Founded in West Hollywood, California, Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) meetings help people who suffer from crystal meth addiction, to remain clean and help other addicts in recovery. Crystal Meth Anonymous is a non-profit and self-supporting twelve-step fellowship that uses the program found in the “Big Book” for Alcoholics Anonymous. CMA is open to all individuals no matter what age, race, sexual orientation, or gender. The key to Crystal Meth Anonymous is to help an addict live a clean, sober life, and support new comers seeking crystal meth recovery. However, CMA meetings are but the vehicle, not the destination in the process of overcoming crystal meth addiction.
Research shows crystal meth addiction is prevalent in the rave or “club” party scene and in the gay community. In a study conducted by a Los Angeles clinic an estimated one out of three bisexual or gay men in 2005 admitted to using crystal meth. In 2002 a study performed by the United States Department of Health and Human Services reported twelve million people, over the age of twelve, admit to using crystal meth, and 600,000 individuals reported existing use. The projected growth rate of crystal meth users is around 300,000 a year.
With the help of CMA meetings expanding all over the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia, reports show the rate of unprotected sex and number of sexual partners decreases when the individual participates in crystal meth anonymous for three or more months.
CMA meetings are held in rooms rented in churches, civil institutions, parks, and other public space. Members share their “experience, strength, and hope” through sponsorship, and speaking at meetings. Although the new comer is advised to attend ninety CMA meetings in ninety days, there is not set standard. New comers are simply told “just keep coming back.”
Chips are given out to members at meetings for having a certain amount of time sober: a new comer chip (or for an individual attending the meeting for the first time), a thirty day chip, sixty day chip, ninety day chip, six month chip, nine month chip, and an eighteen month chip. At the mark of every year clean, the addict takes a cake (like one would on their natal birthday) given to them by their friends, family, or sponsor in front of the meeting and delivers a short speech on what they did to stay clean.
CMA is not rooted in religion but instead encourages members to find spirituality. An example is the first three steps of the CMA twelve steps: 1) We admitted that we were powerless over crystal meth and our lives had become unmanageable. 2) Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. 3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a God of our understanding.
Meth addiction treatment is offered through rehabilitation centers all over the world. It is suggested that an individual who has abused crystal meth long-term should attend a treatment center or a detox to assist with meth withdrawal and re-gain their physical health. Most rehabilitation centers offer therapy, support groups, and transportation to crystal meth anonymous meetings.