Hospitals and Institutions / Public Relations
Gilbert G., Chair
Sophia , Vice-Chair
Sasha P. , H&I Coordinator
Heather E. , PR Coordinator
Lauren M. , Secretary
The H&I/PR sub-committee meets on the third Thursday every even month
at 7:00 pm at the Harbor Classroom (upstairs) – 125 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara
Hospitals and Institutions: Service and the NA Member IP #20
Many Narcotics Anonymous members have found Hospitals and Institutions service to be an important part of their personal recovery. Our members, who actively participate in H&I service, are very important resources in our fellowship. A commitment to H&I service is one of the many ways to become involved with the NA service structure and help us feel a part of our fellowship.
We know that active addiction leads to jails, institutions, and death. Also, NA's primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers. It is not surprising that carrying the NA message of recovery into hospitals and institutions is one of our priorities. NA members have consistently supported this belief by forming Hospitals and Institutions (H&I) committees around the world.
Still, some NA members have been reluctant to become involved in H&I service because they have never been incarcerated, arrested, or institutionalized. With our personal experience and proper preparation, all of us are uniquely qualified to carry our message of recovery.
© 1985, Revised ed. © 1996 by World Service Office, Inc.
Hospitals and Institutions Panels
Santa Barbara Area Narcotics Anonymous
Public Relations Representative Principals
Welcome to Public Relations service work. The following principals are intended to support members of Narcotics Anonymous who have chosen to represent the NA program to the public. Venues for public representation include taking calls on our area telephone help-line, delivering meeting schedules and information pamphlets to outside organizations that work with addicts, answering emails, maintaining the NASB website and operating information booths at special events.
Unity: Please do give a clear message that Narcotics Anonymous is a viable program of recovery for addicts. In doing so, you may wish to give a general description of your personal story. While some personal disclosure can be helpful, focus your statements on the spiritual principles of recovery that unite our fellowship (i.e. honesty, open-mindedness, willingness as well as the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions). How addicts recover in NA is more important than any one member’s personal story.
Service: Share that leadership in NA is based on free service to addicts. We have no religious, political or social agendas; we serve addicts because it helps keep us clean.
Desire: In NA we focus on the disease of addiction not any particular drug. Our only promise is freedom from active addiction. Membership is free to anyone with a desire to stay clean. There are no other requirements.
Responsibility: Remember that you are representing NA rather than yourself. While our members are free to form and share personal opinions on any number of subjects regarding addiction, recovery or spirituality, a Narcotics Anonymous Public Relations setting is not an appropriate context within which to share them. While representing NA, we refrain from expressing personal views in favor of presenting the general principles of recovery in NA.
Purpose: Express that our primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers. Mention that our meetings are designed to help new members stay clean and give a general description of what our meetings are like and how they help addicts.
Endorsements: When representing NA, please do not discuss outside enterprises such as recovery houses, rehabs, therapists or other 12 step programs. Even if you have experience with these institutions, focus your discussion on NA.
Self-Support: Do not accept any donations from anyone. If you are working an NA related event, leave the seventh tradition collection up to the event committee. If an individual wishes to make a donation direct him or her to the event coordinator.
Nonprofessional: At no time should we offer professional advice concerning legal, medical, psychiatric or any other related issues. If inquirers seek this kind of advice, use it as an opportunity to explain our tool of sponsorship. Clarify that a sponsor is simply one addict helping another learn to practice spiritual principles; but for professional matters, individual members are free to seek outside help.
Sensitivity: Be sensitive to those unfamiliar with NA language. If appropriate, take time to explain about NA language, meeting formats, activities and service committees. Take time to describe or even review any NA literature you offer.
Outside Issues: When representing NA, please refrain from discussing outside issues such as politics, society and religion. Keep your message focused on NA.
Attraction: Do not seek to argue, manipulate or pressure anyone into accepting our program. We have a method that works for us that is open to anyone who wants it. We have no other agendas.
Principles: Strive to treat every inquirer equally. Give them your full attention, concern and respect. Place service principles before personalities.
Thank you again for your service. If you have questions concerning these guidelines or Public Relations service work in NA, please contact our Public Relations sub-committee chair.
Santa Barbara Area Narcotics Anonymous
Public Relations and Helpline Procedures
Whenever possible, guide new callers to members of the same sex. Men with men and women with women.
Do not give out NA members personal phone numbers to new callers. Give the NA member the caller's number and let them decide after talking to the inquirer if they wish to give out their personal number.
When giving rides to meetings, bring another NA member with you whenever possible.
When callers are inquiring about outside needs (e.g. medical services, legal concerns, sober living) give them 211 if the issues is not life threatening and 911 if they are in immediate danger.
Santa Barbara Area Narcotics Anonymous
Why public relations is important to the NA member:
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 relationship with those outside the fellowship. Establishing and maintaining a commitment to these relationships can help us to further our primary purpose.
The following points are goals that we can strive to fulfill in making Santa Barbara NA a visible and attractive choice for addicts:
We clarify what services NA can and cannot provide to the community.
We make NA members more aware of their role in NA’s public image.
We aim for the public to recognize NA as a positive and reliable organization.
We develop valuable relationships with professionals and the general public.
How Santa Barbara Area NA members can help support our public relations:
Strive to make service attractive – create a positive example.
Identify members who may have skills, but not much experience, and support their involvement in service.
Encourage your sponsees to participate in service.
Invite those members who may have been of service in the past to join in current projects.
Create a pool of trusted servants to mentor newer participants.