Introduction

"Workhorse" of the service structure–maybe that's the best way to describe the area service committee. Most of the hands-on work of delivering NA services to the groups and the community occurs at the area level.

NA groups support meetings where addicts can share their recovery with one another. Only minimal organization is necessary to hold those meetings. But there are lots more that can be done to further the aims of Narcotics Anonymous:

  • NA panel presentations at addiction treatment centers and correctional facilities can reach addicts particularly in need of what we have to offer.
  • Public information presentations to schools and community groups, mailings to addiction treatment professionals, meeting notices in newspapers, and public service announcements on local radio and television stations can help direct people to NA.
  • Directories showing where and when NA groups in the area hold their recovery meetings can help addicts and others find nearby meetings being conducted at times convenient to them.
  • A phoneline service can help addicts seeking recovery find a meeting in their area. It can also provide information about NA to interested community members.
  • A ready supply of NA books and pamphlets can make it easier for groups to stock their literature tables.
  • Social activities can help addicts feel more comfortable in their local NA community and increase unity and camaraderie among area members.

All of these services require a certain degree of organization, the complexity of which could easily divert NA groups from the week-in, week-out task of conducting Narcotics Anonymous meetings for their members. Most of these services also require more money and manpower than any single group could possibly muster. How do groups stay focused on their primary purpose and still see that these other services are developed and maintained? In the words of NA's Ninth Tradition, they "create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve." And the service committee closest to home, the committee best situated to provide the most direct service to the groups and the community, is the area service committee.

A newly formed area committee will not be able to provide the same level of service as a longer-established committee. That's only natural. A new area service committee should not expect to hit the ground running at full speed. The development of the full range of area services described in this chapter often takes a few years. Be patient and keep plugging; it's worth the effort.

Just as individual members of NA rely upon one another for support, so do area committees. New committees in particular can draw upon the experience of their neighbors in charting a course for local services, whether those neighbors are in the next county or the next country. New ASCs can also draw encouragement from their neighbors' assurance that, given time, effort, and the application of principles, "it works." None of us has to do it alone, not in personal recovery and not in service, not anymore.

What is an Area Service Committee?

The Narcotics Anonymous Gold Coast Area Service Committee is an exciting and dynamic group consisting of trusted servants and Group Service Representatives (GSRs) who have joined together in service to develop, coordinate, and maintain the service of Narcotics Anonymous as a whole. The GCASC performs a wide variety of functions today. Without the ASC, NA in the Gold Coast Area would lack unity, and operate on a sporadic and dysfunctional basis.

The Purpose of the Area Service Committee

The primary purpose of the ASC is to support and serve the individual autonomous NA area groups, group activities, and common group needs. Our fellowship's service boards and committees exist to help groups share their experience with one another, provide tools which help groups function better, attract new members to groups recovery meetings, and carry the NA message to the addict who still suffers.

The Area Committee and Other NA Services

Area service committees are 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.

Area Committee Participants

There are three groups of participants in most area service committees: GSRs and their alternates, administrative officers, and subcommittee chairpersons. The Seventh Concept for NA Service says that, "All members of a service body bear substantial responsibility for that body's decisions and should be allowed to fully participate in its decision-making processes." Group service representatives provide a "grass roots" perspective to the area decision-making process, helping ensure that the committee's feet are planted firmly on the ground. Administrative officers and subcommittee chairpersons also bear substantial responsibility for the fulfillment of area services. Their ongoing growth and experience in carrying out their duties is an invaluable resource to the area as it develops and expresses its group conscience. We ought never allow a base of valuable experience to be created without utilizing it to the fullest. Each area is responsible to create its own decision-making plan. In doing so, area committees should carefully consider the Seventh Concept.

