What Is Cocaine Anonymous?

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Cocaine Anonymous (CA) is a 12-step recovery program for people struggling with cocaine and other substance misuse issues. CA is founded on the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous and follows a similar model for support and recovery. CA meetings provide a supportive community for those seeking to overcome addiction and sustain long-term sobriety.

12-Step programs are an excellent option for supporting those needing additional encouragement and accountability during recovery. However, they are not treatment programs per se, so they are most effective when used as a companion to evidence-based medical approaches, such as inpatient and outpatient care. Guardian Recovery offers comprehensive, personalized treatment plans and a full continuum of care. To complement traditional therapies, we also incorporate the principles and philosophy of Cocaine Anonymous and other 12-step groups.

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The 12 Steps of Cocaine Anonymous

The 12 steps of Cocaine Anonymous (CA) are based on the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and are as follows (paraphrased for brevity): (1)

We…

  1. …admitted we were powerless over cocaine and that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. …believed a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. …decided to turn our will and lives over to God as we understood Him.
  4. …made a searching, fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. …admitted to God, ourselves, and another human the nature of our wrongs.
  6. …were ready to have God remove these character defects.
  7. …asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. …made a list of those we’ve harmed and are willing to make amends.
  9. …will make amends to such people unless it injures them or others.
  10. …continued to take a personal inventory and promptly admitted when we were wrong.
  11. …prayed and meditated to improve conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.
  12. ….had a spiritual awakening from these steps and tried to carry this message to others and practice these principles.

Who Are CA Meetings For?

CA meetings are designed to provide peer support for individuals struggling with cocaine use in a safe, judgment-free environment. At a CA meeting, individuals from all walks of life who share a common experience come together to support one another. Anyone who wants to stop using cocaine or support the efforts of others is welcome to attend CA meetings. Moreover, these sessions aren’t only reserved for those who’ve maintained long-term recovery. Clean and sober participants bring a much-needed perspective to CA meetings that can benefit others who’ve recently embarked on their sobriety journey.

Who Leads CA Meetings?

CA meetings are led voluntarily by attendees. Most often, sessions are led by members who have already completed the 12 steps and gained significant experience in a group peer support context. Without any formal, structured leadership or hierarchy, decisions tend to be made by consensus of the participating members. Overall, CA meetings are designed to be all-inclusive and remain accessible to everyone, regardless of gender, religion, or race. As such, leaders must be welcoming to all members.

What Happens During a CA Meeting?

Despite meetings not having formalized leadership, they usually follow a structured format that includes certain activities. For example, attendees often read from Cocaine Anonymous literature, such as the Big Book, which originated in Alcoholics Anonymous. (2) The Big Book carries information about the 12 steps and many other principles that help individuals in their sobriety journey. Reading from CA literature during a meeting helps individuals stay on track in recovery and clears away misconceptions that can sometimes arise throughout a session.

During a meeting, individuals are also strongly encouraged to openly share their personal stories and experiences with cocaine misuse and attempts at sobriety. Members who share can seek guidance from others or connect with others who have had similar experiences. Attendees also often engage in open discussions about many topics, such as experiences related to cocaine use, the science of addiction, and relapse prevention and recovery strategies.

In general, CA meetings are usually informal and provide a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere, so individuals feel safe and confident in their recovery journey.

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Cocaine Anonymous Meetings Compared to Rehabilitation

Rehab offers structured treatment programs that involve an around-the-clock stay at a residential center. These programs provide a range of therapeutic services, including individual and group therapymedical detox, and medication-assisted treatment. Rehab aims to help individuals overcome addiction, address underlying mental health issues, and develop the skills and strategies needed to maintain sobriety and a healthy lifestyle.

Both 12-step meetings and rehab have their own strengths and limitations and may be appropriate for different individuals depending on their specific needs and circumstances. Many individuals benefit from a combination of both approaches, while others find one or the other more effective. In either case, integrating 12-step principles into rehab programs can provide additional structure and support and complement traditional therapies and other holistic activities.

