The Start of NA in Lancaster

Until 1986 there were very few Narcotics Anonymous meetings in the North West. I was a member of Alcoholics Anonymous at this time but I was having some problems with individuals in the meetings who objected to my mentioning drugs in my shares (there were also objections to any mention of sex). I didn’t see, and still don’t, how I could share my experience, strength and hope without talking about the other drugs I had also had serious problems with. In this I was not alone and a group of us (seven if I remember correctly) decided to look into starting an NA group.

By the way, I’m not going to mention any names as, although I am not concerned about my own anonymity (obviously as I am writing this), other people’s anonymity is their responsibility.

Anyway, we looked at what meetings there were. As far as I remember there was a meeting in Manchester, some 60 miles away, and one in Blackpool which was much nearer. We decided to visit the Blackpool meeting to try to get a better idea of how NA meetings were run. It was an eye-opener. It was a small meeting made up, if I remember correctly, of mainly middle-aged women, and the person doing the main share (this was just after Christmas), talked about having a glass of wine with her Christmas dinner, “not that I would advise you to do that”, she made a point of saying.

So we came away with a good idea of how not to do it.

We eventually found somewhere to hold the meeting, in Ryelands House on Ryelands Park.


Ryelands House

This was in 1986. The meeting moved around a bit but eventually ended up at the Friends Meeting House where I believe it still meets.

After the meeting started I went to more NA than AA meetings. One thing I liked was that nobody said “you can’t say this” or “you can’t say that”. I don’t say this as a criticism of AA as a whole, it was just individuals.

After all, it was never about the ‘drink’, or the drugs. It was about me and, in order to recover, I needed to talk about all of the things that had been part of my ism.

Take care.

2 thoughts on “The Start of NA in Lancaster

  1. I hope to never understand how it’s come about that alcoholics can’t talk about their drug use in a meeting. Drugs played a small part in my pre-recovery life but a part nonetheless. Not talking about it simply doesn’t make sense. Either way, I’m glad you found what you need in spite of the whirling dervishes.


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