Groups

NA groups are local, informal associations of recovering addicts. They are the foundation of the NA service structure. Groups are formed for the primary purpose of carrying the NA message of recovery, and all their activities should reflect that purpose. Conducting Narcotics Anonymous meetings is the primary activity of an NA group. The group may conduct its own affairs in whatever way seems fit to its members, provided the group's actions are consistent with NA's Twelve Traditions, and do not adversely affect other groups or the entire NA Fellowship. In the conduct of the affairs of NA as a whole, the groups delegate to the rest of the service structure the responsibility for the fulfillment of NA services. Group service representatives (GSRs) are elected to participate on behalf of the groups in the area committee and the regional assembly.

Subcommittees

The Area Service Committee is comprised of and made possible by several subcommittees, including:

Activities

Our First Tradition states that "personal recovery depends on NA unity." The Activities Committee coordinates fun, recovery-oriented events that help promote unity in the Gold Coast Area NA community as well as fundraising events that help support other committees and groups in the Gold Coast Area in their effort to carry the message to the still sick and suffering addict.

Admin

The area committee is the primary means by which the services of a local NA community are administered. The area committee is composed of group service representatives, administrative officers (chairperson, vice chairperson, secretary, treasurer), subcommittee chairpersons, and the area's regional committee members. The area committee elects its own officers, subcommittee chairpersons, and RCMs.

Convention

The Convention Subcommittee is responsible for organizing, planning, and hosting the Gold Coast Convention of Narcotics Anonymous (GCCNA). The GCCNA subcommittee is a great way to get involved with service in the Gold Coast Area.

Hospitals & Institutions

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.

Literature

The purpose of the Literature Subcommittee is to help review and provide input for Narcotics Anonymous Fellowship approved literature.

Literature Distribution

The Literature Distribution Subcomittee is responsible for procuring from the Regional Service Office all literature and related items for distribution to groups at Area Service Committee meetings.

Policy

Considers any input referred by the ASC that affects the policy of the ASC, and upon deliberation gives recommendations to the Area. Also provides written responses to any issues regarding tradition violations.

Public Relations

The Narcotics Anonymous message is "that an addict, any addict, can stop using drugs, lose the desire to use and find a new way to live." Our relations with the public enable us to share this message broadly so that those who might benefit from our program of recovery can find us.

Service Positions

The Area Service Committee has the following service positions:

  • Chairperson
  • Vice-Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Assistant Treasurer
  • Regional Committee Member
  • Alternate Regional Committee Member
  • Group Service Representatives

For more information on this committee's service positions and responsibilities, please see our ASC Policy Manual.

How Do I Get Involved?

If you are like most of us, you will find that NA service through Area Service involvement is often a challenging yet rewarding experience. As a participating member of an Area Service Committee, you will be directly involved in developing, coordinating and maintaining the services Narcotics Anonymous offers in the Gold Coast Area and worldwide.

At these meetings, the ASC committee and subcommittee members and Group Service Representatives (GSRs) join together in service to develop, coordinate, and maintain the services of Narcotics Anonymous in this area.

The Area Service Committee is a great way to get involved with service in the Gold Coast Area. The first thing to do is to show up at the ASC meeting and express your interest in doing service with the committee.

Why Should I Get Involved?

Our fellowship's service boards and committees exist to help groups share their experience with one another, provide tools which help groups function better, attract new members to group recovery meetings, and carry the NA message further than any single group could carry it alone. We may recall what we could not do alone; we can do together!

When we decide to serve NA, we make a decision to help ourselves and other addicts find and maintain recovery. We believe that NA Service is a critical element of our recovery. Our primary goal through NA Service is to successfully carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers.

The primary purpose of the ASC is to support and serve the individual autonomous NA groups, group activities, and common group needs. The final responsibility and authority for ASC activity rests with these autonomous NA groups; because the groups have created the service structure, they have the final authority over all its affairs. Therefore, it is extremely important that area groups take an active role in the ASC.

When / Where Does The Area Service Committee Meet?

Please check the Service Committee Meetings page for meeting times and locations.

For more information, please contact the Area Service Committee Chairperson, Carl C, by email at: chair@goldcoastna.org