Cocaine Anonymous is a fellowship of people helping others who want recovery from cocaine addiction and to stay free from cocaine use. The program is open to all who want to stop using this drug, as well as other mind-altering substances (alcohol, prescription medications, heroin, methamphetamine, etc.)
Cocaine Anonymous Overview
Cocaine Anonymous group was started in Los Angeles in 1982. From that first meeting, the group has expanded throughout the United States and Canada. Cocaine Anonymous ("C.A.") also has some groups staring in Europe. As of 1996, C.A. estimated its membership at 30,000.
Traditions, Steps and Process
Cocaine Anonymous uses the same 12 steps as Alcoholics Anonymous, although the programs are not related. Like Alcoholics Anonymous, C.A. does not require meeting participants to pay any fees or dues to attend. This organization works on the premise that addicts get free of cocaine by hearing about how other members of the group have been able to reach this goal.
Through support and fellowship, members can achieve their goal of freedom from cocaine use. A Cocaine Anonymous meeting does not have to have large numbers of people to be an official one or to be effective. A "meeting" for C.A. members can have as few as two people in attendance who want to eliminate cocaine and other substances from their lives.
Effectiveness: Does Cocaine Anonymous Work?
In the same way that Alcoholics Anonymous preserves the privacy of its members, C.A. does not publish its success rates. The organization does state that its methods are effective at helping those who want to stop using cocaine from achieving their goal.
Controversy and Criticism
Cocaine Anonymous strives to stay free from controversy. The organization does not support any particular cause or engage in any research about addictions. The 12-step approach to treating addictions has been criticized because one of the foundations is that the addict needs to turn him or herself over to a Higher Power. This approach has been compared to a religion, which may be offensive to people who are atheists or agnostics. Supporters of this approach to treatment point out that it has been effective in treating people addicted to cocaine, whether they identify themselves as having a particular religious faith or not.
Famous People and Celebrities Who Have Been in Cocaine Anonymous
Most celebrities with cocaine problems have the means to go to a private rehab facility to get treatment for their cocaine addiction. Some, like Steve-O of Jackass fame, are ordered to get treatment by a judge. According to news reports, British model Sculfor attended C.A. meetings to deal with his addiction issues.
Getting a Sponsor
New C.A. members can choose a sponsor to provide them with individual support in their journey to become free of cocaine addiction. A sponsor should be a C.A. member who has been drug free for at least 12 months. One way to find a sponsor is to listen to the way other C.A. members share their experience at meetings to find someone that you can open up to. Going for coffee and getting to know other C.A. members outside of meetings can help too. Asking other members for a recommendation is another way to find someone who will help you in this capacity.
Finding a Cocaine Anonymous Meeting Near You
To find a C.A. meeting near you, visit the web site to see a list of locations served by this organization. You also have the option of calling the C.A. International Referral Line at 1-800-347-8998.