Why Do It?

Serving is a privilege enjoyed by thousands of recovering addicts. Here are some of the top reasons we do it:

Service enhances our spirituality

Helping others is perhaps the highest aspiration of the human heart and something we have been entrusted with as a result of a Higher Power working in our lives. We would do well to remember to ask the God of our understanding to continue working through us in our efforts to carry the message. Diligently practicing the principles of recovery will ensure that the connection between ourselves and our Higher Power remains open and that our service to others is firmly rooted in spirituality.

It Works: How & Why
Step Twelve, Pages 87-88

Service reinforces our recovery

Some of us had the experience of believing that we could stay clean in NA, but when it came to recovery, that seemed beyond us. The day we began to believe that this program could do more for us than just help us stay clean was a tune we remember as a turning point in our recovery. What happened to give us that sense of hope was that someone gave us a reason to believe. In whichever way we hear it, it was the message, and someone carried it to us. "We keep what we have by giving it away." This is perhaps the most powerful reason we can present for carrying the message. Many of us wonder, though, exactly how this concept works. It's simple, really. We reinforce our recovery by sharing it with others.

Narcotics Anonymous Step Working Guides
Step Twelve, Page 118

We keep what we have only by giving it away

We give of ourselves freely without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Putting our gratitude into action by supporting Narcotics Anonymous gives real meaning to our belief that “we keep what we have only by giving it away.” Practicing self-support in NA doesn’t simply mean each of us pays our own way; we repay NA not just by taking care of ourselves, but by making a way for the newcomer to find recovery.

IP No. 24 | Money Matters: Self-Support in NA
Narcotics Anonymous World Services

Service helps us grow

The sick, self-seeking, self-centered, and self-enclosed world of the addict hardly qualifies as a way of life; at best, perhaps it is a way to survive for awhile. Even in this limited existence it is a way of despair, destruction, and death. Goodwill, of course, is the beginning of all spiritual growth. It leads to affection and love in all our actions. Therefore, service is also a Power greater than we, and has significant meaning for all.

IP No. 5 | Another Look
Narcotics Anonymous World Services

Service makes us feel good

Learning to help others is a benefit of the Narcotics Anonymous program. This miraculous turnabout is evidence of a spiritual awakening. Service work is carrying the message to the addict who still suffers. The more eagerly we wade in and work, the richer our spiritual awakening will be. By helping others we find the reward of self-respect, as we are able to share these lessons with other members of Narcotics Anonymous. God helps us as we help each other. Life takes on a new meaning, a new joy, and a quality of being and feeling worthwhile. We become spiritually refreshed and are glad to be alive.

Reprinted from Narcotics Anonymous®
Chapter 4, Pages 51-52

What Can I Do?

We serve society by being an example of recovery and living by spiritual principles. We can also serve other addicts simply by carrying the message of recovery and the hope that comes with it. There is yet another type of service which involves a commitment to a service body whether it is a home group, an area or regional service committee, or a subcommittee. To read more about the working and structure of these committees, and for more information about being of service in NA, consult the Guide To Local Service published by NA World Services. You may also contact us by email to reach a particular service body or for any other need to reach a trusted servant of the regional service committee.