Just For Today | June 8 | The Only Requirement

“This program offers hope. All you have to bring with you is the desire to stop using and the willingness to try this new way of life.”
Information Pamphlet Number 16, “For the Newcomer”

The Essence of Belonging in NA

In Narcotics Anonymous (NA), members often wonder if they’re “doing it right.” Questions arise about meeting attendance, sponsor usage, step work, speaking engagements, reading habits, and overall living in accordance with NA principles. These doubts are common and can make us question our status within the fellowship. However, the foundation of NA membership is reassuringly simple: the only requirement is a desire to stop using.

Navigating Insecurities in Recovery

It’s natural to feel insecure about one’s recovery journey, especially when comparing oneself to others. We might worry that our way of practicing the program is somehow inadequate or incorrect. This worry can lead to feelings of inadequacy and fears about being a “bad” NA member.

To alleviate these insecurities, we can revisit the Third Tradition of NA, which states, “the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.” This tradition highlights that there are no strict rules or quotas to meet. We aren’t required to attend a certain number of meetings or follow a prescribed method of step work. NA values individuality and personal freedom within the recovery journey.

The Importance of Individual Recovery Paths

Every member’s recovery path is unique. The program’s flexibility allows us to tailor our journey to our personal needs and circumstances. We can find comfort in the fact that NA does not impose a rigid framework. Instead, it offers a supportive environment where we can discover what works best for us.

If we aspire to achieve the kind of recovery we admire in others, it can be beneficial to emulate the practices that have worked for them. However, it’s crucial to remember that our journey is our own. We should strive to work the program in a way that feels right and sustainable for us.

Embracing Freedom in Recovery

NA is a fellowship of freedom, emphasizing that the program can be worked in various ways. This freedom is vital to maintaining our motivation and commitment to recovery. When we are allowed to find our own way, we are more likely to stay engaged and dedicated.

For instance, some members may find solace and strength in daily meetings, while others may prefer a different frequency. Some might delve deeply into reading and step work, while others focus more on practical applications in their daily lives. The key is to find a balance that supports our recovery without feeling pressured to conform to others’ expectations.

Reflecting on Our Progress

Self-reflection is an essential component of the recovery process. By regularly assessing our journey, we can identify what aspects of the program are working for us and what might need adjustment. This self-awareness helps us stay aligned with our goals and ensures that we are making progress at our own pace.

Just for today, take a moment to evaluate your recovery program. Consider how it aligns with your personal needs and recovery goals. Are there areas where you could improve or adapt your approach? Are you staying true to your desire to stop using, the core requirement for NA membership?

Taking Action Towards Personal Growth

Recovery is an ongoing process that requires commitment and willingness to grow. By focusing on our own journey and making adjustments as needed, we can continue to move forward. Here are a few steps to help maintain and enhance your recovery:

  1. Attend Meetings Regularly: Find a meeting schedule that works for you and stick to it. Consistency can provide stability and support.
  2. Engage with a Sponsor: Building a strong relationship with a sponsor can offer guidance and accountability.
  3. Work the Steps: Tailor the step work to your pace and understanding. Use the steps as a tool for personal growth, not as a checkbox to be completed.
  4. Stay Connected: Maintain connections with other NA members. Sharing experiences and support can be incredibly beneficial.
  5. Practice Self-Care: Prioritize your physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Recovery is holistic, encompassing all aspects of life.


The journey of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous is deeply personal and unique to each member. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using, allowing for a broad and inclusive approach to recovery. By focusing on our own path and utilizing the tools and support available within NA, we can find a way of life that fosters growth, healing, and freedom.

Just for today, reflect on your recovery journey and practice the program to the best of your ability. Embrace the freedom that NA offers and stay committed to your desire to stop using.


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