Co-Anon Family Groups

Co-Anon Family Groups are a fellowship of men and women who are husbands, wives, parents, relatives, or close friends of someone who is chemically dependent. If you are seeking a solution to the problems that come from living with a practicing or recovering cocaine addict, we at Co-Anon can help you.

Who are the members and why are we here?

We are relatives and friends who share a common bond: we feel our lives have been deeply affected by another person's drug abuse. We meet regularly to share our experience, strength and hope. By practicing the 12 Steps of recovery ourselves, we learn to cope with our difficulties and find a more serene approach to life.

What are the 12 Steps and what do they do?

Co-Anon has adopted, for our own use, the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Steps are the heart of Co-Anon; the Traditions the backbone. Together, they provide us with a guideline for personal growth, group harmony and spiritual enlightenment. By applying the principles of the Steps in our own daily lives, we can improve our feelings about ourselves, change our attitudes and learn to deal with any situation in a positive way.

Why do I need a Program if I'm not an addict?

Drug addiction is a "family disease." It affects the addict and it affects the addict's relationships. Close friends and family members react to the addict's behavior, and get caught up in feelings such as hurt, fear, anger, resentment and guilt. Co-Anon helps relieve these feelings, provides a greater recovery, and offers tools for our own personal growth and spiritual enlightenment.

What do Co-Anon members talk about at meetings?

In sharing our experience, hope and strength with one another, we keep the focus on ourselves and the Co-Anon tools of recovery. We talk about how the disease of drug addiction has affected our thinking and our behavior. We see the part that we have played in our problems, and how we can apply the principles of the 12 Steps to improve our behavior and our attitudes. We sometimes base our group discussion on a Step, Tradition, or slogan from Co-Anon to improve our understanding of the program and foster spiritual growth.

Is this a religious fellowship?

No. It is a spiritual one where we try to accept the idea that we are dependent upon a power greater than ourselves for help in solving our problems and achieving peace of mind. Members are free to maintain their own spiritual beliefs, or none at all, but we make it a point to avoid discussions in terms of any specific faith.

Who runs this group?

We all do, but so that it runs smoothly we elect group officers to serve for short periods of time, usually six months to a year. We all volunteer to help serve refreshments and clean up.

How much does it cost?

We have no dues or fees. Most groups do pass a basket and we give what we can afford on a voluntary basis. We are self-supporting through these contributions which are used for paying rent for a meeting place, buying literature for the group, and refreshments.

Will anyone say I've been here?

We are urged to respect each other's anonymity. We use first names and last initials; we do not talk about people we see, or repeat what we hear at meetings. We also guard the anonymity of CA members.

How do I start?

We have found it helpful to go to as many meetings as possible, to listen and talk to others before and after meetings. Exchange phone numbers with a willing member with whom you can confidentially share your problems, and use the Co-Anon telephone list whenever you are in difficulty or just need to talk. Between meetings you can read Co-Anon and other related literature. After a while, you may wish to ask a longtime member to be your sponsor -- a special friend with whom you can continue sharing your personal feelings, and ask for guidance in working the 12 Steps.

We offer you our friendship and our understanding. Please keep coming back.

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