The purpose of Public Information work in Crystal Meth Anonymous is to inform the community and professionals that CMA exists and offers recovery from the disease of addiction. A Public Information Representative helps to ensure that information about our fellowship is accurate and is available to the public and professionals within the community. When we participate in PI we keep the focus on the 12 Steps, follow the 12 Traditions and accept responsibility for our behavior. If we are rude, use profanity, or show a lack of respect for a facility or other organization, we bring into question the effectiveness of a recovery program. When called upon to give a presentation we:
* Do presentations with others
* Avoid using obscenities
* Be aware of your audience
* Avoid telling drug stories
* Remember our attractions are: It Works and It's Free
* Dress appropriately
The fellowship of CMA started Friday, September 16th of 1994 at 9:45pm, in West Hollywood, California. The first meeting was held at the West Hollywood Alcohol and Drug Center, then located on Santa Monica Blvd. The first meeting was attended by 13 people including the first speaker, Don N. His sponcee Bill C., recognized a need for different meetings for those that went to AA, for many of them were being excluded from sharing, because they always talked about the addiction to crystal meth. Many of the members that attended that first meeting, Nina, Eli, Pete, Michael and Rick plus others are still sober/clean as of 2008. The fellowship of CMA quickly grew across the United States and meetings in Canada and Australia followed.
Cooperating With Outside Agencies and Professionals
Many problems may arise when dealing with non-addicts, professionals, or outside agencies. When dealing with the public, professionals, or outside agencies CMA groups rely upon the traditions to guide them. The Traditions are a set of guidelines that keep the fellowship of CMA alive and free. This articles intent is to identify the Traditions most closely tied to cooperation with professionals in the community. When speaking to others about the Traditions it may be helpful to refer to them as organizational policies and procedures that CMA groups recognize and abide by.
What is CMA According to Traditions
Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of people for whom crystal meth has become a serious problem.
The only requirement for CMA membership is a desire to stop using.
Our group membership is open to anyone who wants to stop using crystal meth. There are no social, religious, economic, racial, ethnic, gender, sexual identity, or class status restrictions. We have no dues or fees, no pledges to sign and are under no surveillance at anytime. The decision to become a member is personal. You're a member when you say you are! The benefits of membership are:
* Kinship; Knowing that you're not alone anymore.
* Home; A place where you feel safe.
* The way to practice the 12 Steps of recovery
CMA advocates complete abstinence from crystal meth, alcohol, inhalants, medications not taken as prescribed, as well as all other mood altering substances. Our experience has shown us that use of any mood-altering chemical can act as a gateway and release our addiction all over again. The third tradition provides a common ground for identification.
Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other CMA groups or CMA as a whole.
The members of CMA groups meet regularly, share peer support and fellowship. Autonomy is granted to each group. This insures that the CMA group has the freedom to develop it's own format and find it's own way to carry the message of recovery, as long as it doesn't affect other CMA groups or CMA as a whole. A way to look at this that might help is;
* A meeting happens when two or more addicts gather together to help each other stay clean. Many meetings are informal gatherings.
* A CMA group is any group that meets regularly, at a specified place and time, for the purpose of recovery, provided that it follows the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions of Crystal Meth Anonymous. CMA meetings are hosted by CMA groups and are formal in nature.
* When addicts gather together to help each other stay clean, thy can basically do whatever they want- even if doing so is contrary to CMA philosophy. When they ask to be listed as a CMA group, or publicize themselves as a CMA entity, they engage in matters affecting other groups or CMA as a whole.
Our primary purpose is to carry the message to the addict who still suffers.
The message is simple: Any crystal meth addict can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a way to establish stable and productive lifestyles. We believe that our way is practical for as addicts we can best understand and help other addicts through our combined experiences on staying clean on a daily basis. We carry the message in meetings, through CMA approved literature, via word of mouth and by demonstration through the change in our lives.
A CMA group ought never endorse, finance or lend the CMA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, or prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
When looking at this tradition we have to take into account many things that could divert us from our primary purpose as a CMA fellowship. First is endorsement. To endorse is to sanction, approve or recommend. Endorsements can either be direct or implied. Second is finance. To finance is to supply funds or help financially with an institution. Third is lending the CMA name. . We cannot allow Hospitals, drug recovery houses, probation/parole offices, or any other institutions we deal with use the CMA name to further their growth or become to intertwined. To do so would invite controversy and confusion. A related facility is any place involving CMA members; an outside enterprise is any agency, business venture, related activity, religion, society, organization, or any other fellowship.
When we waiver from our primary purpose addicts may die.
CMA should forever remain non-professional, but are service centers may employ special workers
This tradition states that we are completely non-professional. A crystal meth addict does not pay to get help from CMA. CMA members don't get paid to help others in Crystal Meth Anonymous. As an organization CMA does not employ professional counselors or therapists nor does it provide residential facilities or clinics. We do not provide vocational, legal, financial, psychiatric, or medical services. As CMA members we don't act as lawyers, doctors, social workers or therapists. Though some of us may work in those fields. We don't engage in education about crystal meth or it's effects. To do so would be a direct violation of tradition and invite controversy.
