HISTORY OF THE CHESAPEAKE AND POTOMAC REGION OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS (CPRNA)

In order to fully experience the genesis of the C&P Region, one must first take note of the rapid growth of Narcotics Anonymous on the East Coast. For about 10 years, starting in the mid 70’s, The Mid-Atlantic Region was the largest region outside of California. Reaching out from Pennsylvania, it spread up through Connecticut and down through Virginia, covering 7 states and 1 Federal District.

As a founding member of Narcotics Anonymous in the Metropolitan Washington, DC, Suburban Maryland and Northern Virginia areas, I have prepared this document with a copious amount of personal notes and a number of oversized Ziggy Calendars. These calendars are filled with vital event information. Within these pages I shall attempt to create a timeline of the very first meetings, ASCs, and RSCs of Narcotics Anonymous that we either attended or helped to form in the six geographical areas found listed below:

  1. Washington, DC
  2. Central Maryland
  3. Northern Virginia
  4. Winchester, VA
  5. Baltimore, MD
  6. Harrisburg, PA
NA IN WASHINGTON, DC

Our history tells us that there were regularly scheduled meetings briefly held in Washington, DC in the early 60‘s. These meetings were, however, sadly short-lived due to the attendance of the police who worked “undercover” and then would arrest the members as they left the meetings. As a result of this action, these words were added to “What Is The N.A. Program? (basic text, 2nd edition) …and are under no surveillance at any time.” The title of the chapter has sense changed to “What Is the Narcotics Anonymous Program? (basic text, 6th edition)” yet still containing those same pertinent words about surveillance. NA would not return to DC until 1976. This time, however, it was not going to go anywhere. It was here to stay. Upon its return, the Friday night V.A.N.A.D.A. Meeting (1976) was the first meeting and would service as the cornerstone for a warm and loving fellowship that continues to grow and thrive today.

THE FIRST MEETINGS THAT WERE EITHER FOUND OR STARTED IN DC

1976

V.A.N.A.D.A.

Friday

1980

Howard University Hospital

Monday

1980

The Courthouse Group

Tuesday

1980

New Visions

Thursday

1980

Uptown

Saturday

NA IN MARYLAND

(The first regularly scheduled Narcotics Anonymous meeting is held in the state of Maryland on Wednesday night June 11, 1980, St. Andrew’s Church in College Park.)

 

June 4, 1980, Narcotics Anonymous comes to the Riverdale Club. The first time that I heard the words Narcotics and Anonymous spoken together in one breath I was sitting in the Riverdale Club just barely managing to hold down a seat and waiting for the next A.A. meeting to start when in walked Gregg. I wasn’t using, but I was far from happy. To say that I did not want to be there was a gross misstatement. I did not want to be there and they, the AAer’s, in turn did not want me there. However, I felt there was nowhere else for me to go. I was caught between two worlds.

 

Gregg Raducca was a student up here from Atlanta Georgia planning to attend the University of Maryland in the fall. He walked right up to the man sitting behind the desk and proudly announced that his name was Gregg, that he was an addict, and does he know where the Narcotics Anonymous meetings are? The man looked slowly up from the desk, adjusted his glasses, looked Gregg dead in the eyes and said; “THERE ARE NO ADDICTS HERE…AND WHAT THE FUCK IS NORCOTICS ANONYMOUS?” Gregg simply smiled and reached around pulling something from his back pocket and placing it on the desk in front of him. This would be the very time that I would see it, ’The Little White Book’, but it would not be the last. As he turned to leave, I remember hearing the words that would change my life forever! He said; “I am starting a N.A. meeting, and the first meeting will be a week from today (June 11th) at St. Andrew’s Church 8:30 – 9:30p.m.“ He then removed a small stack of flyers from his backpack and politely asked if the man behind the desk would please hand them out to anyone who mentioned “DRUGS!” He said that he would be more than glad to do so. As Gregg was leaving, he said loud enough for all to hear; “REMEMBER, ONE WEEK FROM TONIGHT, 8:30 p.m., St. Andrew’s Church!”

