CMA Statements on COVID-19

July 13, 2020

Dear members and fellows of Crystal Meth Anonymous,

These last few months have been like no other. And the Fellowship of CMA has trudged through it all with grace and innovation. Some groups are, or soon will be, having in-person meetings. Online meetings are still going strong, and it looks like they’re here to stay.

As you return to your meetings, we suggest keeping the CMA Meeting Directory and Online Meeting Directory updated. Some folks are planning to have dual meetings – one in person and the other online. Dual meetings will be listed in their respective meeting directory. When updating, please use the comments section for additional information such as meeting capacity (if social distancing is employed) and facility requirements (are masks mandatory?). And of course please continue to practice suggestions for safe meeting spaces and follow local, state, and national rules as they pertain to COVID-19.

In our last communication on April 6, we mentioned we were working on guidelines and resources for CMA groups on starting online meetings. You can now click on the Online Meetings in the main menu which will take you to the online resources page. Here you will find information about existing online meetings and resources to help you start your own meeting, including an online toolkit and links to meeting formats and readings. There’s guidance on the Seventh Tradition, Engaging the Newcomer, and Applying Traditions to Online Meetings.

We hope these updates continue to be useful. As always, take good care of yourselves, and each other.

The CMA General Service Committee

Statement on April 6, 2020

Dear members and fellows of Crystal Meth Anonymous,

On March 14, 2020, CMA put forth a Statement on COVID-19 with suggestions for in-person meetings and contingency plans if in-person meetings were not possible due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Three weeks later, the majority of CMA groups have moved to online or telephone meetings. Groups across the globe have registered their virtual meetings in the CMA Online Meeting Directory, and this list grows every day. Groups have also turned to cashless systems for the Seventh Tradition. It’s very clear that groups are indeed spiritual entities regardless of the place at which they gather, and we’re inspired by their commitment and resourcefulness in creating safe, virtual spaces for crystal meth addicts to meet anywhere and carry the message of recovery. The happy consequences are that members can attend virtual meetings around the world, see old friends, make new connections, and recognize that we’re here for each other. Remarkably, we are now reaching addicts in places where there’s never been a physical CMA meeting.

We’ve been receiving inquiries on how to start online meetings, choose online platforms, develop new meeting formats, and find ways to practice the Seventh Tradition virtually. While we do not wish to tell any group what to do or not do, we have collected some experience from the Fellowship in regards to this matter. We are working on guidelines and resources for CMA groups on using digital platforms during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ll provide links to the guidelines when they’ve been created.

Some CMA groups are still having in-person meetings and we continue our recommendations to avoid hand-shaking and hugging, discontinuing food or beverage service, and finding alternatives to “circling up” and passing baskets or coins from person to person. In addition, groups might find it helpful to check with national and local authorities and health agencies regarding any limitations to the number of people permitted to assemble and recommended best practices.

One last important thing to note is that Crystal Meth Anonymous does not endorse specific virtual options, digital platforms or public health agencies, but we acknowledge our cooperation in terms of the experience of the Fellowship and the desire to fulfill our primary purpose of carrying the message to the addict who still suffers.

We hope this information will be useful. We will continue to monitor this rapidly-changing environment and provide additional updates as needed. As always, take good care of yourselves, and each other.

The CMA General Service Committee

Statement on March 14, 2020

Dear members and fellows of CMA,
We’ve been receiving inquiries about how to conduct meetings in the face of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Groups and members are understandably concerned about their health and safety, and about their continued recovery. How do we fulfill our primary purpose, to carry the message of recovery to the addict who still suffers, without putting them and ourselves at risk? Which comes first, our common welfare or that of the individual group members? They are looking to us for some guidance.
The General Service Committee of Crystal Meth Anonymous is unable to provide guidance on health issues, nor do we wish to advise groups on how to conduct their meetings. Ultimately, we as individuals must make the best decisions we can for our own health and well-being, and each group must decide on the best course of action based on their group conscience when possible.
A great place to start is by following the recommendations of national and local public health services and those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Additional information can be found at the World Health Organization (WHO) website.
Based on our own collective experience and that of other Twelve Step fellowships, we can offer experience on how groups and individuals have begun to address this crisis. Some groups have discussed changing a few of their customs at meetings, such as forgoing handshakes and hugs, and not holding hands when “circling up” at the end of the meeting. Other groups that offer refreshments and coffee have stopped that practice. Another suggestion is to not pass the Seventh Tradition basket or hat, but rather place it a location where members can make their contributions. Similarly, passing coins has been discouraged.
We understand that some groups are unable to meet because of the closure of a meeting space or club house, and others groups have discussed alternatives to meeting in person. Suggestions in these cases include creating contact lists and keeping in touch by phone, email or social media, or meeting by phone or online. Virtual meetings using online conference platforms, video conferencing with your sponsor, Voices of the Fellowship stories and audio recordings, and reading Crystal Clear: Stories of Hope, the Big Book or other approved literature are additional resources that are suggested at meetings. Again, it is up to each group to make these decisions for themselves.
If a group has decided, or is unable, to meet, please consider updating the meeting status on the CMA meeting directory. With regard to local and regional CMA events, check with your Districts, Areas and Regions.
We hope you have found this helpful. We will provide updates as the need arises. In the meantime, be well, and take care of yourselves, and each other.
The CMA General Service Committee