Joint Administrative Committee
These individuals are responsible for administering the general affairs of the entire area committee. Because of that, it’s important that great care be taken in their selection. A substantial amount of clean time and personal maturity should be the first consideration, along with experience in the steps, traditions, and concepts of service. Our trusted servants should demonstrate the stability and personal sense of direction that serve as an example to others. They should be capable of serving without attempting to govern. The specific amount of clean time required for each office will vary from area to area according to how long the local NA community has been in existence.
Area Service Committee (ASC)
Area service committee is ultimately responsible to the groups they serve. Narcotics Anonymous groups send group service representatives (GSRs) to serve on the area committee. While still maintaining final responsibility and authority for area services, they invest enough delegated authority in their GSRs—and through them, in the area committee—for the necessary work to get done. NA groups also send money to the area committee, money needed to coordinate panels, maintain phonelines, and conduct public information activities. Through their contributions of money and manpower, the groups exercise both their responsibility and their authority for NA services. How does the area service committee relate in turn to NA’s regional and world services? In much the same way as the group relates to the area committee: through carefully selected representatives who are delegated the authority necessary for effective service.
Dances, picnics, campouts, special speaker meetings—these events are put on by area’s Events Subcommittee. Activities like these can provide a greater sense of community for the local NA Fellowship and produce additional area income. It should always be kept in mind, however, that these functions are designed to enhance NA’s primary purpose, not to replace group contributions in funding area services.
Hospitals & Institutions (H&I)
Hospitals and institutions subcommittees conduct panels that carry the NA message to addicts who often have no other way of hearing our message. Treatment panels are conducted for patients at addiction treatment centers, mental health facilities, and therapeutic communities. Correctional panels are held for inmates at jails, prisons, and forensic hospitals. The Hospitals and Institutions Handbook, available from your local H&I subcommittee or by writing the World Service Office, explains more about how to conduct panels, interact with facility administrators, and organize subcommittee work. The amount of work your local H&I subcommittee does will depend on a variety of factors: the number of treatment and correctional facilities in your area, the number of NA members in your area who are interested in H&I service, and the amount of collective experience in H&I work in your NA community.
The helpline team is within the the scope of Public Relations and helps maintains a telephone information service for Narcotics Anonymous that helps addicts and others in the community find us easily and quickly. Helpline volunteers often serve as the first point of contact between the community-at-large and the NA Fellowship. For this reason, it’s vital that careful attention be paid to the work of this subcommittee.
Public Relations Subcommittee
The general mission of your area public information subcommittee is to inform addicts and others in the community of the availability of recovery in Narcotics Anonymous. Services provided by PI subcommittees vary widely from area to area. The simplest kind of PI project is the production and distribution of fliers throughout the community announcing that NA is available and that more information can be had either by calling the local NA information phoneline or by attending an NA meeting. As PI subcommittees become better developed, they often conduct public meetings for community members, distribute public service announcements to local radio and television stations, and respond to public media inquiries. Some PI subcommittees develop separate working groups called CPC panels (short for cooperation with the professional community) to focus especially on the NA community’s relations with local treatment professionals. A Guide to Public Information, available from your local PI subcommittee or by writing the World Service Office, provides detailed information on conducting a wide range of projects designed to increase community awareness of Narcotics Anonymous.