Many of the meetings of NorCal CMA close with the phrase “a moment of silence to remember the addict who is still out there suffering and hasn’t made it into these rooms.” Recovery from crystal meth is possible! Crystal Meth Anonymous is a twelve-step program for those in recovery from addiction to crystal meth. Our purpose is to help the addict get and stay clean.

If you feel you may have a problem, we suggest that you make a commitment to yourself to stop using for the rest of this day. Renew that commitment again tomorrow. We invite you to explore our website, seek out a meeting and join us! Our experience has shown the daily attendance at twelve step meetings combined with working the Steps with a sponsor can lead to a life free of active addiction.

What are the Twelve Steps?

The Twelve Steps are a set of principles designed to produce a spiritual awakening. The Steps promote actions that help us to achieve and maintain our sobriety and offer a plan for recovery to repair the damage our addiction to crystal meth. The Steps guide us in new ways of living to create a fulfilling life in recovery. Staying clean is our primary goal. When our actions are consistent with our principles, we can have inner peace, honesty and serenity.

Why “One Day at a Time?”

The idea of never using again is impossible for most of us. If we focus on forever, we might lose sight of what we can do today. We make a commitment to not use just for today. Some of us had to make a commitment not to use “just for the next hour.” We stay in the here and now and that makes our sobriety possible. Yesterday is gone; we can’t say what tomorrow will bring. For these reasons we say that we stay clean “one day at a time.”

What about relapse?

Relapse does not have to be a part of our program. If we sincerely want to stay clean, the program makes it possible for us to not use drugs again- one day at a time.

For some of us, relapse has been part of our path to recovery. We may not have been convinced that we were addicts, and maybe hadn’t effectively worked the First Step:

“We admitted that we were powerless over crystal meth and that our lives had become unmanageable.”

It is easier to stay clean than to get clean. Using again starts the cycle of craving. It is important to quickly break the pattern of relapse.

If we do relapse, we can learn from our mistakes, uncovering what elements may have been missing from our program. We suggest rigorous honesty - return to meetings immediately.

If you feel that you may relapse, we suggest that you reach out. Call someone, get to a meeting, and discuss the urge to use.

What about alcohol and other drugs?

Many of us struggled with the suggestion that we should give up alcohol or other drugs along with crystal meth. For some of us, other drugs can be a gateway to using crystal meth. Dangerous rationalizations “But I am not an alcoholic,” or “A joint every now and then won’t hurt” can lead down the path of addiction once again. After a few drinks we may find ourselves looking for crystal meth and entering the cycle of addiction all over again.

The first step in recovery is to admit that we are addicts. Even if we are not addicted to other drugs, medical evidence tells us our addiction can easily transfer to other substances or behaviors. This is called “cross addiction,” and our experience shows us it is a very real danger.

What do I do at a CMA meeting?

Nothing that makes you uncomfortable. The meetings have a basic structure and are led by a Secretary (chairperson). After the readings, they will ask for newcomers or those attending for the first time to identify themselves by first name only. This is not done to embarrass anyone, but does allow us to get to know you better. You may introduce yourself by your first name followed by “I am an addict,” “I am a recovering crystal meth addict,” or just say your name, or whatever makes you comfortable. Sometimes listening is the best thing you can do.

Why doesn’t anyone talk directly to other people during a meeting or respond to them?

We call that “cross talk,” and we discourage it. We want a safe environment where addicts can express anger, sadness or difficulty coping with sobriety without being judged. If you feel that you want to share feedback, or advice, or praise, consider doing so after the meeting.

Those Twelve Steps FREAK me out!

They seem like a huge final exam when you first read them. They are suggestions on your approach to your recovery. Working on them will depend on where you are in recovery and your own pace. Some of us waited for months while we absorbed other aspects of the program. May of us started right away.

What is a Sponsor?

A sponsor is someone in the program with some recovery time, usually a year or more. A sponsor helps guide you through the Steps and Traditions of the CMA program. He or she can be the best friend you have in the program. One suggestion: BE HONEST WITH YOUR SPONSOR! You may be surprised at the acceptance you feel. Sometimes, you try a temporary sponsor to see if working together is right for the both of you.

What is the phone list? And what do I say to these people?

Just call to say or to check in. It can be uncomfortable at first since many of spent hours isolating. Talking with others in recovery helps to rebuild our social skills. You can share support, seek suggestions or make a commitment to meet for coffee. The phone list gives us a way to relate to each other outside of meetings.

OOPS! I have partied or even had sex with some of the people I see at the meeting.

It really is a small world, isn’t it? It is not uncommon for us to run across people in the meetings that we knew before recovery. Chances are, you are both different people than you were before. Take heart that you are both seeking recovery. If you feel that you are experiencing “triggering” thoughts or actions, then keep some distance for a while. They will understand.

I really have nothing in common with some of you.

More than likely you may be sitting next to someone very different from yourself. You don’t share the same career, interests or go to the same gym. Try listening when they speak and you will hear the same struggles, fears and hopes that you may be experiencing. We are a diverse group of crystal meth addicts.

This “God” thing is a problem for me.

The God (“of our understanding”) or Higher Power that we talk about can mean anything you want it to mean. You can interpret God/Higher Power (someone, something, or some group that has the power to help your addiction that you don’t have alone) completely on your own.

All these slogans…

They may sound trite or trivial at first, but they soon start making sense. Hearing “easy does it,” “keep coming back,” or “one day at a time” might sound strange at first. In time, you will begin to recognize the importance of all of them and soon you will be using them.

What’s do they mean when they say “fellowship after the meeting?”

Sometimes it is the few minutes outside where we chat and say hi to the friends that we have made. We decompress. We also make impromptu plans for coffee or grab some food somewhere together. Some meetings have a place across the street from the meeting and gather there every week. So, just hang around or ask.

After the “Closing Prayer,” what is that phrase that I hear?

“KEEP COMING BACK. IT WORKS!”

Any other suggestions?

Yes!

  • 90 meetings in 90 days. This will help you to create a habit to replace your old less productive ones.

  • Get a Sponsor. Try asking for a temporary one. Some meetings ask for a show of hands of those willing to be sponsors and check the phone list to see if there are notations next the names of available sponsors. And call your sponsor every day.

  • Read the literature. There is so much to choose from. As a young program, CMA is slowly developing new literature for the crystal meth addict. We encourage our members to read AA and NA literature as well.

  • Use the Phone List. Dial ‘em; don’t file ‘em. We are all rebuilding our lives and learning new ways of living- inside and outside the rooms. We are one “addict helping another addict.”