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How we Recover

We have all been where you are now. Though we loved to get high, our drug use had become increasingly problematic. But when we tried to cut down, we failed, and if we managed to ‘get clean’, staying clean seemed almost impossible. Life without drugs was a dismal, scary prospect – many of us couldn’t even imagine it.

We have found a common solution to our problem. Together, we escaped what became an existence filled with fear, loneliness, anger and despair. We now enjoy full, rewarding lives beyond any we once thought possible. If it has worked for us, this solution can also work for you.

We recover from drug addiction by following the Twelve Steps. This tried and tested programme of action is detailed in the book Alcoholics Anonymous, also known as the ‘Big Book’. We use the AA Big Book as our own manual for recovery; though written by and for alcoholics, we find it just as effective for drug addicts like ourselves.

But this isn’t something we can do on our own (any more than we can learn to drive a car without the help of an experienced driver). In DAA we therefore offer sponsorship. A sponsor is someone with the experience needed to guide others through the Steps. Having taken all twelve Steps themselves, our sponsors have recovered from the illness of drug addiction. They are no longer prey to the insane thinking that precedes using drugs. Their task is to show us how to follow the programme in order to obtain the same result.

We learn from our sponsors how to live drug-free and enjoy sane, rewarding, happy lives. They have been where we have been: they too were once powerless over drugs. They can identify with our obsession and compulsion to use drugs regardless of the consequences. Our sponsors take us through the Steps using the instructions given in the Big Book. By following their guidance, we are able to experience for ourselves the miracle of recovery from drug addiction. Sponsorship is available at our meetings. A DAA member will, if you ask them to, consider it a privilege to sponsor you. If a member isn’t able to sponsor you at the moment, they’ll be happy to introduce you to somebody who can. Alternatively, call our helpline and we will help you and a sponsor.

The Twelve Steps of DAA

  1. We admitted we were powerless over narcotics and all other mind-altering substances - that 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 God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to drug addicts, and to practise these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelve Steps are adapted with permission from A.A. World Services, Inc. The permission to adapt AA’s Steps does not imply an endorsement or affiliation with DAA.

Many of us considered ourselves atheists, and felt alarmed or discouraged when we saw the word ‘God’ in the Steps. It is important to stress that Drug Addicts Anonymous is not a religious organization: we are never asked to agree with anyone else’s concept of a ‘Power greater than ourselves’. In DAA we like results, so we let the results of working the Steps speak for themselves. In the beginning, it isn’t even necessary to believe that the programme will work for us. We just need to be willing to give it a try. Other DAA members help us by sharing their experience; it turns out that their stories are remarkably like our own. What has worked for them will therefore work for us. We begin to see that a new life is within reach. For the first time in a long time, there is hope. We start following the programme and begin to grow.

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