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The text below is an excerpt from NA’s Guide to Local Service.
NA’s FIRST CONCEPT
To fulfill our fellowship’s primary purpose, the NA groups have joined together to create a structure which develops, coordinates, and maintains services on behalf of NA as a whole.
Our fellowship’s primary purpose is to carry the message “that an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.” One of the primary means by which that message is carried, addict to addict, is in our meetings. These recovery meetings, conducted thousands of times each day by NA groups around the world, are the most important service offered by our fellowship.
However, while recovery meetings are NA’s most important service, they are not the only means we have of fulfilling our fellowship’s primary purpose. Other NA services attract the still-suffering addict to our meetings, carry our message to addicts in institutions, make recovery literature available, and provide opportunities for groups to share their experience with one other. No one of these services, by itself, comes close to matching the value of group recovery meetings in carrying our message; each, however, plays its own indispensable part in the overall program devised by the NA Fellowship to fulfill its primary purpose.
We can do together what we cannot accomplish separately. This is true in our personal recovery and is equally true in our services. In new NA communities, groups often perform basic services in addition to their meetings. But fulfillment of the full range of NA services—phonelines, H&I panels, public information work, outreach, and the rest—usually requires more people and more money than a single group can muster on its own. The degree of organization necessary to carry out such responsibilities would divert most groups from carrying the NA message in their meetings. And the lack of coordination among groups delivering various services on their own could result in duplication, confusion, and wasted resources. For these reasons, most groups do not take such responsibilities on themselves.
How, then, can NA’s groups ensure the fulfillment of these services? They do so by combining their resources, joining together to create a structure which develops, coordinates, and maintains those services for them, leaving the groups free to carry out their own primary responsibility.