For Friends and Families
Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, so they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction to crystal meth. The foundation of the fellowship is regular attendance at meetings where members discuss how they achieved sobriety and a new outlook on their way of living. We recommend a program of recovery which includes the 12 steps of recovery set forth by Alcoholics Anonymous. We cannot offer counseling or suggestions on the situations of family members and loved ones of addicts.
Today, literally millions of people have recovered from their addiction in 12-step recovery programs. Many people can relate to the experience of living with an addict -- the disruption to family life, the neglect of children, lost time from work, wasted money. In spite of all the troubles that crystal meth has caused in your life, you may be unable to accept that the one you love is an addict. The word "addict" conjures up all sorts of negative connotations. Even if the addict admits to being one, you may not be able to admit it yourself. Relief can only come from understanding that addiction is a progressive disease that affects the entire family structure. It may help to remember that addicts are suffering from a progressive and potentially fatal disease. Modern medical thinking is that addiction is not a weakness, a lack of willpower or a moral failing. Addicts are sick people who can be effectively encouraged to get well, not bad people who need to be "good." 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.
Armed with the knowledge that recovery is possible, many rush in to help the addict find salvation. But many addicts are not ready to turn to Crystal Meth Anonymous simply because a loved one suggests it. Sadly, most addicts do not recover until they become willing to seek help; our experience has shown it is nearly impossible to "make someone recover." Often, the addict is simply not ready to admit that they have a problem.
Our experience has taught us the value of knowledge and the need for patience in encouraging the addict to seek help. If you care about an addict who is hesitant to seek help, there are several things you can do. We recommend attending open meetings of Crystal Meth Anonymous to become more knowledgeable for the addict who may become receptive to the CMA fellowship and need to have questions answered. Your understanding of the nature of the problem plays an important part in helping the addict achieve and maintain sobriety. Also, recognizing that there are limited sources of support for families we offer the resources below for informational purposes. The resources below do not constitute an endorsement of, nor an affiliation with, the institutions, programs or resources mentioned.
It is important to note that the only requirement for membership in CMA is a desire to stop using. Members participate in meetings, work with a sponsor, and work the steps of a 12-step recovery program. Members focus on how to stay clean today and avoid "future-tripping." Recovery may take time and the return to health is often long. But as time goes on, the life of the addict becomes different and their perception is forever altered.
If you are coping with the pain of having an addict in your life, we suggest a program like ALANON or Naranon, both as a support mechanism and because they can offer strategies for coping with a loved one's addiction. AA Central Services should be able to help you locate these programs in your area, or call a local hospital's CDRU (Chemical Dependency Recovery Unit) and ask for referrals.
Alanon can be reached via their website at: al-anon.alateen.org. Alanon is focused on the families and friends of Alcoholics, but their materials will be helpful to the loved ones of addicts as well. They are a much larger organization than Naranon, and therefore easier to find in many localities.
Nar-anon is an organization for the families and friends of drug addicts, can be reached at (310) 534-8188 or (800) 477-6291, or write to: Nar-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., 22527 Crenshaw Blvd #200B., Torrance, CA 90505 USA.