NA SERVICE MATERIAL
Service pamphlets (SPs) are intended for use as a resource for groups and service bodies. Service pamphlets are not intended to be recovery literature or to be used as the basis of a topic during a recovery meeting. They are intended for help in your discussion in group business meetings or in service committees. They are our best attempt at collecting some of the more successful practices in our fellowship in dealing with sensitive or difficult topics.
“Service pamphlets should be used by members, groups, and service committees as a resource rather than being read in an NA meeting.”
Group Business Meetings
Carrying the NA message of recovery is a group’s great-est responsibility. Groups that take time to have discussions are often better able to create an atmosphere in which this message can be shared. Meeting together allows members to address group problems, connect with one another, and get a sense of the group as a whole. Group business meetings (sometimes called group conscience meetings) also allow groups to discuss business in a way that keeps the recovery meeting focused on effectively carrying the NA message.
Principles and Leadership in NA Service
Our Fourth Concept reminds us that we need to have effective leaders in our service system in order to best support our groups. Because we have seen so much success in our growth as a fellowship, it can sometimes seem that most of the work of NA has already been accomplished. When the doors to our meetings are open, it isn’t always clear what more should be done to further our primary purpose. The truth of the matter is that all of our services need a constant influx of talent, creativity, and willingness from our members in order to continue helping our groups carry the NA message. Public relations campaigns, panels in institutions, phone lines, meeting schedules, and websites are just a few of the many services that support our groups. To accomplish these tasks, we need leaders and systems that support others’ efforts and offer them guidance. The most effective leaders in NA service both encourage other members to get involved and look for ways to improve existing services and to find new and innovative methods to help spread the NA message.
Social Media and Our Guiding Principles
The rise of social media and social networking in recent years has had significant and widespread effects on how members of our fellowship interact with one another. NA members have posed many questions about how our principles can be applied to these social networking tools, and this topic generated an extended discussion at the 2010 World Service Conference. This service pamphlet provides a synthesis of some of the points that arose from that discussion, along with members’ input and best practices related to social networking. Our goal is not to endorse or encourage the use of social media or any particular social networking resource; we are simply responding to the reality that many members do utilize these resources and also to the many requests for guidance and insight on how to use social media responsibly in light of our tradition of anonymity.
NA Groups and Medication
As outlined in In Times of Illness, the choice to take prescribed medication is a personal decision between a member, his or her sponsor, physician, and a higher power. It is a decision many members struggle through. It is not an issue for groups to enforce. This pamphlet is not intended to speak to members about the personal decision of whether or not to take medication, nor is it trying to convince members to have different opinions about the use of medication. What this pamphlet does address is that groups are often better able to carry the NA message and welcome anyone to a meeting when members come together to discuss this issue. Each group is autonomous, and this pamphlet is simply meant to provide groups with a tool for how to have their own discussions. In these discussions, we must remember that regardless of our personal opinions, decisions, and experiences, our Twelve Traditions remind us that the use of medication is an outside issue for NA groups and that all addicts are welcome in NA.
Group Trusted Servants
Roles and Responsibilities:
Service is an essential part of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous. Most of us would never have found recovery if not for the work of members who came before us. Now free from active addiction, we too can serve the fellowship. NA service begins in the groups, which carry the message directly to still-suffering addicts. This piece describes a few basic group service positions. The Group Booklet is another helpful resource for NA groups.
The main function of NA groups is to hold meetings where addicts can share the message of recovery with each other. The strength of each group depends on its trusted servants and regular members. The trusted servants lay the groundwork for a strong atmosphere of recovery. Members who attend regularly and share a strong message of recovery build on that foundation. The work necessary to make our meetings happen varies from one group to another, but the trusted servant positions are similar in many places.