonomous except in mattersaffecting other groups or NA as a whole.
Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry themessage to the addict who still suffers.
An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NAname to any related facility or outside enterprise, lestproblems of money, property, or prestige divert us from ourprimary purpose.
Every NA group ought to be fully self-supporting, decliningoutside contributions.
Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional,but our service centers may employ special workers.
NA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may createservice boards or committees directly responsible to thosethey serve.
Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hencethe NA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather thanpromotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity atthe level of press, radio, and films.
Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions,ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Understanding these Traditions comes slowly over a periodof time. We pick up information as we talk to members and visitvarious groups. It usually isn’t until we get involved with servicethat someone points out that “personal recovery depends onNA unity,” and that unity depends on how well we follow ourTraditions. The Twelve Traditions of NA are not negotiable.They are the guidelines that keep our Fellowship alive and free.By following these guidelines in our dealings with others,and society at large, we avoid many problems. That is not tosay that our Traditions eliminate all problems. We still have toface difficulties as they arise: communication problems,differences of opinion, internal controversies, and troubleswith individuals and groups outside the Fellowship. However,when we apply these principles, we avoid some of the pitfalls.Many of our problems are like those that our predecessorshad to face. Their hard won experience gave birth to theTraditions, and our own experience has shown that theseprinciples are just as valid today as they were when theseTraditions were formulated. Our Traditions protect us from theinternal and external forces that could destroy us. They aretruly the ties that bind us together. It is only throughunderstanding and application that they work.
JUST FOR TODAY my thoughts will be on my recovery, living and enjoying life without the use of drugs.
JUST FOR TODAY I will have faith in someone in NA who believes in me and wants to help me in my recovery.
JUST FOR TODAY I will have a program. I will try to follow it to the best of my ability.
JUST FOR TODAY, through NA, I will try to get a better perspective on my life.
JUST FOR TODAY I will be unafraid. My thoughts will be on my new associations, people who are not using and who have found a new way of life. So long as I follow that way, I have nothing to fear.