Public Relations Home
Anchor Area of Narcotics Anonymous
Presentation Orientation Package
PR SUGGESTED GENERAL DO’s AND DON’Ts.
PUBLIC RELATIONS SPEAKER GUIDELINES.
PR BOOTH SITTING GUIDELINES.
PR: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.
PR SUGGESTED GENERAL DO’s AND DON’Ts
- Do have a working knowledge of the Twelve Traditions.
- Do dress conservatively and neatly,
- Do use only the language of the NA program. Using drug specific words or slang or terms used in other fellowships might confuse your audience.
- Do use our literature. “What Is The NA Program” is an excellent item.
- Do bring WSO literature order forms when possible.
- DON’T ARGUE!! Don’t take a stand on issues such as AIDS, religion, politics or legislation. Carry a clear and simple message: have “no opinions on outside issues”.
- Don’t express ANY personal opinion that the audience MAY assume is NA’s opinion.
- Don’t use profanity at all. Apologize immediately if you slip up on this.
- Don’t work alone. Clear your assignment with the Area PR Committee. If you are new, you must work with an experienced member.
- Don’t get in over your head. It’s OK to say “I don’t know.” Politely take their number and offer to have PR Chairperson contact them with the information requested.
- Don’t attempt to answer questions that are inappropriate, such as “How can I tell if my kid is using drugs?”, “How long does marijuana stay in your system?” Or “Is cocaine more dangerous than heroin?”
- Don’t allow anyone to photograph or videotape any members of Narcotics Anonymous. Your anonymity is at stake. We are carrying the message, not representing Narcotics Anonymous. If you notice photographs, etc. of members being taken, politely remind the person that we are an anonymous program and request they refrain from taking photographs.
PUBLIC RELATIONS SPEAKER GUIDELINES
We need to remember that the purpose of Public Relations is to inform the public about recovery through Narcotics Anonymous.
“That an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.”
Our job is to provide community awareness of what NA is, as well as how, when, and where we are available.
- Consider how we can best relate to the audience.
- Establish goals as to what points we wish to communicate to the audience.
- The individual making the presentation is to prepare an outline, a brief list of points from which to elaborate.
- Practice; Make your presentation to your PR subcommittee. Did we achieve our pre-defined goals?
- Consider; In addition to presenting information about NA, you are also demonstrating a living example of recovery. You may share from your personal experience in such a way as to enhance the presentation. Remember, the focus is on the Fellowship of NA, not on your personal life. Try not to get into lengthy discussion of your personal history. Based on PR experience, the use of personal stories before teenage student groups is not advised.
The following is not intended to be a canned speech, but rather an outline.
Statement of Purpose
- Identify yourself and thank the school / organization that invited us.
- Why are we here? What do we hope to accomplish?
- We came here to tell you about the Fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous, who we are, what we are, and where we are. We are not here to tell any of you that you have a problem.
- We are grateful to have the opportunity to let people in schools know about NA so that no addict seeking recovery need die from drug addiction.
- In 1953, a handful of addicts seeking recovery held the first NA meeting in California. Recently celebrated 50 years of recovery.
- Gradually, new meetings started in other areas of the US and other parts of the world.
- In 1982, we published a book called Narcotics Anonymous. Today NA literature is published in 39 languages with translations in progress for an additional 16 languages.
- We now have more than 58,000 weekly meetings in over 131 countries.
- Narcotics Anonymous was established in the Toronto area in 1983.
Description of Narcotics Anonymous
- The name “Narcotics Anonymous” does not refer to any particular drug or group of drugs. Our program focuses on addiction and recovery.
- The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using.
- We have found that the therapeutic value of one addict helping another is without parallel. There are no dues or fees for participation in NA.
- Describe open and closed meetings. Your home group.
- Groups allow for the identification of one addict with another; addicts’ recognition of themselves in others.
- Group meetings are a place for sharing of personal experience, strength and hope.
- Group meetings are the most effective way to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.
- Groups meet regularly at a specified time and place and follow the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of NA.
- Groups do not have any opinions on outside issues.
- Groups have no outside affiliations and receive no outside financial support.
The Narcotics Anonymous Structure
- There are several different levels of service. The highest level of service is the individual member, then comes the group with service positions, groups belong to area, areas belong to a region, down to the world service office.
- Public Relations Committee – Informs the public about who, and what we are and where we can be found.
- Literature Committee – Develops new literature concerning our fellowship, from its inception to review and finalized draft.
- Hospitals and Institutions Committee – Carries the message to addicts who are unable for whatever reasons, to attend groups.
- If you chose to talk about our service structure, make it brief.
Abstinence and Recovery
- We have found that we must abstain from all drugs in order to recover.
- We follow a Twelve Step program based on a set of principals written so simply that we can follow them in our daily lives.
- The progression of recovery is always up to the individual member (NA does not guarantee a scheduled recovery.)
- NA is not religious, nor are we in conflict with any religious beliefs.
- We encourage addicts to seek a belief or spiritual concept of their own understanding.