CMA has no opinion on outside issues, hence the CMA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
CMA does not claim to have all the answers for every crystal meth addict, nor do we believe that all other approaches to the problems associated with crystal meth addiction are without merit. As a fellowship we have no opinion on outside issues such as but not limited to; politics, religion, drug legalization, methadone clinics, HIV, or any other means of addressing crystal meth addiction. To violate this tradition would be to infer that we are biased and not a neutral party. This tradition is related to the following traditions in the following manner;
Tradition 1 - Unity in the absence of controversy is one of our greatest strengths.
Tradition 3 - Any appearance of bias on our part could drive a suffering addict out the door;
Tradition 5 - Anything other than our message could be seen, by some, as an outside issue;
Tradition 6 - Outside issues are usually connected to some cause, and taking sides will divert us from our primary purpose;
Tradition 11 - Our neutrality is crucial to our policy of attraction rather than promotion;
It is also helpful to remember that although a particular problem may be an outside issue, it's effect on our recovery is not. If a problem occurs that impacts our ability to stay clean, it's not an outside issue. An example we can use is illness in recovery i.e. how HIV impacts recovery.
Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, films and all other media.
"Our attraction is that we are successes in our own right. As groups we offer recovery. We have found that the success of a program speaks for itself." This tradition tells us that we do not have to promote recovery; the changes in our lives will be apparent to those around us. The positive effect of our own personal recovery is a powerful element of attraction to a 12-step program.
We do need to inform the general public of our existence. The difference between attraction and promotion is in the content of the message and its presentation. Providing basic information and informing the public of who, what, and where we are is well within the definition of attraction. When we go beyond the act of simply informing the public that we exist, we cross the borderline into promotion.
* The following is a sample presentation format, to give a Public Information presentation. Format may be adapted or amended to depending on whom we may present a program to.
Hello, my name is _____________ and I am an crystal meth addict
I would like to start out by saying thank-you, for having us here to give this presentation. As professionals, many of you are in daily contact with the active addict. Through you we may be able to reach addicts who might otherwise never find this recovery program.
The goal of this contact is to provide you with a basic introduction to what Crystal Meth Anonymous is, and provide you with some meeting lists and information pamphlets. We will also try to answer any questions you may have, in accordance with guidelines set by the group to protect the integrity of the fellowship.
We will also try to avoid using the sort of language which is commonly used and understood by members of the fellowship and is not typical outside the program. We feel that too much program talk or emphasis on the finer details of our recovery is simply a foreign language to non-addicts.
Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of people for whom crystal meth has become a serious problem. Our primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery to the still suffering crystal meth addict. The message is simple: Any crystal meth addict can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a way to establish stable and productive lifestyles.
We are completely non-professional. As members we don't act as Lawyers, Doctors, Social Workers or Therapists. We don't engage in education about crystal meth or it's effects. To do so would be a direct violation of tradition and invite controversy. We leave that to professionals working in the field.
The members of CMA meet regularly, share peer support and fellowship, and create a safe environment in which to stay clean. We believe that CMA works as well as it does because the value of addicts helping other addicts. That is to say that as addicts we can best understand and help another addict.
Our membership is open to anyone who wants to stop using crystal meth. There are no social, religious, economic, racial, ethnic, gender, sexual identity, or class status restrictions.
The fellowship advocates complete abstinence from crystal meth, alcohol, inhalants, medications not taken as prescribed, as well as all other mood altering substances.
We offer a plan for recovery that helps repair the damage our addiction to crystal meth has caused.
How Do We Stay Clean
It has been our experience that with working the 12 Steps and following the 12 Traditions we are able to stay clean and lead productive lives. There are also other tools of the program that we use. The following are examples of a few of them. (You may want to add to this list.)
Our meetings offer a safe place for us to share our experiences in staying clean. Sharing how we stay clean in different situation gives hope. There are many different types of meetings. There are open discussion meetings based on different recovery related topics and specialized meetings. Some other types are literature studies, Speaker meetings, Step and Tradition meetings, and beginner's series.
Basically sponsors are just a more experienced member of the group, who mentors us through our recovery. In general a sponsor has:
* A working knowledge of the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions
* Personal experiences with life in recovery
We stress the importance of sponsorship because many issues may come up between meetings, and many of us find we need constant close support as we begin to learn how to live sober. Our sponsors devote more time than meetings may allow to share our individual struggles and successes. They can introduce you to other people and help you feel comfortable in meetings.
What do sponsors do?
* Help sponsee's build a foundation of recovery (experience, strength and hope);
* Guide us through the 12 steps;
* Make suggestions, advice is suppressed unless asked for.
* Note patterns and point out problem areas, before we get into trouble;
* Chart progress.
CMA does not claim to have all the answers for every crystal meth addict, nor do we believe that all other approaches to the problems associated with crystal meth addiction are without merit. However members of CMA have been successful in applying the 12 Step program in their own addiction and are ready to offer their experience to other addicts seeking a drug-free outcome and recovery from addiction. We do recover!
Our attraction is that: “It Works, It's Free, and we are available to the crystal meth addict who still suffers.
We invite you to attend one of our open meetings and talk to other recovering addicts so they may share their experiences with you.