24 Sep Cocaine Anonymous Unites Recovering Addicts’ Stories
With a name that can raise eyebrows, the fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous continues to promote abstinence and recovery for thousands of members across the globe. Like other 12 Step-based programs, the members of Cocaine Anonymous (C.A.) gain strength from a shared struggle and commit to assisting other people as they recover from the addiction.
Freedom is the goal for members of Cocaine Anonymous, according to group statements, and this can include becoming free from other drugs or substances that alter the mind. Research into the causes and treatments of drug addiction are not part of the group’s protocol, nor or tools including prescribed medical treatments or therapies involving psychiatric assistance.
Instead, C.A. groups adhere to the traditional 12 Step Recovery Program model, which means anyone can join Cocaine Anonymous as long as they want to quit using all types of the drug. Membership is free and there is no affiliation with any other group or organization.
Cocaine Anonymous is not an affiliate of Alcoholics Anonymous, though the steps and tools for recovery are similar. Spending time in service to other people in one’s community or others trying to recover is a primary tool. Another technique is to talk openly amongst each other, believing that this type of communication leads to a greater understanding and strength that cannot be found in other recovery strategies.
The allure of cocaine, for many, is found in its positive effects. Users note marked changes occur when the drug is taken, which are believed linked to its ability to quicken the brain’s functions. Cocaine can create feelings of energy, alertness and excitement combined with a heightened sense of pleasure. Physically, the drug can increase respiration and heart rate. Depression and strong cravings occur when many users attempt to break the habit.
Cocaine Anonymous was founded in 1982 in Los Angeles and now has a global presence with well over 2,000 chapters. For family members coping with a loved one’s addiction to cocaine, Co-Anon Family Groups may be helpful in meeting their emotional needs.
Once someone reaches a point of recovery, their ability and willingness to talk about their experience with others who have are still working toward recovery is invaluable, according to C.A. documents. This process creates strong relationships between members that become a stronghold in the battle against the substance.
Because cocaine users can come from all ages, demographics and walks of life, Cocaine Anonymous groups can be varied and diverse in membership status. One of the group’s strengths, say the members, is that their stories of struggles and success become enmeshed in one combined recovery effort – regardless of the type of cocaine they have used.
With help from Cocaine Anonymous, members hope the drug addiction becomes something of their past lives, and not a piece of their lives yet to come. Even so, like all addictions, the road can be long and complex, and many members of Cocaine Anonymous report committing to four to five meetings weekly as they maintain their recovery.
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