The following represents a simplified but researched overview of early Oklahoma NA, reaching back to the 1970s and 1980s when a handful of scattered addicts formed groups throughout the state and traveled long distances to support each other and to change that tired old lie Once an addict, always an addict.
Addicts in Enid, Norman and Tulsa formed the first meetings that survived long enough to form a small service structure in the 1970s. These groups joined the Mid America Region, which included groups from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Missouri.
Groups also soon formed in Oklahoma City, Lawton and Tahlequah and other parts of the state. The first known Shawnee meeting was established by Marg J. and Harlond P. about 1978 and held in a house a 502 N. Beard. The meeting did not survive and it would be seven more years before NA would make it Shawnee. Marg J. and Harlond P. are still clean today.
The Oklahoma groups established the Joint Area Service Committee in 1980 and remained part of the Mid America Region. The old JASC comprised the Western and Eastern areas. Oklahoma was still not a region yet and NA members continued to drive long distances to support each others’ meetings. About six to eight groups had formed in Oklahoma by 1980.
Members of the JASC formed Oklahoma’s state campout in 1982. In June 1985, the Oklahoma Region was officially formed and encompassed the Eastern and Western areas. The region established the first state convention in 1987. Shari A. said Oklahoma City was selected as the location for the first convention “because it was determined that is where it could do the most good for NA”.
In March 1988, the Oklahoma Region became the OK Region to allow for a new area, Northwest Arkansas, being admitted into the region. Northwest Arkansas left the region about 1989 to eventually join the Arkansas Region. That left the OK Region with its two original areas, Eastern and Western, until the Texoma Area joined the region about 1991. The Plains Area joined the OK Region on November 12, 1992, becoming the fourth area.
Today the OK Region is comprised of three areas: Eastern, Western and Southern 5th. The Texoma Areas dissolved itself about 1993. Oklahoma has about 165 NA Meetings and 55 groups across the state. Additionally, NA members carry the message into at least 30 treatment centers, prisons and detox centers. The DRI meeting in Oklahoma City and the NADTC meeting in Normnat are two of the oldest H&I meetings in the state. They were established about 1978.
From 1982 to 1988, NA’s growth exploded across Oklahoma and the United States in connection with the publication of our Basic Text in 1982. Oklahoma grew from less than 10 groups to 40 or 50 groups during that time.
The early NA members that gave us the groups and service structure we have today did so because they cared deeply about NA and its future. Many of these early members are among us today; some are at this workshop because they still care.
These are the people I think of when I hear the words “trusted servant.” In recognizing their humility and anonymity, we are here to talk about the history of NA.
Compiled by Omer G.