What is the ASC

Our Guide to Local Services page 45
The Area Service Committee (ASC)
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.
 “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.