Narcotics Anonymous originated in the United States in the early 1950s, similar to the Fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous. The first city in which a group of Narcotics Anonymous appeared was Los Angeles. In 1983, the book, Narcotics Anonymous, was published by members of the community. Later, similar groups appeared in Brazil, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. As of July 2018, Narcotics Anonymous exists in over 141 countries, with over 70,000 regular meetings per week, in 82 languages.
The first attempt to create a community of Narcotics Anonymous in Estonia was dated in 2000, 2-3 people attended the group, over time the group ceased to exist. In the summer of 2004, Alcoholic Anonymous from Finland opened a group at the Wismari polyclinic, but the group lasted for 3 months. In the fall of 2004, an anonymous drug addict founded the group named «Wings», the group was located in the building of the methadone center, the anonymous person began to regularly invite addicts into groups, at first he was in a room alone. Waited for newcomers, attending meetings regularly. By the end of 2005, the group had developed, with about 10 people regularly attending the meeting.Each group in the Narcotics Anonymous community has only one main purpose, to carry the message to those addicts who are still suffering. Narcotics Anonymous began to turn to closed Estonian institutions to bring the message. In 2010, the first meeting of Estonian-speaking addicts appeared, in Tallinn the meeting is held once a week. In 2011, the first meeting of Narva Anonymous was held in Narva, the “Fortress” group. In 2014 the first «Central» group appeared in Jõhvi, and in 2015 the «Lotus» group began to work in Sillamäe. Today, groups in Ida-Virumma are held regularly, with 2 meetings per week in each city.
One of the first booklets of Narcotics Anonymous describes the community as “a non-profit community of men and women for whom drugs have become a serious problem …” in which recovering addicts meet regularly to help each other stay clean. Any addict can become a member of this community, regardless of what drugs he used. There are no restrictions on joining the NA community – gender, social, economic.Membership is voluntary, no one maintains a list of participants, and does not draw up attendance reports. Narcotics Anonymous members attend meetings when they see fit. There are no sign-up or membership fees, but most NA members regularly make small donations to help pay for organizational expenses, although this is not required.
The recovery program of Narcotics Anonymous is known to many as the Twelve Steps. It is adapted, and its essence lies in the fact that every person who wants to get rid of addiction must take twelve steps to recovery, go through twelve specific stages, which include recognizing the problem (for many, this is the most difficult), seeking help, a confidential story about yourself, compensation for damage caused to others and help to other drug addicts seeking recovery. Narcotics Anonymous believes that one of the keys to success is helping one former addict to another, transferring the experience of recovery, and this experience is invaluable and unparalleled.The first thing that Narcotics Anonymous provides is group meetings where non-drug users share their personal experiences with those seeking help. The community does not have hospitals, rehabilitation centers, professional doctors, and the Academy of Sciences does not provide medical, legal and psychiatric services for psychological (psychiatric) counseling. But there are so-called “sponsors” in the community – more experienced members who mentor less experienced ones.
Each group builds its own work, most of them rent meeting places in buildings owned by public, religious or civic organizations. Generally, Narcotics Anonymous meetings are held only for those with drug problems, but sometimes there are open meetings for anyone interested in addiction or community activities.The only requirement for NA membership is a desire to stop using drugs. Narcotics Anonymous encourages its members to abstain from ALL types of drugs and alcohol. The experience of many recovering addicts suggests that only after this can we talk about the restoration of all spheres of life and personal growth. Narcotics Anonymous uses the term “illness” to describe addiction, but they are well aware that it is possible to be successful in overcoming it. And before them there are always living examples.