Prisons & Services
Narcotics Anonymous in Prisons
Narcotics Anonymous started in the UK in August 1980, there are now over 1250 NA meetings a week taking place in the community. We also hold meetings in numerous rehabs, detoxes and prisons. Since the Covid19 outbreak we are operating over 950 UK based online NA meetings a week.
Narcotics Anonymous has been facilitating NA meetings in UK prisons since 1983. Prior to Covid we operated over 50 regular prison meetings. In our 2020 survey we discovered that just over 4% of our members first heard about NA whilst in prison. 737 (53.5%) of the respondents in that survey said they had been convicted of a crime prior to going to NA meetings, of that group, with prior convictions, 88% stated there had been no further convictions since attending NA.
We are regularly asked by prisons to start meetings. In order to facilitate these we have a pool of local NA members who are willing to organise and support the meeting. Local prisons in and around cities tend to be well supported but facilitating meetings in more remote areas can be problematic. There have been instances where NA members have travelled long distances to facilitate and support prison meetings.
The nature of addiction means that many of our members have previous convictions. Ironically these are often the people most suited to working with inmates. On occasion, this has lead to problems with security clearance for some of our members willing to support prison meetings. HMPPS and PHE have acknowledged research on the benefits of mutual aid and published guidance on this issue
NA will not agree to facilitate a meeting unless it has the willing volunteers to maintain that meeting. Because most of our members are in full time employment and NA prison meetings generally take place in the day, we require a large pool of members to run meetings. There is no charge to the establishment for facilitating the meetings as the service is free. NA is self-supporting and accepts funding from no one other than its members.
If you would like to to find out more about NA facilitating a meeting in a Prison please contact our Hospitals and Institutions Committee at: [email protected]
NA Meetings in Prisons
Narcotics Anonymous has been facilitating NA meetings in UK prisons since 1983. Prior to Covid we operated over 50 regular meetings in prisons. A significant number of our members first heard about NA whilst in prison. We have national and local committees whose sole focus is on facilitating meetings in prisons, rehabs and detoxes where addicts are unable to get to meetings in the community. Contact [email protected] for more details.
Inmate Literature Requests
The NA service office will send out a 'NA Basic Text' for free to prisoners who write in and request it. Individuals need to send a letter with their details to UK Service Office,12 Winckley Square, Preston PR1 3JJ.
NA operates a 'Sponsorship' service for those in prison. We match up people who write in requesting a sponsor with NA Members of the same sex who have at least 2 years of continuous abstinence from all drugs. A sponsor would have an ongoing understanding of working the 12 steps (Our guiding principles). Anyone in prison who wants to find out more should write to: Sponsor Request UKHI, UK Service Office, 12 Winckley Square, Preston PR1 3JJ.
NA Meetings in the Community
Narcotics Anonymous holds over 1250 meetings per week throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. An NA meeting is typically 60-90 minutes long. Members share with each other how they got clean, the benefits of staying clean and the challenges they face in their lives. The sharing can be very honest and many people who attend meetings are touched by the honesty and openness of the members. It is this sharing, in an atmosphere of recovery and participating in the lives of other members, that forms one of the cornerstones of NA recovery.
NA Meetings in Detoxes and Rehabs
Prior to Covid we operated numerous meetings in rehabs, detoxes and other facilities. We facilitate these meetings where addicts are unable to get to meetings in the community. Contact [email protected].org for more details.
Public Awareness Presentations
Narcotics Anonymous members are often available to do presentations to professionals to make them more aware of what our organisation is about, our principles and how we can co-operate with others. We hold larger scale presentations to professionals at our conventions and other events, if you would like to be kept informed about these please complete the contact form on the contact page. We are often invited to present at healthcare and other events, if you would like to contact us about NA attending or presenting at an event please email @email
The NA Helpline
The NA Helpline operates from 10am to midnight daily, it is personed by trained volunteer NA members. Tel: 0300 999 1212
Our Service Office distributes NA literature within the UK. Being self supporting we are not in a position to distribute literature for free as there are costs involved in producing it. The price charged for literature only reflects what it costs to cover purchase, storage and distribution. The office will send out our 'Basic Text' for free to individual prisoners who write in and request it, it also acts as a clearing house for correspondence in our prison inmate sponsorship project. Literature orders can be placed here.