WHO IS A COCAINE ADDICT?
Some of us can answer without hesitation, “I am!” Others aren’t so sure. Cocaine
Anonymous believes that no one can decide for another whether he or she is addicted.
One thing is sure, though: every single one of us has denied being an addict. For
months, for years, we who now freely admit that we are cocaine addicts thought that we
could control cocaine when in fact it was controlling us.
“I only use on weekends,” or
“It hardly ever interferes with work,” or
“I can quit, it’s only psychologically addicting, right?” or
“I only snort, I don’t base or shoot,” or
“It’s this relationship that’s messing me up.”
Many of us are still perplexed to realize how long we went on, never getting the same
high we got at the beginning, yet still insisting, and believing—so distorted was our
reality—that we were getting from cocaine what actually always eluded us.
We went to any lengths to get away from being just ourselves. The lines got fatter; the
grams went faster; the week’s stash was all used up today. We found ourselves
scraping envelopes and baggies with razor blades, scratching the last flakes from the
corners of brown bottles, snorting or smoking any white speck from the floor when we
ran out. We, who prided ourselves on our fine-tuned state of mind! Nothing mattered
more to us than the straw, the pipe, the needle. Even if it made us feel miserable, we
had to have it.
Some of us mixed cocaine with alcohol or other drugs, and found temporary relief in the
change, but in the end, it only compounded our problems. We tried quitting by
ourselves, finally, and managed to do so for periods of time. After a month, we
imagined we were in control. We thought our system was cleaned out and we could get
the old high again, using half as much. This time, we’d be careful not to go overboard.
But we only found ourselves back where we were before, and worse.
We never left the house without using first. We didn’t make love without using. We
didn’t talk on the phone without coke. We couldn’t fall asleep; sometimes it seemed we
couldn’t even breathe without cocaine. We tried changing jobs, apartments, cities,
lovers—believing that our lives were being screwed up by circumstances, places,
people. Perhaps we saw a cocaine friend die of respiratory arrest, and still we went on
using! But eventually we had to face facts. We had to admit that cocaine was a serious
problem in our lives, that we were addicts.
WHO IS A CA MEMBER?
While the name “Cocaine Anonymous” may sound drug-specific, we wish to assure you
that our program is not. Many of our members did a lot of cocaine; others used only a
little, and some never even tried coke. We have members who drank only on occasion,
those who casually referred to themselves as drunks, and others who were full-blown
alcoholics. Lots of us used a wide variety of mind-altering substances. Whether we
focused on a specific substance or used whatever we could get our hands on, we had
one thing in common: eventually we all reached a point where we could not stop.
According to C.A.’s Third Tradition, the only requirement for membership is a desire to
stop using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances. Whatever you may have
been using, if it led you to this meeting, you’re probably in the right place. Over
time, virtually every single one of us has realized that our real problem is not cocaine or
any specific drug; it is the disease of addiction.
It can be tempting to focus on our differences rather than our similarities, but this can
blind us to potential sources of support in our recovery. As we hear other members’ stories, the most important question to ask ourselves is not, “Would I have partied with
these people?” but rather, “Do these people have a solution that can help me stay
sober?” We encourage you to stick around and listen with an open mind.
With its all-inclusive Third Tradition and First Step, Cocaine Anonymous welcomes
anyone with a drug or alcohol problem and offers a solution. C.A.’s Twelve Steps are
not drug-specific, and Cocaine Anonymous is not a drug-specific Fellowship. It doesn’t
matter to us if you drank or what type of drugs you used; if you have a desire to stop,
you are welcome here!
DEFINITION OF COCAINE ANONYMOUS
Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of recovering addicts throughout the United States, Canada, and other countries whose members meet in local groups. The following definition of "Cocaine Anonymous" is found in our Fellowship's literature and is often read at meetings of CA:
Cocaine Anonymous is a Fellowship of men and women who share their experience,
strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help
others recover from their addiction. The only requirement for membership is a desire to
stop using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances. There are no dues or fees
for membership; we are fully self-supporting through our own contributions. We are not
allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization, or institution. We do not wish
to engage in any controversy and we neither endorse nor oppose any causes. Our
primary purpose is to stay free from cocaine and all other mind-altering substances, and
to help others achieve the same freedom. We use the Twelve Steps of recovery because it has already been proven that the
Twelve-Step recovery program works.
If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before
we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word
serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we
will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self pity
will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear
of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to
handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for
us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us— sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.