 

I did not go to that first meeting. Even though I was uncomfortable sitting in A.A. meetings, I was scared to leave. A.A. was better than nothing. I had no place else to go. I did not want to go back to using. I could not go back to using. The alternative was death. However, my housemate did go and he loved it. I did go with him the following week and I loved it. And so begins the miracle. I never looked back. Whenever there was an N.A. meeting within 50 miles or so I was there. I was hooked. Six weeks later, on/or about July 27, 1980 the second meeting in the state begins. My housemate and myself start the Sunday night open discussion meeting of Narcotics Anonymous at the Holly Redeemer Church in Berwyn. It wasn’t long after Berwyn opened its doors that the membership of Prince George’s County N.A. really began to grow.

EARLY P.R.
TRADITIONS BE DAMNED

Our small, but dedicated band began to reach out and carry the message all across the area. It was then that we also discovered the DC. fellowship. We quickly decided to join forces with DC and together we began to spread the word. The message that we so boldly carried was; “THERE IS FINALLY REAL HELP FOR DRUG ADDICTS AND IT’S CALLED NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS. ALL ARE WELCOME!” We talked to any and all who would listen. We talked to Psych Wards, Detox Units, Newspapers, and were interviewed on a number of Radio Stations. In the early years, before The Basic Text, Narcotics Anonymous was known as a “HIPPOCKET PROGRAM!” It was tagged with such a nickname because The Little White Book fit nicely into your hippocket. Therefore, all we had was The Little White Book, 5 or 6 I.P.’s and a very crudely typed meetings list.

7 MEETINGS A WEEK - A MEETING EVERY NIGHT
Meetings by Year

1976

V.A.N.A.D.A.

Friday

1980

Howard University Hospital

Monday

1980

The Courthouse Group

Tuesday

1980

Clean and Serene

Wednesday

1980

New Visions

Thursday

1980

Uptown

Saturday

1980

Berwyn

Sunday

THE WASHINGTON, DC METROPOLITAN AREA SERVICE COMMITTEE OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS
November 12, 1980

“Now now, you children play nice together!”

– Doreen P.

For the first few years the DC Metropolitan A.S.C. met at (666) the address of the DC Department of Parole and Probation. We struggled in the beginning and made more than our fair share of mistakes. The atmosphere in those early meetings was extremely volatile. The members of the newly formed A.S.C. had some internal problems of their own to deal with before they could best carry message of recovery. Doreen (aka) “The Mother”, the newly elected chairperson of the D.C.A.S.C., had all of us participate in a group inventory. It was brutal, but it got the job done. The inventory revealed that there were two major areas of concern:

1.) There was a pecking order of chemicals and addictions.          

2.) The Black vs. White Issue. “Now now, you children play nice together!”

Once these issues were resolved, the D.C.A.S.C. became sharply focus on its intended mission.

REACHING OUT
1981

In 1981 we began to reach out and extend a helping hand to fledgling fellowships.

1. Baltimore

Sheppard Pratt           

Monday (month?)

2. Virginia

Winchester

Wednesday March 11, 1981

3. P.G. County

Friday Night Live

Friday March 20, 1981

4. Montgomery County

Glad to be alive

Tuesday April 21, 1981

5. P.G. County

St. Luke’s

Thursday April 23, 1981

6. P.G. County

P.G. Hospital

Monday April 27, 1981

7. Northern Virginia

Springwood at Leesburg

Thursday (month?)

8. Montgomery County

Save Your Ass (S.Y.A.)

Friday (month?)

WELCOME TO THE MID-ATLANTIC REGIONAL SERVICE COMMITTEE OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS
February 21, 1981 Harrisburg, Pa.

