History of Narcotics Anonymous (NA)

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History of Narcotics Anonymous

This publication is an overview of the founding history and growth of what we now know today as Narcotics Anonymous (NA).

The history of Narcotics Anonymous is best understood in the cultural context of the 1950's, the decade in which the notion of 'good' and 'bad' drugs crystalized. After World War II, heroin and cannabis were demonized with the opiate addiction epidemic. Harsh new anti-drug laws were enacted, addicts were arrested for 'internal possession' and prohibited from associating due to 'loitering addict' laws. Gatherings of recovering addicts for mutual support were subjected to police surveillance. From this inhospitable soil, NA emerged.

The growth of NA in the United States and around the world may be attributed to Jimmy K's encouraging addicts to start meetings in their communities, to holding the 1978 8th World Convention outside California in Houston, Texas, to the growth of the addiction treatment centers, and to the publishing of NA's Basic Text with 7.3 million copies distributed in 18 different languages.

This publication includes Introduction, The Lexington Beginnings of NA, The New York Scene, The Los Angeles Scene, The Beginning of Narcotics Anonymous in Los Angeles, and The Growth of Narcotics Anonymous.

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