The Twelve Traditions of NA
We keep what we have only with vigilance, and just as
freedom for the individual comes from the Twelve Steps, so
freedom for the group springs from our Traditions.
As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than
those that would tear us apart, all will be well.
1. Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery
depends on NA unity.
2. For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—
a loving God as He may express Himself in our group
conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do
3. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters
affecting other groups or NA as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry the
message to the addict who still suffers.
6. An NA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the NA
name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest
problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our
7. Every NA group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining
8. Narcotics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional,
but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. NA, as such, ought never be organized, but we may create
service boards or committees directly responsible to those
10. Narcotics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence
the NA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than
promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at
the level of press, radio, and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions,
ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Understanding these Traditions comes slowly over a period
of time. We pick up information as we talk to members and visit
various groups. It usually isn’t until we get involved with service
that someone points out that “personal recovery depends on
NA unity,” and that unity depends on how well we follow our
Traditions. The Twelve Traditions of NA are not negotiable.
They are the guidelines that keep our Fellowship alive and free.
By following these guidelines in our dealings with others,
and society at large, we avoid many problems. That is not to
say that our Traditions eliminate all problems. We still have to
face difficulties as they arise: communication problems,
differences of opinion, internal controversies, and troubles
with individuals and groups outside the Fellowship. However,
when we apply these principles, we avoid some of the pitfalls.
Many of our problems are like those that our predecessors
had to face. Their hard won experience gave birth to the
Traditions, and our own experience has shown that these
principles are just as valid today as they were when these
Traditions were formulated. Our Traditions protect us from the
internal and external forces that could destroy us. They are
truly the ties that bind us together. It is only through
understanding and application that they work.
Twelve Traditions reprinted for adaptation by permission of AA World Services, Inc.
Reprinted from the Basic Text, Narcotics Anonymous, Fifth Edition.
© 1988 by Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc., PO Box 9999, Van Nuys, CA 91409
ISBN 0-912075-65-1 6/03