While NA-Recovery is not endorsed or sanctioned by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, a group is autonomous and needs neither endorsement or sanctioning to be a NA group.
The forum and chatroom are privately maintained & owned (by addicts), and like any meeting facility there are guidelines for behavior while using the facility to meet.
These guidelines have evolved from our group experience with the hazards and pitfalls of online communication. Most of the trusted servants have been involved in online Narcotics Anonymous for over 10 years individually - with the trusted servants group having around 100 years of online NA experience collectively.
We have attempted to keep the behavioral guidelines for this meeting facility within the spirit of recovery as we have learned in Narcotics Anonymous ( both online and in local NA meetings).Member Guidelines
1) Please remember that this chatroom is a group of recovering addicts who are members of Narcotics Anonymous. Our actions should be guided by the spiritual principles of recovery.
2) Remember that we are the public face of NA as a whole to those who come here seeking recovery. Today, the internet is many addicts' first exposure to Narcotics Anonymous. In accordance with the Fourth Tradition: "Each Group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other Groups, or N.A. as a whole." We need to remember that this is a Narcotics Anonymous chat room - and we need to carry a clear NA message.
Please conduct yourself accordingly.
Abuse of others will not be tolerated. Use common sense and empathy with the addicts you meet here. We seek to keep this chatroom (and website) a safe and anonymous place for addicts to gather and share their experience strength and hope with each other.
3) Our chatroom is a meeting facility, and meeting facilities have a code of conduct that is expected of you to use them; so does this chat room.
3A) We ask that you not use specific drug names - while we realize that many new people in NA wish others to know what they took, it can divide us into groups and addicts die from feeling "apart from" the group.
Drugs are a varied group of substances, the use of any of which is but a symptom of our disease. When addicts gather and focus on specific drugs or drug names, they are usually focusing on their differences, because each of us used a different drug or combination of drugs. The one thing that we all share is the disease of addiction.
(From Narcotics Anonymous World Service Trustee Bulletin #13 - published in 1985)
3B) Due to past bitter experience with predatory behavior we do not allow personal contact information in our chat room. NO
email addresses, phone numbers, Instant Messenger nicknames, Facebook or any other contact information is allowed. Repeat offenders will be kicked and banned from our chat room. This seems harsh, but it is for the safety of everyone involved.
We STRONGLY suggest getting to know people for a while before initiating any contact outside of the chat room. Not everyone on the internet is who they claim to be.
3C) In this group's experience, online sponsorship is dangerous for addicts - because it robs them of the real heart to heart connection we develop with a local sponsor. We cannot, in good conscience, condone or allow online sponsorship in this chat room.
3D) Politics and religion are issues outside of Narcotics Anonymous. Neither politics or religion is welcome in our chat room, lest an addict feel unwelcome in NA.
3E) No links to personal recovery websites or non-official NA group websites are allowed. Links to other things for the purpose of entertainment is permissible as long as the content is not offensive. (This will be at a chat room moderators discretion, if you are not sure, talk to a moderator first)
Occasionally a situation may come up where an addict has no local NA meetings (or a non-addict may come into chat seeking help for a loved one) - if this does happen it is permitted to suggest AA meetings or AlAnon or NarAnon meetings for non-addicts.
4) Keep in mind that online chat is a public place, somewhat similar to having a NA meeting on the sidewalk in front of a coffee shop. We can expect visitors of all kinds, from addicts seeking recovery - to family members wanting to help their loved ones - to trouble-makers simply seeking to cause disruption because they do not agree with our philosophy (for whatever reason). Disruptions to the spirit of recovery in the chatroom will be dealt with by the moderators, (using their best judgment) and the actions of the chatroom moderators will be subject to review by the trusted servant team for appropriateness.
The NA-Recovery Trusted Servants Team hopes that all of the addicts that use our chat room and forum will abide by these guidelines. While it may seem to you that these guidelines are arbitrary and the need to occasionally remove someone's ability to participate is unfair - our purpose in these guidelines, and in our actions, is to keep the group viable and alive to carry the message of freedom from active addiction.
No ONE addict is more important than keeping this NA group alive and healthy enough to carry that message.