For Family & Friends

Addiction to crystal meth affects more than just the addict—it affects everyone who loves them. In CMA we share our experience, strength and hope with each other, so that we may solve our common problem. 

Nearly everyone has been touched by alcoholism or addiction, either personally or through someone close. The journey is fraught with pain and challenges for both the individual struggling with addiction and their loved ones. Addiction drives individuals to behaviors such as lying, cheating, and stealing, straying far from their normal conduct. Meanwhile, those around them often feel they must tread carefully, enduring the impact of these actions. It's crucial to establish healthy boundaries—for your well-being and for the benefit of the person battling crystal meth addiction.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

Good boundaries are essential, even for those who appear strong and successful in public arenas like academia or in their high-tech careers. Ironically, these high achievers can be undervalued in their personal lives, often keeping silent about their challenges and focusing only on areas they can control. 

This division between personal and professional life highlights a critical aspect of human experience: our freedom to make choices does not extend to controlling how others treat us. Thus, setting and maintaining boundaries becomes a crucial defense mechanism in all aspects of life, especially for those connected to individuals struggling with addiction.

The effort to establish boundaries might feel daunting at first, akin to the routine safety procedures followed in commercial flights. Just as passengers are instructed to secure their own oxygen masks before assisting others, individuals must prioritize their own well-being through self-care and setting limits. This approach not only ensures personal safety and health but also empowers one to be more helpful to others. Implementing self-care and healthy boundaries might be challenging initially, but it's a vital step toward personal strength and setting a positive example for others around you.

Determining where to set the boundary

To identify necessary boundaries, reflect on past interactions and recognize behaviors you've passively accepted that led to disappointment or resentment. Imagine a line dividing normal interactions from unacceptable behavior. Identifying what actions cross into unacceptable territory is crucial. Writing these observations down serves a dual purpose: it holds you accountable to your decisions and provides therapeutic benefits. Over time, continue to expand this list with specific instances of behavior you no longer wish to tolerate, such as belittling comments, disregard for your efforts, or any form of abuse. These entries may range from clear violations to subtler, more ambiguous situations, particularly in intimate or cohabitant relationships.

Given the uniqueness of each individual's circumstances, this list-making strategy offers a practical approach to comprehensively evaluate your experiences and emotions. By creating a tangible record, you alleviate the mental burden of continuously revisiting these thoughts. This process aids in avoiding unnecessary conflicts, protecting yourself from future negativity, and facilitating the healing of past wounds.

Setting consequences for crossed boundaries

Setting consequences for crossed boundaries is a crucial step once unacceptable behaviors are identified. It's essential to understand that boundaries without consequences lack effectiveness, and that there are causal relationships between the actions of the individual addict and the effects of those actions. This principle underscores the natural order of human interactions, highlighting the necessity of establishing clear consequences for boundary violations. Despite the challenge, it's crucial to move beyond merely informing someone when they're overstepping. Historical approaches to boundary setting, which often involve simply pointing out transgressions, are insufficient for fostering lasting change. Repeatedly addressing the same issues without implementing consequences may lead to dismissal or indifference from the offending party, especially in cases involving substance abuse.

Implementing consequences can take various forms, from expressing the unwillingness to be around someone under the influence to more significant actions such as separation or divorce in extreme cases of repeated boundary violations. Support groups like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon advocate for "Detaching with Love," a practice that emphasizes maintaining emotional distance while still caring for the person, thus protecting oneself from the harmful effects of another's behavior. This approach allows for the preservation of self-respect and personal well-being, demonstrating self-care and setting a precedent for respect and accountability. Simple, practical measures, such as addressing tardiness with a grace period or managing financial boundaries by separating bank accounts, can also be effective strategies. These actions reinforce boundaries and ensure personal safety and well-being.

Learning to detach with love reduces dependency on the individual violating boundaries, fostering a sense of empowerment and self-sufficiency. Establishing clear, firm, and reasonable boundaries, along with corresponding consequences, benefits not only the person setting them but also encourages the offending party to take responsibility for their actions. This process may prompt individuals struggling with addiction to recognize the impact of their behavior and seek the necessary help, potentially steering them away from a destructive path. 

Ultimately, setting and enforcing boundaries is a vital practice for maintaining personal integrity and encouraging healthy, respectful interactions. For many addicts, it was the boundaries set by others that nudged them towards the rooms of Crystal Meth Anonymous.

Addiction is a Progressive Disease

It may help to remember that addicts are suffering from a progressive and potentially fatal disease. In our using we get worse, never better. Modern medical thinking is that addiction is not a weakness, or a simple lack of willpower, or a moral failing. Addicts are sick people who can effectively be encouraged to get well, not bad people who need to get “good.” Our experience in CMA has taught us the therapeutic value of one addict helping another. 

Sadly, most addicts do not recover until they become willing to seek help. Our experience has shown that it is nearly impossible to “make someone recover.” That's why our fellowship's approach has been so effective. 

If you have an addict in your life, ask if they would be open to attending one of our meetings? Or you can call our 24-Hour help line to find support and more information about our fellowship.

Find a Meeting

Meetings are we we gather to share experience, strength, hope and wisdom. NorCal CMA fellowship has meetings in-person and online in the San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Sacramento, Visalia and the larger Northern California region. We do our best to keep this page up-to-date so that you can find a meeting near you.

Call 1-844-END-METH

NorCal CMA operates a toll-free help line that's available 24-hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We serve the larger Northern California region, but we can help connect you with CMA meetings and resources no matter where you are. If you think you have a problem with crystal meth and would like help, please call 1-844-363-6384.

Additional Support for Family & friends

If you are coping with the pain of having an addict or alcoholic in your life, we strongly recommend a program like Al-Anon or Nar-Anon. Both can provide a support mechanism while offering strategies for coping with a loved one’s addiction.

Addiction is a progressive disease that affects the entire family structure. Modern recovery approaches deal with the family and friends as well as the addict. It is important to not shield the addict from the consequences of their using behavior referred to as “enabling.” Not enabling the addict may help them become willing to seek help.

Al-Anon Family Groups 

Al-Anon offers help and hope for families and friends of alcoholics. 

Nar-Anon Family Groups 

Nar-Anon is a 12-Step program for family and friends of addicts.

Still have Questions about CMA?

Frequently Asked Questions

We know from experience, that we had a lot of questions before coming to the rooms of Crystal Meth Anonymous. Am I an addict? What happens in a CMA meeting? How can CMA help me? We've compiled a list of common questions folks have about Crystal Meth Anonymous meetings, fellowship, phone lists and more. If don't find your question listed, or you've read all the answers and still have questions, we invite you to attend an open meeting of CMA or call our toll-free 24-hour Help Line.

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 sobriety. They offer a plan for recovery that helps repair the damage our addiction to crystal meth has caused. 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 and can embody honesty and serenity.

Are you an Addict?

Only you can answer this question. For most of us who have admitted defeat, the answer is very clear. Yes, we had a problem, and no, we couldn’t fix the problem by ourselves. No one in Crystal Meth Anonymous will tell you whether you’re an addict or not. Our Third Tradition states, "The only requirement for CMA membership is a desire to stop using." We determine for ourselves whether or not we are an addict. Some of us knew we were addicts before we entered the program, and some of us weren’t sure but knew we wanted to do something about our problem with crystal meth. Visit our "Are You An Addict" page to learn whether you might be an addict.