The Washington, DC Metropolitan A.S.C. joins The Mid-Atlantic Region. Our very first M.A.R.S.C.N.A was on February 21, 1981 in Harrisburg, Pa. Mark W. and Bill Z. were both excited and honored to represent the D.C.A.S.C. Armed with 2 copies, 1 each, of The Blue Service Manual, the both of them were off to Harrisburg. They were welcomed with open arms and were soon voted in as members. They were informed shortly after that any and ALL G.S.R.’s shall be voting today. On this day there were nearly 100 G.S.R.’s in the room. Totally confused by this statement, they both held up their personal copies of The Blue Service Manual and said in one voice; “Excuse me Mr. Chair, but that’s wrong. That’s incorrect. According to this manual only A.S.R.’s may vote on the regional level.” Apparently, no one owned a service manual, or if they did, they never bothered to read it. At this point the Chairperson asked if he could please see a copy? After a brief examination, the Chair then stated that he would be open to entertaining a motion. “It seems that our new friends are right! We have been doing this wrong, Do I have a motion?” Hands shot up like bullets, a motion to adopt the blue service manual was made and seconded. The floor was then opened for discussion. Lasting from 45 minutes to an hour, this discussion resulted with the region adopting the Blue Service Manual of Narcotics Anonymous and all of the guidelines found therein. By taking this step the G.S.R.’s, not only removed their right to vote, but also took away their need to attend the regional meeting at all.

VIRGINIA & BALTIMORE NA
VA joins the DC Area Service Committee

On March 11, 1981 an NA Group from Winchester VA joins the D.C. Area Service Committee and to my knowledge, around that same time, so does Baltimore. Also that same year, the first NA Group was started in Northern VA, in Leesburg at Springwood Hospital.

THE CENTRAL MARYLAND AREA SERVICE COMMITTEE OF NARCOTICS AMONYMOUS
August 29, 1982

The formational meeting of The Central Maryland Area Service Committee was held at The Holy Redeemer Church in Berwyn, Maryland. The first C.M.A.S.C. was held on a Wednesday a week or so later in College Park at St. Andrew’s Church upstairs from the N.A. Meeting at 7 p.m. The meetings in attendance were:

  1. Clean and Serene
  2. Berwyn
  3. Friday Night Live
  4. Glad to be alive
  5. St. Luke’s
  6. P.G. Hospital
  7. Springwood at Leesburg
  8. Save Your Ass (S.Y.A.)

There were two other major events that occurred in the history of Narcotics Anonymous in 1982. In April of that year in Santa Monica California at The World Service Conference the Basic Text was approved, that fall The Chesapeake & Potomac Region of Narcotics Anonymous was born and we bid a warm farewell to the Mid-Atlantic!

THE CHESAPEAKE & POTOMAC REGION OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS
Fall 1982

The founding of this region was, as it should be with any other regions in Narcotics Anonymous, deeply rooted in the 5th Tradition. “… to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.” In addition, we must always remain focused on how we can best serve our fellow recovering addicts? This was our Primary Purpose! This was our Mission! NOTHING ELSE MATTERED!

Over time, it became obvious, that this criterion was not being met. It was getting harder and harder to do our jobs. The region was simply too big! It was time. So that summer we began to float the idea of forming a new region. The NA members in the DC, MD and VA area expressed enough interest that a meeting was scheduled for that upcoming fall at Louie P.’s house to do just that. The meeting was held, as scheduled, on Louie’s back porch. There were only 3 members in attendance; Louie P., Larry N. and (myself) Bill Z. After waiting for around 3 or 4 hours, for others to show up, a motion was made, seconded and carried. YEAH, THAT’S RIGHT! THE C&P REGION OF NARCOTICS ANONYMOUS WAS BORN ON LOUIE P.’S BACK PORCH! Our next trip to the Mid-Atlantic would be our last! It would be a trip to say; Goodbye!’ 

Finally, I feel the need to acknowledge and thank the 1st generation of NA members. Without those early members, and their undying dedication, the Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia fellowships of NA would not have survived! I know I’m bound to miss some of the wonderful people, who gave freely of themselves, so please forgive me if I did!

 

Doreen P.

Gregg R.

Mark W.

Thomas W.

Tommy T.

Carmeleta W.

Michael C.

Marie B.

Anthony E.

Karyn M.

Brother Rick

Jimmy H.

Terry M.

Stan A.

Kathy W.

Carol

Bill Z.

John H.

Larry N.

Paul F.

Trica C.

 

 

 

 

Forgive the names that may not be listed as they may have been unintentionally missed!!

In Loving Service

Bill Z.