- Discuss the spiritual principals in the steps; making an honest admission, finding hope, developing faith, coming to a better understanding of ourselves, changing our attitudes, belief systems, and old behavior, making amends, continuing to develop faith and improve our lives, and sharing with others.
Life After Drugs
- It is possible for us to develop new interests.
- We plan and attend social activities.
- We have conventions where large numbers of recovering addicts meet to Celebrate Recovery.
- When we practice spiritual principals in our lives, it is possible to experience freedom from self-obsession.
- It is possible to become productive and responsible members of society and to gain self-respect, as well as the respect of others.
- Narcotics Anonymous offers a program of recovery that is more than just a way of life without drugs.
Where to Find Narcotics Anonymous
- Local phone line number, toll free number, meeting lists**, literature. Website: www.torontona.org
- Area service office address.
- World Service offices address and telephone number. www.na.org
Express Thanks for the Opportunity to Share About Narcotics Anonymous.
Questions and Answer Period
This option may be considered only when audiences are smaller, not possible for the main event assemblies.
Local number: 416.236.8956
Toll free number 1.866.696.8956
Area Website: www.torontona.org
World Website: www.na.org
Meeting lists have a Legend identifying meeting that are open, closed, etc.
PR BOOTH SITTING GUIDELINES
Never go alone. At least two volunteers will be at the booth at all times.
- Dress appropriately and neatly. Never wear ripped clothing or jewelry or clothing which sends a message of affiliation with another organization or product.
- Keep the booth neat and clean at all times. Have nothing on the table that is not NA related, including newspapers and other materials from the event.
- Do not eat or smoke in or near the booth. Keep beverages out of sight.
- Engage people in conversation about NA. Don’t refer people to outside agencies or other fellowships. Don’t speak for outside agencies or fellowships. Direct the person to that organization for answers about them.
- Don’t break your own anonymity. Don’t give out your personal phone number Don’t break the anonymity of anyone you might know from the NA program who stops at the booth. We only talk about NA.
- Don’t allow anyone to take pictures of members.
- Always avoid controversy and do not make any statements about a public issue or give your personal opinion.
- Emphasize that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.
- Always mention that our program is free, everyone is welcome – even if they have no money.
- Be early to avoid being late.
- Be courteous to everyone. Do not use profanity. Keep It Simple.
- Don’t attempt to answer questions that are inappropriate, such as “How can I tell if my kid is using drugs?”, How long does one drug take to leave your system?” or “ Is a specific hard drug more dangerous than another?”
- Don’t get in over your head. It’s OK to say “I don’t know.” Politely take the visitors phone number and offer to have the Public Relations Chair or Alternate Chair contact them with the requested information.
- Read the NA White Book prior to doing booth service. Answers to most questions that will be asked may be found there.
PR: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION
This section is to assist with the training of volunteers to more effectively respond to frequently asked questions while booth sitting for Public Relations. Role playing is a great tool for use at learning days, workshops and training sessions. We suggest taking a panel of no more than four volunteers, placing them at the front of the room and then have other members ask them these and other questions. After allowing the panel to answer, then the audience can add positive feedback and other possible answers to those questions. This exercise works best when a number of different panels are created with a variety of volunteers. For role playing to be a successful learning tool, it must be a positive experience. So have fun!
- Is the “bottom” different for alcohol than for drugs because alcohol is legal in our society?
- My son is clean two years after rehab. and doesn’t go to meetings. He says he gets depressed. What can I tell him?
- Is drug addiction hereditary?
- Do recovering drug addicts have a sense of humor like recovering alcoholics seem to have?
- Do you also recognize food as an addiction?
- Someone I know needs to be identified because he was arrested and he wants someone to verify that he was at a meeting at the time of the alleged crime. Can you help?
- I believe in the value of N.A as a self-help program. I am a non-addict. What can I do to help?
- My father owns a furniture store. He wants to donate a couch to N.A. What do we do?
- What is the difference between the different Twelve Step programs?
- Do you use a similar approach to AA and G.A.?
- How do you tell if someone is an addict, and what is the difference between drug use and drug abuse?
- How can I tell if someone is high?
- How can I get someone to stop using?
- What can I do or what will happen if I find drugs in my house or workplace?
- Someone I know is deaf and/or blind and won’t go to a meeting. Is there a way to help them?
- What about people needing a signature to verify attendance at a meeting?
- Is “XYZ treatment center” any good?
- What is the difference between psychotherapy, treatment centers and Narcotics Anonymous?
- Does N.A. consider alcohol a drug?
- Is anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol allowed to share at an N.A. meeting? Why or why not?
- What can we do to prevent children from becoming addicts?
- What is your policy on other fellowships using N.A. literature?
- Where is your office located?
- How much do your services cost?
- How do you deal with the mentally ill addict?
- Do you refer to detox centers? What is the best one?
- Do you have information about Naranon?
- Which pamphlet explains how the N.A. program works?
(You may add your own questions for specific situations or information that you wish to pass on to the public in your local area.)