H & I and the NA Member
This is NA Fellowship-approved literature.
Copyright © 1985, 1996 by
Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc.
All rights reserved.
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
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
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. 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. 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
Why Do 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.”1 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!
1 Basic Text, p. 65