The Central Coast Area NA Public Relations committee is a combination of Hospitals & Institutions (H&I), Public Information (PI), and 24-hour phone line
Hospitals and Institutions
Many Narcotics Anonymous members have found Hospitals and Institutions service to be an important part of their personal recovery. Our members, who actively participate in H&I service, are very important resources in our fellowship. A commitment to H&I service is one of the many ways to become involved with the NA service structure and help us feel a part of our fellowship. We know that active addiction leads to jails, institutions, and death. Also, NA’s primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers. It is not surprising that carrying the NA message of recovery into hospitals and institutions is one of our priorities. NA members have consistently supported this belief by forming Hospitals and Institutions (H&I) committees around the world. Still, some NA members have been reluctant to become involved in H&I service because they have never been incarcerated, arrested, or institutionalized. With our personal experience and proper preparation, all of us are uniquely qualified to carry our message of recovery. This pamphlet is intended to be a brief introduction to Narcotics Anonymous H&I service, and to encourage more members to avail themselves of this opportunity to serve.
What Is an H&I Meeting?
The purpose of an H&I meeting is to carry the message of recovery to addicts who do not have full access to regular Narcotics Anonymous meetings. H&I meetings, except for those in long-term facilities, are intended to introduce those addicts in attendance to the basics of the NA program. In order to form a clear understanding of an H&I meeting, it is important to learn about our service structure. An H&I meeting is generally a service provided by an area service committee’s H&I subcommittee. The Central Coast Area NA Hospitals and Institutions is a part of the Public Relations committee. These meetings occur in hospitals, treatment centers, correctional facilities, and adolescent institutions. Rather than being an NA group, it is vital that an H&I meeting always be held under the direction of an H&I subcommittee.
How Do I Get Involved?
An area H&I subcommittee is the center for planning and organization. This is the ideal place to start getting involved! The first thing to do is to show up at an area H&I subcommittee meeting and attend an orientation for new and interested members. The Central Coast Area NA Hospitals and Institutions is a part of the Public Relations committee. These orientation meetings help members become familiar with the information and clean time requirements necessary for service in H&I. At these meetings, members are selected to carry our message into facilities. Usually, the next step is to attend an H&I meeting as an observer. Through this process members gain a basic understanding of H&I service and decide on a level of involvement.
Why Should I Get Involved?
Hospitals and institutions service offers addicts an opportunity to demonstrate gratitude, fulfill responsibility, and share the NA message without expectations. It is also an effective tool that helps us stay clean, and keeps us coming back. The H&I message is the same as the NA message: “That an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live.” The gift we share is hope and freedom from active addiction through the program of Narcotics Anonymous. Any NA member who wants to carry this message is encouraged to get involved with H&I service. There are many ways to serve in Narcotics Anonymous, and many of us have found H&I service to be the most rewarding aspect of our recovery. We hope that this pamphlet will encourage you to get involved with H&I service and experience these rewards for yourself!
What is Public Information?
The role of the PI committee is to ensure that clear and accurate information about NA is available to the public. The demand for information about our fellowship is greater than ever. Being part of a committee that brings suffering addicts to our fellowship is a reward that cannot be expressed, only experienced.
What is the NA member’s responsibility?
We need to accept responsibility for our behavior in public when we identify ourselves as NA members. This is a form of public information. Each one of us may be seen as a representative of NA to those not familiar with our program. The way in which we maintain the facilities we use for our meetings and functions also affects how the public views NA as a whole. Another form of public information service occurs when requests are made for information or presentations about Narcotics Anonymous. When a request is made, a PI committee member should be contacted. If a committee member is unavailable, the request should be relayed to a group service representative (GSR) or area chairperson. We handle requests in this manner because each request deserves immediate and appropriate attention. When you are approached with a request, remember that this is not a personal one, but a request for Narcotics Anonymous as a whole.
What is the importance of anonymity?
This is a “we” program, and in public information the concept that “I can’t, we can” is vital. Our spiritual foundation of anonymity can be seriously damaged by members acting independently. We do not give our last names nor appear in the media as members of Narcotics Anonymous. As part of our spiritual program of recovery, we avoid self-promotion in favor of a more humble style of service. In our experience, members who become “media stars” in relationship to their membership in NA run the risk of placing the spiritual foundation of their recovery in jeopardy as well as giving the public an inaccurate perspective of recovery in NA.
How do members get involved?
Every member has a place in the public information committee. PI does value and need your input, suggestions, feedback, and participation. We openly invite you to come to a PI committee meeting. Like most service committees, PI always needs willing hands and minds.
How does the work get done?
Groups often come together to form an area service committee (ASC). Public information services are provided by a subcommittee of the ASC. The Central Coast Area NA Public Information is a part of the Public Relations committee.The PI committee receives requests for information from many different sources, such as individuals, agencies and the media. Some of the ways we provide information to the public include: 1. Responding to requests for speakers from churches, civic organizations, schools, or the media. 2. Developing and distributing posters, fliers, and other public service announcements to inform the public of how to reach us. 3. Learning days and workshops. 4. Mailing meeting directories, informational letters, and pamphlets to people who may come in contact with addicts. 5. Cooperate with a hospitals and institutions committee in overlapping projects. 6. Where separate phone line or office committees do not exist, a PI committee may be responsible for operating a phone line. To get involved in any of these activities, talk to a GSR or someone from your local PI committee. We can’t keep what we have unless we give it away. Public information committee service allows us to do just that.
24Hr Phone Line
The Central Coast Area NA phone line is a part of the Public Relations committee. The purpose of the phone line is found in our fifth tradition: “Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.“