Narcotics Anonymous is a community of people who support each other to achieve and maintain a drug free life. The only requirement for participation in NA is a desire to stop using drugs. There are no membership fees, and each group is self supporting. NA is not allied with any religion, institution or other organisation. NA exists solely so that its members can support each other to stay drug free and to help others achieve and maintain a drug free recovery and lifestyle.
In NA we are not concerned about what drugs people may have used, what they have done in the past or what their personal status might be. We are only interested in what they want to do to change their life and how we can help. Addiction cuts across all segments of society and age groups, affecting people in differing ways. In the beginning, many who come to our meetings think they are different and will not belong, but on attending meetings and hearing others talk about their experiences they often realise how similar these are to their own.
NA is currently referred to in the UK as a Mutual Aid organisation. NA helps addicts to stop taking drugs, get well and change the quality of their lives. We mutually help each other. We consider those that are new to NA to be the most important people in our meetings because we have learnt that helping others is a gift that reinforces our motivation and desire to stay drug free.
NA offers support for life – it is a community of people who have overcome their drug problem, and who are freely available to help those who also have the desire to live life drug free. It costs nothing to be a NA member, you are a member of NA when you say you are. There are no waiting lists for NA – if people want to attend a meeting, they just need to show up. There are no “musts” in NA. We don’t keep records of who goes to our meetings. Our members cross all spectrums of society, and range in age from teenagers to OAPs. Everyone is equal and equally welcome.
“Pain-who needs it!” we think whenever we’re in it. We see no good purpose for pain. It seems to be a pointless exercise in suffering. If someone happens to mention spiritual growth to us while we’re in pain, we most likely snort in disgust and walk away, thinking we’ve never encountered a more insensitive person.
But what if human beings didn’t feel pain-either physical or emotional? Sound like an ideal world? Not really. If we weren’t capable of feeling physical pain, we wouldn’t know when to blink foreign particles out of our eyes; we wouldn’t know when to stop exercising; we wouldn’t even know when to roll over in our sleep. We would simply abuse ourselves for lack of a natural warning system.
The same holds true for emotional pain. How would we have known that our lives had become unmanageable if we hadn’t been in pain? Just like physical pain, emotional pain lets us know when to stop doing something that hurts. But pain is not only a motivating factor. Emotional pain provides a basis for comparison when we are joyful. We couldn’t appreciate joy without knowing pain.
As harmonious as we may wish Narcotics Anonymous to be, there are times when another member’s behavior really gets under our skin and seems to demand that we respond in kind. Maybe they tear into us verbally or try to goad us into a physical altercation. A member’s actions can place our meeting’s location in danger. We’ve also seen members try to undermine a group decision, and when it doesn’t go their way, take to social media to bad-mouth NA. And what about members who act in these ways but never make amends for their behavior? How dare they mess with our serenity?!
Our first impulses will likely be to respond to another’s resentment, selfishness, or accusations—with our own. We can, however, cool our own fury—and consider its source. Meeting another’s disease with compassion means that we suspend judgment. We try to separate the person from their disease. Maybe they’re going through a rough time. Maybe we unintentionally disrespected them, and they don’t know how to express their pain in another way. Maybe they are afraid of being wrong and looking uncool in the face of controversy. Maybe they’re just misinformed. And maybe we’re more alike than we care to admit. Bingo! At the end of the day, we are all recovering as best we can.
Having compassion for another doesn’t mean we ignore issues that arise. With unity as a priority, we end up practicing a lot more acceptance than our disease would otherwise have it. We may not understand where someone is coming from, but we can recognize the feelings and relate. Ideally, our response will consider what’s best for the common good. With practice, we spend a little less energy contemplating how we might meet disease with disease. We learn the benefits of responding with compassion instead.
Virtual-space meetings (blue), physical-space meetings (orange), and hybrid meetings (purple) are viewable below.
For navigating to a physical-space meeting – using the Map button will provide you with precise GPS co-ordinates.
NA Meetings can be attended by anyone who thinks they may have a problem with substance abuse. You don’t need to make an appointment, just show up.
“NA is a nonprofit fellowship or society of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. We are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. There is only one requirement for membership, the desire to stop using. We suggest that you keep an open mind and give yourself a break. Our program is a set of principles written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives. The most important thing about them is that they work.” – From the NA White Booklet.
As of Tuesday 7th June 2022 We now have an Open Format meeting of NA in Belfast. It operates on the first Tuesday of every Calendar month at 77 University Street Belfast.
“Open NA meetings are just that—open to anyone who wants to attend. Some groups have open meetings once a month to allow nonaddict friends and relatives of NA members to celebrate recovery anniversaries with them. Groups that have open meetings may structure their format in such a way that opportunities for participation by nonaddicts are limited only to short birthday or anniversary presentations. Such a format allows the meeting to retain its focus on recovery shared one addict to another. It should be made clear during the meeting that NA groups do not accept monetary contributions from nonaddicts.” – From the Group Booklet
If you are a GSR, Secretary or trusted servant of a group, please use the form below to update/edit the meeting listing for meeting list accuracy.
If you are searching for a meeting to attend, please find the meeting list below. You don’t need to make an appointment, just show up.