Jimmy K continued his involvement in Alcoholics Anonymous and continued setting up meetings that focused on recovery from addiction to drugs. Unfortunately these gatherings had gotten the attention of law enforcement authorities who operated under the assumption that a gathering of drug users and convicted felons was bound to lead to illegal activity.
In Search of NA Part II: Jimmy K. Starts Narcotics Anonymous in Los Angeles
Jimmy was in touch with Danny Carlsen in New York who was running anonymous 12-step meetings for recovering drug addicts. Together they settled on the name Narcotics Anonymous.
The First NA Meeting
In the middle of 1953 Jimmy started a Narcotics Anonymous meeting in a church in Los Angeles. As Narcotics Anonymous began to grow, the police were still very intrusive into the meetings which hindered the growth of the fellowship.
Fortunately, the effectiveness of 12-step support groups was beginning to be confirmed by addiction physicians and also noticed by correctional institutions. The LAPD finally curtailed the surveillance of the early NA meetings.
NA Becomes an Organization
So that the meetings and the fellowship would survive and be given direction, a governing committee of NA was set up with Jimmy K as the chairman. As is usual in such organizations, there was much disagreement as to how things should be done but NA would somehow survive the many early arguments of its founders.
NA Begins to be Noticed and Struggles
The periodicals of the day started picking up on the positive effects that NA was having on the lives of recovering addicts and articles were published about the fellowship and their meetings. This helped build interest and brought more people into the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous. Unfortunately, there was also a lot of controversy and disagreement at the early NA meetings and the fellowship ebbed and shrank. At the end of the 1950s, it seemed as though Narcotics Anonymous might dissolve altogether…