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Narcotics Anonymous

Specific Purpose: I will inform my audience about Narcotics Anonymous.

Central Idea: Narcotics Anonymous is a worldwide self-help organization that has been around for many years and continues to impact our society.


Attention Getter: Imagine 60,000 people in one city, all dealing with the same problem, addiction. According to an article written by Carter M. Yang for ABC news on March 14th of this year, there are 60, 000 people in Baltimore alone that are addicted to illicit drugs. These numbers are disheartening and unfortunate.

I can relate to every one of these people struggling with substance abuse, because I am an addict. A program called Narcotics Anonymous has helped me stay clean for the last two years. Narcotics Anonymous is a worldwide self-help fellowship that has been around for many years and has an impact on our society.

Preview: First, I will discuss general information about Narcotics Anonymous, then the development of Narcotics Anonymous, followed by how this organization impacts our society.

Narcotics Anonymous is a worldwide fellowship most people are unaware exists.

Narcotics Anonymous is a 12 step non-profit program that helps people struggling with substance abuse change their lives.

1. Meetings are the foundation of the fellowship.

  • Meetings are held when addicts come together to share their experiences and troubles.
  • Meetings take place in a safe environment, such as hospitals, churches, and institutions.
  • According to an article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information written by William White, and Dr. John Kelly who did thorough research at a conference held on September 25, 2009, titled _How AA and NA Work: Cross-disciplinary perspectives_, three or more AA/NA meetings per week are optimal and associated with complete abstinence.

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  • Also stated by the same authors, even one or two meetings per week also increase the probability for long term abstinence.
  • Diversity is also embraced in meetings, because although members may be different they all share a common voice.

2. Another aspect of this support group is sponsorship.

  • Sponsorship is a personal and private relationship that varies in nature.
  • A sponsor is a member of the fellowship, living the program of recovery, who is willing to build a special, supportive, one-on-one relationship with newer members.
  • Sponsors can help guide other recovering addicts through times of need and give them advice on how to continue through hardships without using drugs or alcohol.
  • Stated in the Basic Text, sponsorship is the heartbeat of the fellowship.

3. The Basic Text states that “If you want what we have to offer and are willing to make the effort to get it than you are willing to take certain steps. These are the principles that made our recovery possible.”

  •  This fellowship is based on 12 different steps and each one relevant in the recovery process.
  • The 12 steps are a way for addicts to figure out who they are, why they are addicts, and how the 12 step fellowship can help.
  • One condensable way to describe what these steps can do is stated from a website formed by members working through Narcotics Anonymous World Services, “These steps include admitting there is a problem, seeking help, developing a spiritual self, confidential self-disclosure, making amends where harm has been done, and working with other drug addicts who want to recover.”

Transition: Now that I have discussed what Narcotics Anonymous is, I will give some history of Narcotics Anonymous.

Narcotics Anonymous started as a small US organization that has grown into one of the world’s oldest and largest international programs of its type.

Narcotics Anonymous has been around since the late 1940s and over a period of time has developed into a notorious global community.

1. It was extremely difficult for addicts to find help, especially in the 1930s and 1940s.

  •  Searches, harassment and incarceration were normal for addicts, and even doctors trying to help addicts at this time.
  •  Many soldiers came back from World War II and Vietnam (59 to 75) with addictions to habit forming drugs including alcohol, tobacco, nicotine and heroin.
  •  At this time in the U.S very few addicts had proven solutions until the formation of NA.

2. Narcotics Anonymous was derived from another well know fellowship called Alcoholics Anonymous.

  • The 12 steps and 12 traditions laid a foundation for the early members of NA struggling with addictive substances other than alcohol.
  • Houston Montgomery, a member of AA, had a difficult time helping a man with an addiction to multiple substances. The other man could stop drinking, but was unable to stop using drugs.
  • Houston thought that it was important to form a group for those with specific drug problems.

3. According to a book written by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, called _The Birth of Narcotics Anonymous_, the Narco group was created in 1947 allowing a group of addicts to meet in Lexington Kentucky.

  • The Narco group was later developed into Narcotics Anonymous by a man named Jimmy K.
  • The first NA meeting was in Southern California in a church basement.
  • Different books and pieces of literature were published at this time.
  • In the late fifties the first piece of NA literature was published in order to help addicts identify if they belonged in the program.

Transition Narcotics Anonymous has had a long history, bringing me to explain how NA has an impact on today’s society.

According to the National Institute of Drug abuse, over 600 billion dollars in spent annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity and healthcare due to abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs. Narcotics Anonymous helps to bring these numbers down by helping those addicted.

1. The Narcotics Anonymous World Services clearly states that this program is not affiliated with other organizations including other self-help fellowships, treatment centers, or correctional facilities.

  • Not only is NA a non-affiliated program but it is also fully self- supporting, declining all outside contributions.
  • Narcotics Anonymous helps recovering addicts, but it does so without the need of nonmember’s money or endorsement.
  • Recovering addicts donate money inside meetings in order to support rent for meeting places, literature and other expenses to keep the fellowship running.

2. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Narcotics Anonymous offers an added layer of community-level social support to help people in recovery with abstinence and other healthy lifestyle goals.

  • Family relationships are reestablished once a member utilizes the fellowship and finds a new way to live.
  • The official Narcotics Anonymous website states in a survey taken in 2011, 95% of NA members stated that their family relationships had drastically improved.
  • These improvements in family relationships help create better home lives, communities and social atmospheres for members and nonmembers alike.

3. When those with addiction begin to follow the 12 steps, they also become better employees.

  • In the same survey, 61% of NA members stated they were employed full time and 10% employed part time and the other percent were home makers, retired, unemployed or students.
  • Too many times those struggling with addiction are unemployable or unable to function in everyday society.
  • Narcotics Anonymous helps people become responsible and productive members of the community and world around us.


Summary: Today, I spoke on general information about Narcotics Anonymous, the history of the fellowship, and the impact Narcotics Anonymous has on our society.

Closure: After thinking about 60,000 people struggling with addiction, I can now give you a much greater and more enlightening number. According to the Faces and Voices of Recovery organization website, there is an estimated 23 million Americans that are in recovery from alcohol and other drugs. In conclusion, Narcotics Anonymous is an organization worldwide, created to help those struggling with substance abuse. This organization has been around for over 60 years, and has helped many people. Narcotics Anonymous has an impact on people everywhere by teaching addicts how to become normal, productive members of our society.


Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office,. _It works: How and Why_. 1993. 159. Print.

Narcotics Anonymous World Service Office, . _Miracles Happen: The Birth of Narcotics Anonymous in Words and Pictures_. Canada: 2002. Print.

Services, N. A. W. , and W. S. Office. _Narcotics anonymous_. 6th. Van Nuys: World Service Office, 2008. 17,27. print.

Services, N. A. W. , and W. S. Office. _Sponsorship_. Information Packet #11. Van Nuys: World Service Office, 2005.

Yang, Carter M.. “ABC News.” _Part 1: Baltimore is the U.S heroin capital_. ABC News, 14 Mar 2014. Web. 6 Apr 2014. .

“Understanding Drug Abuse and Addiction.” _NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse: The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction_. National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d. Web. 6 Apr 2014. .

“Trends and Statistics.” _NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse: The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction_. National Institute on Drug Abuse, n.d. Web. 6 Apr 2014. .

“Narcotics Anonymous World Service.” _Information about NA: Public Relations_. Narcotics Anonymous, 01 Jan 2012. Web. 6 Apr 2014.

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Narcotics Anonymous. (2016, Aug 05). Retrieved from

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