Cocaine Addicts Anonymous (CAA)

How And Why CAA Started.

We started off as members of Cocaine Anonymous {C.A.}. We’re grateful that we found recovery through C.A.

Cocaine anonymous started off as a fellowship specifically for cocaine addicts. Later, C.A. decided to become a fellowship for people who had a problem with any mind altering substance, regardless of whether they had used cocaine or not. That is C.A.’s decision, and we respect that. But we believe that identification with each other is critically important {one cocaine addict helping another cocaine addict}. In fact it is the foundation of our recovery.

We used to hold a weekly meeting at Hackney {East London} within Cocaine Anonymous, specifically for cocaine addicts. CA told us we could not continue with our group in that way – that it went against Tradition 3 (The only requirement for C.A. membership is a desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances). We disagreed and we are still 100% clear that we did not break Tradition 3.

Cocaine Anonymous said that all C.A meetings must be open to anybody with a desire to stop using any mind-altering substance. We explained that while we’re not in any way opposed to alcoholics or heroin addicts etc, we believe that identification {with cocaine addiction specifically} is paramount. Our basic text is the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous {if we change the word alcoholic to cocaine addict and the word alcohol to cocaine – it fits us perfectly}. The book says, ‘only an alcoholic can help another alcoholic’. It is exactly the same with cocaine addicts. Only a cocaine addict can help another cocaine addict. Some of us don’t know what its like to withdraw from heroin {for example}, but we know what its like to have one line or rock of cocaine and then experience a craving so powerful, that it’s impossible to resist and will lead us to do almost anything for more cocaine. We also believe that alcoholics or heroin addict’s, need identification with other alcoholics or heroin addicts. If we attempt to sponsor {help} somebody who has a using history that we don’t understand – we are playing with their life! Of course some CAA members are also heroin addicts or alcoholics {for example}, and can therefore help heroin addicts or alcoholics who also have a cocaine addiction history.

We explained this to the committees of Cocaine Anonymous. They disagreed with us, saying, ‘it’s all the same’. But it’s not all the same. If that were the case, we would all just attend A.A meetings from where we get our programme, and no other fellowship would be required. People need identification with their drug use – they need to know that someone else behaved in exactly the same way they did. Until that bond is formed – one cocaine addict with another {as stated in Working with Others’, chapter 7 of the AA Big Book) nothing worthwhile can be achieved.

Given C.A.’s decision, we felt we had no alternative but to leave Cocaine Anonymous and form Cocaine Addicts Anonymous. That was July 2009. Since then, many others who feel the same way have joined us. It started with one meeting {Mondays at Hackney} on June 29th – it was such a relief to be able to identify and share openly as cocaine addicts. Then Wednesdays at 6.30pm, also at Hackney. All our meetings are based on the principle that only a cocaine addict can help another cocaine addict. In C.A.A. meetings, you will find cocaine addicts identifying with, and helping each other to recover. When a newcomer hears us, he knows he is in the right place.

Welcome to CAA.