Probably the single busiest part of our service structure is the World Service Office (WSO). The WSO is the main contact and distribution point.
One of the most important functions of the WSO is to link our widespread groups and members into a single, cohesive fellowship. The WSO stays in close contact with our groups, areas, and regions. This contact is maintained through correspondence; our quarterly newsletter, The NA Way; and through the delegates within our service structure. The WSO offers considerable aid to new groups worldwide, existing groups with special problems, institutional groups, members who travel extensively, and loners. This aid is in the nature of sharing the experience that other groups and members have reported to the WSO and putting those who seek aid in touch with other groups or members within our fellowship.
The World Service Office publishes The NA Way Magazine: our fellowship’s international journal. The magazine provides both a forum for sharing about NA recovery, unity, and service, as well as information about world services. Produced in English, The NA Way is translated into the primary languages spoken in Narcotics Anonymous. The magazine is distributed four (4) times a year, at no cost to subscribers, to every trusted servant and NA group contact address in the WSO database, as well as any member who asks to be included in that mailing list. The magazine is edited by WSO staff and an editorial board appointed by the World Board.
Another major function of WSO is the publication and distribution of literature, which includes the printing, warehousing, and distribution of all existing literature. The WSO publishes a quarterly newsletter and numerous other periodicals, all World Service Conference material, and new literature in English and other languages. Additionally, we make available a number of kits, such as the group starter kit. In order to provide these publications, the WSO needs financial support.
In order to provide communications, coordination, information, and guidance services, the WSO must keep extensive files of correspondence and other records. These files include letters to and from those who have contacted the WSO; a file of all corres-pondence with each NA group; a record of all starter kits sent out; the name, address, and telephone number of all GSRs, RCMs, and RDs; and the addresses of all general service committees and their officers. Along with these files and records, the WSO keeps the archives of NA's history. These archives contain relevant documents, newspaper articles, photos of original meeting places, etc. Records such as these are necessary so that we may learn from our past mistakes, stay in contact with all of NA, and serve our fellowship.
One of the most difficult jobs of the World Service Office is dealing with public anonymity breaks. Due to the nature of our fellowship, no part of our service structure should ever serve as a disciplinarian. This would not be in keeping with our basic principles. When public anonymity breaks do occur, the WSO functions in an educational role. We try to explain to the individual or group and the media involved that actions of this type are in violation of our traditions and that this type of publicity can potentially cause grave problems that could threaten the survival of our fellowship. It is never our place to attempt to punish—we can only try to prevent the recurrence of this type of problem.
The final WSO function we shall discuss is that of public relations. Much of our mail consists of requests for information from individuals, agencies, and other drug programs. It is our policy to answer each inquiry; however, we stress that our function is not informational or referral. Our program is comprised of principles and people. Our relationship with those outside our fellowship is cooperative, and our traditions make it clear that we must stay unattached if we are to survive.
The World Service Office is our fellowship's main service center. To meet our needs as a growing fellowship, our services need to operate as efficiently and effectively as possible within the spiritual principles of the NA program.
The World Board of Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. directly oversees all world service activities, including the World Service Office. Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. is a registered, nonprofit corporation in accordance with the laws of the State of California and the United States Federal Government. Within the bylaws, specific sections state the purpose and relationship of Narcotics Anonymous World Services, Inc. to the World Service Conference of NA and our Twelve Traditions. These bylaws further acknowledge the right of the conference to make specific recommendations to the World Board regarding its general operations.