From the World Service Manual 2020 pp. 16-18
A meeting is when two or more people gather together to share their experience, strength and hope with each other.
A meeting may call itself a C.A. Group when:
- The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using cocaine and all other mind-altering substances.
- It is fully self-supporting.
- Its primary purpose is to help addicts recover through the Twelve Steps of C.A.
- It has no outside affiliations.
- It has no opinion on outside issues.
- Its public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion.
THE C.A. GROUP
The basic unit in C.A. is the local Group, which is autonomous except in matters affecting other Groups or C.A. as a whole. The Group has but one primary purpose, which is to help others to recover through the suggested Twelve Steps. Each Group is self-supporting through its own contributions. As the Twelve Steps are our guide to recovery, the Twelve Traditions are our guide to Group unity, growth and discipline. Its members maintain their personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, television and films.
The importance of the Group, what it constitutes and its functions cannot be stressed enough. Maintenance of our recovery depends on the sharing of our experience, strength and hope with each other, thus helping us to identify and understand the nature of our disease.
Most addicts in C.A. achieve and sustain their recovery as a result of their participation in the activities of the Group. The Group is the heart of Cocaine Anonymous and it is vital to the new member. It is equally important to those who have achieved recovery as a result of the program. They may continue to participate and receive assistance from the Group. The Group’s total responsibility is perhaps best expressed by the First Tradition:
“Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon C.A. unity.”
Most meetings follow a more or less set format, although distinctive variations have developed. It is our experience that many meetings begin or end with some form of prayer. While each C.A. group is autonomous, and adopts its own format, C.A. as such never endorses, opposes or affiliates, expressed or implied, with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution. A leader describes the C.A. program briefly for the benefit of the newcomers, and then turns the meeting over to a speaker or to participation.
Some time during the meeting, there is usually a period for C.A. related announcements of interest to the meeting. A collection is taken to cover rent, literature and chips, refreshments and contributions to the District, Area and World Service Office as per the 7th Tradition. Many groups hold a business meeting monthly or at other intervals to discuss such items as: group finances, distribution of 7th Tradition, meeting format, election of trusted servants, etc. It is suggested that records be kept of group business meeting decisions. Each group is autonomous, and the group conscience decides how business meetings may be conducted.
Those attending meetings are reminded that any opinions or interpretations they may hear are solely those of the speaker or participant involved. All members are free to interpret the recovery program in their own terms, but none can speak for the local Group or C.A. as a whole.
THE C.A. HOME GROUP
A Home Group may be defined as a meeting a member regularly attends. The Home Group provides an opportunity to begin to be of service. Experience shows a Home Group is one of the vital components to continuous sobriety. In a Home Group members can participate in the business meeting and are able to cast their vote as a part of the group conscience.
- OPEN: Attended by C.A. members, their families, friends and other interested people.
- CLOSED: Attendance is limited to C.A. members only.
- MEETING/GROUP STYLES:
- STEP STUDY: Participants study and discuss the Twelve Steps with the Group.
- BOOK STUDY: Participants study and discuss with the Group any of these books: A Quiet Peace; Hope, Faith & Courage Stories from the Fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous (the “C.A. Storybook”); Hope, Faith & Courage Volume II Stories and Literature from the Fellowship of Cocaine Anonymous; Alcoholics Anonymous (the “Big Book”), Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (the “12 and 12″), and The A.A. Service Manual, combined with the 12 Concepts For World Service”.
- PARTICIPATION: Participants discuss their experience, strength and hope with the meeting/group one member at a time.
- SPEAKER: One or more C.A. members share their personal experience, strength and hope with the meeting/group at length.
- H&I MEETINGS: H&I meetings are often restricted to patients or residents only, and not open to the community as a whole. These meetings are brought into facilities by local C.A. members through the H&I committee. H&I meetings are basically beginners meetings; with the chairperson of each meeting providing the speakers. They are not usually listed in the area or world directory; and they do not observe the 7th Tradition. Certain facilities may require H&I participants to be subject to sobriety requirements, dress and conduct codes.
- ONLINE MEETINGS: Email meetings – These are email based and run 24 hours a day, 7days a week. Voice meetings – These are voice only, voice over internet protocol meetings and are similar in format to face to face meetings.