One of the most well-known parts of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are their Twelve Traditions. These traditions are considered the basis for every one of their groups. They are guidelines for how they should be run or followed.

AA/NA is known to be loosely interpreted and open to difference. These core traditions are what makes them recognizable. There is some version of this for every group. They help make sure that the focus stays on recovery and support.

The Twelve Traditions

  • Tradition 1

Our mutual wellbeing comes first. Individual recovery depends upon AA/NA unity.

  • Tradition 2

There is only one expert. That expert is God. No one else may pass judgment.

  • Tradition 3

The only necessity required to join AA/NA is the wish to quit using/drinking.

  • Tradition 4

Each assembly is separate from the whole.

  • Tradition 5

Each group has only one purpose. That purpose it to help spread the message to other addicts.

  • Tradition 6

AA/NA groups never lend their name or finances to any other business or group. There is no other purpose to AA/NA than to spread their message.

  • Tradition 7

No outside aid or charity is taken. Groups must support themselves.

  • Tradition 8

Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous should not be professional, though they can have professionals helping. It is not a must.

  • Tradition 9

AA/NA should never be organized though there can be service boards.

  • Tradition 10

Alcoholics/Narcotics Anonymous does not weight outside issues such as politics. They stay their own course.

  • Tradition 11

They never need to promote themselves. It’s all about attracting those in need.

  • Tradition 12

Anonymity is the most important tradition. It is what keeps sobriety as the most important thing as opposed to popularity.