A 12-step support group is dedicated to helping cocaine addicts live in recovery without relapsing on the drug, Cocaine Anonymous (CA) can be an excellent addition to our patients’ aftercare program when they complete drug addiction treatment at West Valley Detox. Is the 12-step group right for you? All you need to have is the will to stop abusing cocaine and other mind-altering substances, including alcohol. For many individuals, Cocaine Anonymous can provide very necessary social support and resource during their recovery process.
What is Cocaine Anonymous?
Cocaine Anonymous (or just CA) is a network of self-help groups for addiction to cocaine, crack, as well as other stimulants. As a 12-step program similar to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), members come together with the common goal of abstaining from substance use. Like other Anonymous groups, cocaine anonymous groups teach that members should abstain from using all substances, not just the drug in question (such as cocaine). Addiction is a disease that can take many forms, and transferring addiction from one substance to another is still a problem.
At 12-Step meetings, attendees have the ability to:
- Learn more about addiction.
- Share their stories of addiction and recovery.
- Hear the stories of other people like them.
- Read and discuss the CA literature.
- Find a sponsor (mentor).
Numerous studies have found 12-Step programs to be effective for treating addiction to drugs and alcohol, and stimulant addiction is no different. A paper in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment reports that attendance of CA meetings is linked with higher rates of abstinence from drug use.
Cocaine Addiction Treatment
Cocaine Anonymous is part of a recovery program for those who are addicted to cocaine or cannot control their cocaine abuse. Often, addiction treatment is necessary before and during 12-step treatment. Is it time for you to get started? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you set limits for yourself in terms of how much cocaine you will use in an evening – yet break them every time?
- Has your cocaine use ever interfered with your ability to do your job or take care of your family?
- Do you and your spouse or other family members fight over your cocaine use?
- Do you want to stop abusing the drug but find that you can not?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, cocaine rehab and Cocaine Anonymous may be a good fit for your needs, helping you to leave the negative effects of cocaine abuse and addiction behind forever.
How to Become a Member of CA Group?
Anyone who wants to stop using cocaine and other drugs is eligible to become a member of a CA group. Membership is free. Cocaine Anonymous groups have the sole focus of helping people abstain from drug use, and as such have no political, denominational, or organizational affiliations.
There are some principles of cocaine anonymous groups, which we are going to explore in this section.
One of the major principles of recovery is service, or helping other addicts in need. For newer members, service might be something as simple as helping set up coffee and cookies before the meeting. More experienced members might act as a sponsor, take a leadership position in the group, or be active in a regional CA organization.
The Process of Cocaine Anonymous Groups
The process begins by acknowledging that their drug use has gotten out of control and that abstinence is the only answer. Then, members give themselves over to a higher power, which can take the form of their choice – God, a spiritual force, or simply the group or program. With a higher power to support them, members are able to get and stay clean where they weren’t on their own. Members engage in honest self-reflection, identifying the personal shortcomings that led to substance abuse, and turning to the higher power to give them the strength to remedy these problems. They identify whom they may have hurt due to their substance abuse, and make amends. By going through these steps, members experience a spiritual awakening, in which they find a way to achieve and maintain abstinence, and strive to spread this knowledge to other addicts still suffering.
During the recovery process, members can find a sponsor, who is a more experienced member of the group. The sponsor acts more as a mentor than as a friend and guides the new member through the 12 Steps. Members can call their sponsors for support between meetings. Many people call their sponsor as often as once a day. Since possible sexual attraction would interfere with the spiritual relationship with their sponsor, heterosexual members are encouraged to find a same-sex sponsor, and homosexual members are encouraged to find an opposite-sex sponsor. Members are also generally encouraged to find other people in their group whom they can connect with and exchange contact information to give each other additional support.
Cocaine Anonymous Meetings
Cocaine Anonymous meetings typically are held in rented spaces, such as in a community center, church, library, or hospital. However, they are not affiliated with the organization that hosts their meetings.
Meetings can be closed, with only members attending, or open, with family and friends welcome. There are also a variety of ways that a CA meeting can be structured:
- Participation meetings are open for all members of the group to take turns sharing their thoughts and experiences related to addiction and recovery. Members are encouraged not to crosstalk, or respond directly to what other members have said, but instead to share their own stories.
- Speaker meetings feature one or two experienced members of the group sharing their experiences in-depth, often on a particular topic.
- Step study meetings focus on studying and discussing the 12 Steps.
- Book study meetings involve reading excerpts from CA literature and discussing their meaning.
As the name implies, Cocaine Anonymous values the privacy of its members, and things discussed at meetings are considered confidential and not to be shared with the public.
Cocaine Anonymous Quick Facts
- Cocaine Anonymous was started in 1982 in Los Angeles.
- CA meetings now take place across the US, Canada, and Europe.
- The CA text, “Hope, Faith, and Courage: Stories from the Fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous,” was first published in 1994.
- As of 1996, CA membership worldwide was estimated at 30,000 people in 2,000 groups.