NA was founded in 1953, and their membership growth was minimal during their initial twenty years as an organization. Since the publication of their Basic Text in 1983, the number of members and meetings has increased dramatically. Today, NA members hold nearly 67,000 meetings weekly in 139 countries.
They offer recovery from the effects of addiction through working a twelve-step program, including regular attendance at group meetings. The group atmosphere provides help from peers and offers an ongoing support network for addicts who wish to pursue and maintain a drug-free lifestyle. Their name, Narcotics Anonymous, is not meant to imply a focus on any particular drug; NA’s approach makes no distinction between drugs including alcohol.
Membership is free, and they have no affiliation with any organizations outside of NA including governments, religions, law enforcement groups, or medical and psychiatric associations. Through all of their service efforts and their cooperation with others seeking to help addicts, they strive to reach a day when every addict in the world has an opportunity to experience their message of recovery in his or her own language and culture.
Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s, with NA meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles area of California, USA, in the early 1950s. The NA program started as a small US organization that has grown into one of the world’s oldest and largest international organizations of its type.