|WHO IS BEST SUITED TO CARRY THE MESSAGE IN AN H&I SETTING?
Anyone with a clear and consistent Narcotics Anonymous message who is willing to share is well suited for H&I work. An H&I meeting provides the first exposure to Narcotics Anonymous for many addicts, so it is imperative that we project a positive image because our fellowship as a whole may be judged on how we conduct ourselves. In our experience it is best for members to have three months clean before attending an H&I meeting, and six months clean before speaking at one.
Some facilities house only men or only women; others house both men and women, but keep them separate. In these facilities where your meetings will consist of only men or only women, we feel strongly that only same sex NA members should participate. Problems that arise in this area have the potential to seriously damage the credibility of our fellowship. Experience has taught us that we can avoid these problems if we follow this simple guideline.
A large majority of the facilities where our H&I subcommittees provide an H&I presentation have other Twelve Step fellowships providing meetings as well. Clients and/or inmates will hear a variety of recovery messages. Other Twelve Step fellowships do not need our assistance in carrying their message. References to other fellowships and their literature may lead one to believe that the only way an addict can recover is to attend all Twelve Step fellowships. As a fellowship, we need to allow the addicts we may come in contact with the opportunity to choose for themselves which fellowship is best suited for them.
Any fellowship utilizing twelve step recovery has a set of traditions. The Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, as directed by our Fifth Tradition, has but one primary purpose. Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the addict who still suffers. Unity is one of our greatest strengths in carrying the message. Unity of purpose keeps our focus in carrying the message. What is the message that we are asked to carry? That an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, find a new way to live, and that the freedom of recovery (today) can be theirs also.