Tradition Five (Short): Each Group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the addict who still suffers.
Tradition Five (Long): Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose—that of carrying its message to the alcoholic (addict) who still suffers.
C.A. World Pamphlet “Yes, You Can Start a C.A. Meeting
They usually began out of a need to carry the message of recovery to others. In every case, someone made a decision to help Cocaine Anonymous grow by starting a meeting.
Tradition Five of Cocaine Anonymous tells us that our primary purpose is to carry the message of recovery to other addicts. Helping others and being of maximum service is our goal; it is the foundation of our recovery. Starting a meeting not only contributes to the growth of Cocaine Anonymous, it enhances your own recovery. The effort involved in starting a C.A. meeting is minimal, but the rewards are infinite.
CA NewsGram, Second Quarter 2004, Vol. 20 No. 2 “Carry the Message not the Wreckage”
It has been my experience that too many times a group turns into a social club or an hour-long rap session. Many newcomers have been taught in treatment centers that it is a good thing to talk over your problems, to let it out. Don’t let them or even veterans of the program turn your meetings into a whining session…we all need to remember our primary purpose, the core of our being. The one thing we all have in common and know will work, regardless of where we came from or what is going on in our lives at the moment. We need to always talk the solution and not the problem. We need to find within our groups those with the time and desire to reach out. To “carry the message to the addict who still suffers.”
AA, Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, P. 150
“Shoemaker, stick to thy last!”…better do one thing supremely well than many badly. That is the central theme of this tradition. Around it our Society gathers in unity. The very life our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle.
Clarifying Questions and Answers:
Q: What should each group be? A: A spiritual entity.
Q: Having how many purposes? A: One primary purpose.
Q: What is that purpose? A: To carry its message to the addict who still suffers.
- Do I believe I have something to offer another addict?
- Am I willing to explain firmly to a newcomer the limitations of CA help? Do I help my group in every
way possible to fulfill its primary purpose?
- Am I mindful that CA old-timers can also be addicts who still suffer? Do I try to help them as well as
learn from them?Am I willing to do 12-step work regardless of what is in it for me?
- Do I share my knowledge of CA tools with others?
- Do I make certain to carry the CA message and not just my own opinion?