Where To Find a CA Meeting Group & Other Resources

For more information and to find meetings near you, visit the Cocaine Anonymous official website HERE. (3) Residents of Florida can find meetings HERE. (4) CA also holds virtual meetings online—for more information about the CA Online Service Area (OSA), click HERE. (5)

Other Cocaine Anonymous & Addiction Recovery Resources Include:

  • Cocaine Anonymous Self-Test: The CA Self-Test is designed to help determine whether you have a cocaine use disorder. (6)
  • 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, 12 Principles: For a list of the 12 steps and 12 traditions of Cocaine Anonymous, visit HERE. (7) For a list of the 12 principles, visit HERE. (8)
  • Sponsorship: A sponsor is a person currently in recovery that forms a one-on-one connection with another member to provide support and guidance throughout the recovery process. For information about finding or becoming a CA sponsor, visit HERE. (9)
  • Finding Treatment: For listings of treatment centers near you, visit HERE. (10)

SAMHSA National Helpline: The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration offers a 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service. To connect, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Why Commit to Treatment or the 12-Step Process?

There are many benefits to seeking professional help and peer support to overcome cocaine use and forge a new life in recovery. Doing so can allow you to prevent the following:

  • Health risks: Cocaine use can cause serious health problems, including heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and respiratory failure. (11)
  • Addiction: Cocaine is highly addictive and can lead to physical and psychological dependence. (12)
  • Financial costs: Cocaine use can be expensive and can quickly drain an individual’s finances. (13)
  • Legal consequences: Cocaine is a controlled substance, and its possession, use, and sale are illegal in most countries. (14)
  • Social consequences: Cocaine use can lead to social and relationship problems, including strained relationships, loss of employment, and difficulty with the law. (15)

Emotional toll: Cocaine use can cause anxiety, depression, and other emotional problems, leading to poor quality of life. (16)

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Cocaine Anonymous is a valuable resource that can provide much-needed peer support and personal accountability for those seeking to build a new life in recovery. At Guardian Recovery, we offer 12-step immersion in addition to multiple levels of care. Reach out to one of our Treatment Advisors to learn more about our straightforward admissions process and receive a free, no-obligation health insurance benefits check. Although addiction is a chronic brain disease, individuals can benefit from a multi-faceted approach to treatment that includes the tools, resources, and support they need to flourish in recovery.

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Disclaimer: Does not guarantee specific treatment outcomes, as individual results may vary. Our services are not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis; please consult a qualified healthcare provider for such matters.

  1. https://ca.org/literature/guide-to-the-12-steps/
  2. https://www.aa.org/the-big-book
  3. https://ca.org/
  4. https://caflorida.org/meetings/
  5. https://www.ca-online.org/
  6. https://ca.org/literature/literature-cocaine-anonymous-self-test/
  7. https://ca.org/service/12and12/
  8. https://ca.org/literature/12-principles/
  9. https://ca.org/literature/choosing-your-sponsor/
  10. https://findtreatment.gov/
  11. https://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/cocaine/effects-of-cocaine.html
  12. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/what-is-addiction-2-2017061914490
  13. https://debtwave.org/the-financial-cost-of-addiction/
  14. https://njsbf.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Leg-Cons-English.pdf
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4158844/
  16. https://www.rethink.org/advice-and-information/about-mental-illness/learn-more-about-conditions/drugs-alcohol-and-mental-health/

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Reviewed professionally for accuracy by:

Ryan Soave

L.M.H.C.

Ryan Soave brings deep experience as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, certified trauma therapist, program developer, and research consultant for Huberman Lab at Stanford University Department of Neurobiology. Post-graduation from Wake Forest University, Ryan quickly discovered his acumen for the business world. After almost a decade of successful entrepreneurship and world traveling, he encountered a wave of personal and spiritual challenges; he felt a calling for something more. Ryan returned to school and completed his Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. When he started working with those suffering from addiction and PTSD, he found his passion. He has never looked back.

Written by:

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Cayla Clark

Cayla Clark grew up in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated from UCLA with a degree in playwriting. Since then she has been writing on addiction recovery and psychology full-time, and has found a home as part of the Guardian Recovery team.

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