Narcotics Anonymous is an international, community-based association of recovering drug addicts with more than 50,000 weekly meetings in over 130 countries. Narcotics Anonymous sprang from the Alcoholics Anonymous Program of the late 1940s, with meetings first emerging in the Los Angeles area of California, USA, in the early 1950s. The NA program started as a small US movement that has grown into one of the world’s oldest and largest organizations of its type. For many years, NA grew very slowly, spreading from Los Angeles to other major North American cities and Australia in the early 1970s. In 1983, Narcotics Anonymous published its self-titled book-the Basic Text-which contributed to its tremendous growth; by year’s end, NA had grown to more than a dozen countries and had 2,966 meetings.
The first Narcotics Anonymous meeting took place in Canada in late September of 1967. It was in Victoria, British Columbia that James D. and Bernard A. began meeting weekly to help each other stay clean. The late 1960’s were a time of struggle for the fellowship an in 1967 there were only 15 meetings world wide, with most of them occurring in California. Although the attendance at the Victoria meetings fluctuated, and the locations often changed, by the early 1970’s the fellowship had begun to stabilize and it was in 1973 that the The Victoria Area Service committee formed. By late 1979 an N.A. meeting was started in Vancouver, and in 1981 the NA World Directory listed 11 meetings in BC. The publishing of the Basic text was responsible for the rapid growth of NA world wide including BC and it wasn’t long before there were several meetings throughout the Province. The 1983 the world Directory contained 48 meetings, and by 1989, 112 meetings were taking place in BC. By 1981 the meetings in Vancouver continued to grow and by October 1985, 6 groups east of Vancouver joined together to form the Fraser Valley Area Service committee.
Today, Narcotics Anonymous is well established throughout much of the Americas, Western Europe, Australia, the Middle East, New Zealand, and Eastern Europe. Newly formed groups and NA communities can be found scattered throughout the Indian subcontinent, Africa, and East Asia. Today the organization is truly a worldwide multilingual, multicultural fellowship with more than 50,000 weekly meetings in 130 countries. Narcotics Anonymous books and information pamphlets are currently available in 36 languages, with translations in process for 16 additional languages.