Meth use disorder, or addiction to methamphetamines, can be hard to treat. But considering the dangers of using meth, getting clean is worth the effort. Reaching out to others for help, whether that’s through therapy, support groups or both, can be a great way to start. Crystal Meth Anonymous (CMA) is one support group available to those struggling with meth use.
What Is Crystal Meth Anonymous?
CMA is a confidential, donation-based support group for those who have struggled or are struggling with using meth, also known as "crystal" when it's in a form that is chunky and resembles ice. The group uses the 12-step program that is the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), the well-known group for alcoholics seeking recovery. The 12 steps include admitting you’re powerless against addiction, making amends with those hurt by your addiction, and admitting your mistakes.
What’s most helpful about support groups is being around others who understand your struggles, experts say.
“Aside from the 12-step program in and of itself, CMA also offers the fellowship.The fellowship is the camaraderie, friendships, and identification with like-minded individuals who have had similar experiences as yourself,” Aaron Sternlicht, LMHC, CASAC, an addiction specialist in New York City, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “It allows individuals to feel less alone and recognize that recovery is possible.”
Some experts suggest you attend at least “90 meetings in 90 days” when first joining CMA. This can help with cravings and motivation, says Erica Mortimer, a licensed addiction counselor and director of quality assurance at Avenues Recovery Centers in New Jersey.
“Your first days of being clean are often the hardest, so a meeting a day is a good rule of thumb, but there is nothing to say you can’t attend more than one meeting a day, especially on days where cravings are strong,” Mortimer says.
Some experts suggest you try different meetings to find the right one for you. Some meetings are also open to your loved ones.
“Open meetings can be attended by loved ones or anyone interested in learning more about them. Closed meetings are reserved for those in recovery only and are sometimes further designated by meetings specific to men or women,” says Meghan Marcum, PsyD, chief psychologist at A Mission for Michael in Southern California.
It’s important to remember that while support groups are helpful, they are not run by professionals. The meetings are not meant to replace individual therapy and other treatment options.
“While many individuals are able to have success in recovery by relying on 12-step meetings alone, studies reflect that the highest rates of success are by those who seek out professional help and also attend 12-step mutual-help meetings,” Sternlicht says.
But CMA can be a great support if you’re working to remain sober in the long term.
“It can be helpful to know long-term there is a group available to provide support should difficult times emerge,” Marcum says.
How to Find a Crystal Meth Anonymous Group Near You
CMA groups are available nationwide, and they are also available online. To find a meeting near you, simply enter your zip code on the CMA website’s meeting map.
Struggling With Addiction?
While CMA meetings can help you get started, it might help to also learn about other treatment options. If you or a loved one is struggling with meth addiction, WebMD Connect to Care advisors are standing by to help.