Cocaine Addicts Anonymous (CAA)

The Solution.

Below is a brief description of the 12 steps. We do not suggest that you work the steps from this reading. It is merely an introduction. We work through the process, exactly as outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous {We have found that if we substitute the word alcohol for the word cocaine and change the word alcoholic, to cocaine addict, the big book fits us perfectly}. None of us took these steps alone. We were guided through them by a sponsor -- someone who has already been through the programme. If you want to stop using cocaine for good, and are willing to go to any lengths to do so, then you are ready to take these proven steps.

STEP 1. We admitted we were powerless over cocaine -- that our lives had become unmanageable, and that we must abstain from all drugs and alcohol.
THE CRAVING: None of us started off as cocaine addicts, many of us had at least some control when we first started using cocaine, but ALL of us crossed a line from which there is no return. And, since crossing that line, once we put any cocaine whatsoever into our systems, something happens, which makes it virtually impossible for us to stop. This is called the phenomenon of craving and does not occur in social cocaine users. It happens exclusively to cocaine addicts people whose bodies have been damaged to such an extent, that they can not start using cocaine without losing control.

THE MENTAL OBSESSION: It is the great obsession of every cocaine addict that one day he will be able to control his cocaine use. He goes to ridiculous lengths to try and prove he can use like other people. His deluded mind will tell him that he can. Time and time again he repeats the desperate experiment of the first line, pipe, or needle. Where cocaine is concerned, he is strangely insane. Sometimes he swears off for good, and means it, then finds himself wired again. If he is a cocaine addict, he will be absolutely unable to stay clean on his own power. His strongest desire to stay clean is of absolutely no use. He is powerless over cocaine. His defence must come from a Higher Power.

Plus, experience has proven beyond any doubt that taking other drugs or alcohol will always eventually lead us back to cocaine, so we must also admit in the first step that we need to abstain from all mind-altering substances.

STEP 2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
Having admitted we are powerless, we need to find a Power, which will solve our problem. But how do we do that? First we look at our agnosticism. We get it out on the table and take a proper look at it. Next, we decide to lay aside our prejudice against God and even our doubts. Then we express a willingness to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Thats initially all that is required - the second step doesn't ask us to believe in a power greater than ourselves. It simply asks us to believe that a power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.

Having expressed a willingness to believe, we make a choice: Faced with cocaine addict destruction, we must fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything, or else he is nothing: Either God is, or God isn't. This is the second step choice. Once we have chosen that God is, we are well on our way.

STEP 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
The first requirement of this step is that we recognize that any life run on self-will can hardly be a success. We begin to comprehend that by living on our own will, we have almost always been in collision with something or somebody that we are like the actor who wants to run the whole show. We decide to quit playing God that from now on, God will be our Father, our Director, our Principal.

STEP 4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
This is where we start the process of turning our will over to God. We can no longer fool ourselves about the value of our resentments - we have been blocked off from the sunlight of the Spirit because of them. On seeing the futility and fatality of our resentments (they kill us), we are prepared to look at them from a different angle. We look at our wrongs and are willing to set them straight.

Next we list all our fears and recognize that our lives have been governed by fear. We ask God for help, and at once begin to outgrow fear.

Finally, we look at our behaviour in sexual relationships. We acknowledge where we were at fault and, based on that information, we ask God to mould our ideals for our future sex conduct.

STEP 5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
Having written our inventory and started to see the truth about ourselves, we now need to share it with God and another human being. This process brings home the reality of our defects of character. It was one thing to admit our wrongs to ourselves in the 4th step, but quite another to sit down and share them with another human being in the presence of God.

This part of the process brings us closer to God. On completion, our fears fall from us, we can look the world in the eye. We are now starting to have a spiritual experience.

STEP 6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Now we look at the behaviour we have identified as being objectionable in the 4th and 5th Steps. Can we now let God take all of this from us? If there is something we are not prepared to let go of, we ask God to make us willing. We do not move on from this step until we are entirely ready to have God remove all of our defects of character.

STEP 7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
Recognizing that we can do nothing about these defects of character ourselves, we take them to God by saying the 7th Step prayer (as per page 76 of the Big Book).

STEP 8. Made a list of all the persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
We now face up to the wreckage of our past and prepare to go out into the world to do our best to make right our wrongs. This involves a lot of preparation in terms of prayer, discussing each situation with another person (sponsor), and sometimes detective work (tracking down people we may have lost contact with or businesses which have moved on). Everything up to knocking on the door of the person we're making amends to, is Step 8, everything after that is step 9.

If there are some amends we are not willing to make, we pray for willingness, and we keep on praying until it comes - we don't ask God for willingness once, and then stop. We are liable to use, if we don't become willing to make amends to all the people we have harmed.

STEP 9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
In Step 9 we do our utmost to go out and make amends to all the people we have harmed. We are trying to right our wrongs (Amend to mend. We are willing to do whatever it takes make the situation right). In doing so, we must always be considerate of others. Their defects are not discussed. Even though they may be glaring, we stick to our own. We don't tell them something that will hurt them. We have no right to do that. We must be sensible, tactful and humble.

Be careful not to fall into the trap of making your first few amends, working steps 10 and 11, then getting lost in service - with the result that you never actually complete amends. Until you have done your best to straighten out all of the past, you have not completed the 12 steps.

STEP 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
The tenth step is about our relationship with other people.

Here we are directed to do two things: 1) to constantly ask God:How can I best serve Thee? Thy will (not mine) be done. If we do this consistently (seek direction), then we won't have much difficulty in our interactions with others. And 2) We are also asked in this step to continue to watch for selfishness dishonesty, resentment and fear, and, when these crop up (when, not if ), to ask God at once to remove them, to discuss them with someone immediately, and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help.

STEP 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
This is what the previous 10 steps have been leading us to to start to get direction from God (follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful land), and to build our relationship with Him.

In the third step we made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to God. Now, having got free of resentment, being no longer governed by fear, having asked God to remove all that we have identified in ourselves as objectionable, and having completed amends, we are unblocked and ready to seek His direction in all matters, and we are willing to act upon it. We have seen the futility of our lives as run by ourselves, now we commence to let God run our lives.

We do this in three ways. Firstly, in our nightly review, we look at how well we have worked our step 10 during that day, then we ask God to show us what corrective measures we should take. Secondly, in our On Awakening morning practice, we ask God to direct our thinking before we plan our day, and to give us the answers to any difficult situations we may face. We then sit quietly and listen for God's direction (We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while).

Thirdly, at times in our day, we will be confused and unsure of what to do. Here we stop and ask God to give us the right thought or action. If we are open and we take the time to listen, the right answer will come (We remind ourselves we are no longer running the show).

STEP 12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to cocaine addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Faith without works is dead! Even after all the effort we have put in to the previous 11 steps, we are still not safe from cocaine or other drugs unless we work the 12th step. But faith with works, does not fail.

Carry this message to cocaine addicts. You can be uniquely useful to them, because you have had the same problem, not a different problem, or a similar problem, the same problem cocainism. And because of your experience with cocaine, and the solution you have found (the 12 steps), you are uniquely qualified to help them, where others might fail.

We carry this message to cocaine addicts. Not that message, or those messages, or our own message - but this message, exactly as outlined in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. And the message is: Work these steps and you will have a spiritual awakening, you will be introduced to a Power that will solve all your problems, and you will be shown a way of life that is infinitely more satisfying than the one you knew before.