Cocaine Anonymous

Cocaine Anonymous (CA) is a network of self-help groups for addiction to cocaine, crack, and 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, CA teaches that members should abstain from using all substances, not just the drug in question (like 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 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.

Principles of Cocaine Anonymous

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 a sole focus of helping people abstain from drug use, and as such have no political, denominational, or organizational affiliations.

In meetings, members work their way through the 12 Steps of the CA program. 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 finds 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.

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.

Finding a Cocaine Anonymous Meeting near You

If you’re interested in attending a Cocaine Anonymous meeting, you can use CA’s InfoLines directory to look up a meeting near you, or call 1-800-347-8998 to learn more. If you’re more interested in reaching out to others online, Cocaine Anonymous Online offers email and voice meetings.

You may want additional support so you don’t have to find a meeting on your own. If so, we’re here to help. Our admissions coordinators can refer to you one of the 12-Step meetings in your area or at one of our treatment locations and talk to you about what dual diagnosis treatment can offer you. Don’t wait any longer – call today to learn more.

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