Narcotics Anonymous, The NAWS (Narcotics Anonymous World Services) Corporation and the Future of a Fellowship | The Fix

Narcotics Anonymous, The NAWS (Narcotics Anonymous World Services) Corporation and the Future of a FellowshipBy rebelsmed 05/01/18Narcotics Anonymous is a worldwide Fellowship of addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean. Today, there are over 60,000 regular weekly meetings around the world; It has grown from a single group of addicts in California in 1953. Groups are the foundation of the Fellowship and ultimately make the decisions that affect the Fellowship. Groups in a town or several towns will come together and form a service structure called an ‘Area’ with the goal of providing services to fulfill the needs of the local Fellowship. Many of the Areas will come together and form a service body known as a ‘Region’, often defined by the geographical boundaries of a state or province (for instance, the Ohio Region of NA). Each service structure from the Group, the Area, and the Region will elect a delegate to represent them at the next level of service. A Group Service Representative goes to Area, a Regional Committee Member goes to Region from Area, and a Region Delegate from Region goes to the World Service Conference (WSC). Groups represent the pinnacle of the service structure, and all the other services are below the groups; they are then in place to support those groups. This is the opposite from the typical business model, where the top position is the president. On a chart, the NA structure looks like an inverted triangle.From April 29th to May 5th 2018, many of the elected Regional Delegates from all over the world are invited to meet for a World Service Conference in Woodland Hills, California. The WSC convenes every 2 years; the primary reason is to discuss and vote on the motions compiled from the Groups into the Conference Agenda Report that will influence the direction of the World Board, who govern the Narcotics Anonymous World Service Inc California – registered as a non-profit organization. Many of the participants at this WSC are looking for solutions to address 3 key issues that are currently affecting the worldwide Fellowship.The first concern raised by many of the Regional Delegates for NA is the status of the ‘Fellowship Intellectual Property Trust’ (or FIPT) – a document outlining the copywrite usage rules for NA literature and logos. The second point of contention is a request by the South Florida Region to inspect the financial records of NAWS, where it appears as if NAWS is stalling and putting up road blocks to requested transparency. Some regions have come out in support of this motion, and there are discussions at all levels of service about withholding funds from NAWS until the inspection is completed. And the third issue is that many Regional Delegates express concerns about the apathy of their membership and a lack of support for the service structures.

Source: Narcotics Anonymous, The NAWS (Narcotics Anonymous World Services) Corporation and the Future of a Fellowship | The Fix



1. We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction; that our lives had become unmanageable.

 2. We came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. We made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

 9. We made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

 10. We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

AA Big Book — Chapter 5

The first requirement is that we be convinced that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. On that basis we are almost always in collision with something or somebody, even though our motives are good. Most people try to live by self-propulsion. Each person is like an actor who wants to run the whole show; is forever trying to arrange the lights, the ballet, the scenery and the rest of the players in his own way. If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful. In trying to make these arrangements our actor may sometimes be quite virtuous. He may be kind, considerate, patient, generous; even modest and self-sacrificing. On the other hand, he may be mean, egotistical, selfish and dishonest. But, as with most humans, he is more likely to have varied traits.What usually happens? The show doesn’t come off very well. He begins to think life doesn’t treat him right. He decides to exert himself more. He becomes, on the next occasion, still more demanding or gracious, as the case may be. Still the play does not suit him. Admitting he may be somewhat at fault, he is sure that other people are more to blame. He becomes angry, indignant, self-pitying. What is his basic trouble? Is he not really a self-seeker even when trying to be kind? Is he not a victim of the delusion that he can wrest satisfaction and happiness out of this world if he only manages well? Is it not evident to all the rest of the players that these are the things he wants? And do not his actions make each of them wish to retaliate, snatching all they can get out of the show? Is he not, even in his best moments, a producer of confusion rather than harmony?Our actor is self-centered, ego-centric, as people like to call it nowadays. He is like the retired business man who lolls in the Florida sunshine in the winter complaining of the sad state of the nation; the minister who sighs over the sins of the twentieth century; politicians and reformers who are sure all would be Utopia if the rest of the world would only behave; the outlaw safe cracker who thinks society has wronged him; and the alcoholic who has lost all and is locked up. Whatever our protestations, are not most of us concerned with ourselves, our resentments, or our self-pity?Selfishness, self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Driven by a hundred forms of fear, self-delusion, self-seeking, and self-pity, we step on the toes of our fellows and they retaliate. Sometimes they hurt us, seemingly without provocation, but we invariably find that at some time in the past we have made decisions based on self which later placed us in a position to be hurt.So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making. They arise out of ourselves, and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self-will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kill us! God makes that possible. And there often seems no way of entirely getting rid of self without His aid. Many of us had moral and philosophical convictions galore, but we could not live up to them even though we would have liked to. Neither could we reduce our self-centeredness much by wishing or trying on our own power. We had to have God’s help.

Source: AA Big Book — Chapter 5