Public Relations in Narcotics Anonymous

March 2012: It’s been 6 years since the release of the PR Handbook when we wrote the following.  Change is slow in NA and sometimes we wonder how much change there has been from a local point of view.  Some areas and regions have embraced the new direction and renamed their PI committees to PR committees, reorganizing their services (see some of the sample PR guidelines for committees on this website). Other areas and regions haven’t gone as far. When we first created this page we intended to expound more on the new direction but we decided to wait to see how the fellowship will take to the new direction.  To date, we’ve not made any updates and now are considering where to go.  We have been more focused on the how-to-do it rather than the why-we-do-it aspect of doing this type of service. We intend to review ourselves and commit to bringing more content to this subject this coming year.

In 2006, the World Service Conference approved the adoption of the “Public Relations Handbook” authored by the World Board of Narcotics Anonymous. This service handbook replaces “A Guide to Public Information”, last revised in 1993.

This service handbook release marks the beginning of a new direction in our Fellowship’s relationship with society. The evolution of our fellowship as a viable answer to the addict that stills suffers is dependent on our relations with government agencies, non-government organizations and the public at large.

You may say to yourself, “isn’t that what we do now?”. This “new” direction is about focusing on our relationships rather than just simply conveying information. This is an evolution, or perhaps we can say a revolution, in how we view those who can further our primary purpose.

In addition to the service implications of public relations, the PR Handbook dwells more than ever before into the responsibility of all members of NA, as individuals, groups and service committees, to maintain good relationships with the public. From the NA member at a meeting to the NA members at a convention, all share in supporting a positive image of NA as a whole.

From the Public Relations Statement at the beginning of the PR Handbook:

The Narcotics Anonymous message is “that an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live.” Our relations with the public enable us to share this message broadly so that those who might benefit from our program of recovery can find us. We perform public relations service to increase the awareness and credibility of the NA program. We share our message openly with the public at large, with prospective members, and with professionals. Maintaining an open, attractive attitude in these efforts helps us to create and improve relationships with those outside the fellowship. Establishing and maintaining a commitment to these relationships, can help us to further our primary purpose.

The spiritual principles of our steps, traditions, and concepts guide us in pursuing our public relations aims and our efforts to enhance NA’s public image and reputation. These principles apply to our community and service efforts as well as to the personal behavior and attitude of individual NA members.

 The PR Handbook is now available from the NAWS website (Public Relations page) for free as a download or you can go to the “Online Literature Sales” section to access their sales site and look for “Service Handbooks” to purchase a hard copy.


 

Copyright Notice: Be advised that "Narcotics Anonymous", the stylized initials NA (appearing alone, within a single or double circle) and the diamond within a circle symbol are registered trademarks of Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. All other logos and trademarks on this site are the property of their respective owners.