Nar-Anon, known officially as "Nar-Anon Family Groups", is a twelve-step program for friends and family members of those who are affected by someone else's addiction. Nar-Anon is complementary to, but separate from, Narcotics Anonymous (NA), analogous to Al-Anon with respect to Alcoholics Anonymous; Nar-Anon's traditions state that it should "always cooperate with Narcotics Anonymous."
Nar-Anon was co-founded by Alma B. and Louise S. in Studio City, California, but their attempt to launch the program failed. The organization was revived in 1968 in the Palos Verdes Peninsula by Louise S. and others. Nar-Anon filed Articles of Incorporation in 1971, and in 1986 established the Nar-Anon World Service Office (WSO) in San Pedro, California. In 2006, Nar-Anon began holding biennial World Service Conferences, attended by delegates from each region, to approve literature and policies for Nar-Anon as a whole. Nar-Anon also offers the Narateen program, which is designed for teenage members of the Nar-Anon fellowship.
The structure is described in detail in the Guide to Local Services and the Guide to World Services (see external links). Members join a group, which meets on a regular weekly or monthly schedule, and is formed with other members who live nearby and are similarly recovering from the problems of addiction in a relative or a friend. The primary activity of the group is to provide a safe place for members to talk about their recovery, and to support one another. A group chooses service volunteers from its members to run the group—nobody runs the group as a professional. At the top of the service structure, control of Nar-Anon begins with the groups, each of which may elect a Group Service Representative (GSR). The GSRs may meet with other GSRs in an Area formed by several nearby groups, to vote and organize Nar-Anon activities within the Area. The same GSRs also meet within a larger Region, formed by several Areas, in an Assembly, to vote and organize Nar-Anon activities at the Regional Service level. The Regional Service Assembly may elect a Delegate along with an Alternate Delegate, to attend the biennial World Service Conference with other Delegates. At the World Service Conference, Nar-Anon literature and Nar-Anon policies for all of Nar-Anon world-wide are approved, and one-third of the Board of Trustees is elected (two-thirds is elected by the Board of Trustees itself). Some countries may also have a National Service level below the Regional Service level. Committees and sub-committees to handle affairs between meetings of the voting bodies are appointed at each level.
- Schach, Jean Marie (1987). Impact of Nar-Anon Family Support Group upon family members of heroin addicts (M.S.W. thesis). California State University, Sacramento. OCLC 18126672.
- Bumbalo, JA; Young, DE (1973). "The self-help phenomenon". The American Journal of Nursing. 73 (9): 1588–91. doi:10.2307/3422630. JSTOR 3422630. PMID 4489849.
- "Teen Newcomers — Nar-Anon Family Groups". www.nar-anon.org. Nar-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. Retrieved 8 January 2017.