Help Line: 212-642-5029

Reproduced from the NYCMA Pamphlet, Frequently Asked Questions.

Am I a crystal meth addict?

Only you can answer that question. No one in Crystal Meth Anonymous will tell you whether you’re an addict. Some of us knew we were addicts when we entered the program, and some of us weren’t sure. But we all wanted to do something about our problem with crystal meth. Ask yourself these questions: 

  • Have you tried to stop or reduce your crystal use and failed?
  • Is crystal making you feel depressed or hopeless?
  • Are you using more crystal: greater amounts or more often?
  • Are you missing work, social commitments, and family obligations due to your crystal use?
  • Are you spending more money on crystal than you would like?
  • Do you regret things you do while using?

If you answered yes to any of these, you might be an addict. If you are not sure, we suggest you come to a meeting. Anyone who has a desire to stop using crystal meth is welcome. (See our pamphlet— “Do I Have a Problem?”—for details.)

What exactly is crystal meth anyway?

Crystal methamphetamine is an addictive psychostimulant that affects the central nervous system. It is manufactured illegally by mixing some common over-the-counter ingredients with a variety of chemicals such as iodine crystals, acetone, bleach, battery acid, and red phosphorous.

Is using crystal meth dangerous?

We know from personal experience that using crystal meth can be dangerous. Many of us have suffered serious consequences from using crystal meth. Some of us have ended up in emergency rooms, psych wards, or jails. Many of us became paranoid, hearing voices and believing we were being watched by the authorities or persecuted by other people. Some people claim that their crystal use led to HIV infection; others are resistant to many HIV medications because they stopped taking them while they were using. Hepatitis C, staph infections, syphilis, and other STDs were contracted by others. Other personal experiences have included:

  • Fatigue, insomnia
  • Weight loss/wasting
  • Heart problems
  • Lung collapse
  • Stroke or seizure
  • Brain hemorrhage
  • Meningitis
  • Skin abscesses
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperthermia
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations
  • Memory loss
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Depression
  • Psychosis

What is Crystal Meth Anonymous?

Crystal Meth Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other, so they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from addiction to crystal meth.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using. There are no dues or fees for CMA membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. CMA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy; and neither endorses nor opposes any causes.

Our primary purpose is to lead a sober life and to carry the message of recovery to the crystal meth addict who still suffers.

What happens at a CMA meeting?

There are different formats and topics for meetings—some focus on specific issues or important themes in recovery—but all CMA meetings have one thing in common: We will always find recovering crystal meth addicts there, talking about what using crystal meth did to their minds and bodies, how they got and stayed clean, and how they are living their lives today.

How can CMA help me with my problem?

We are not doctors, therapists, or drug counselors. We understand what it’s like to be addicted to crystal meth because we are recovering addicts. We know what it’s like to keep making hollow promises to stop using crystal meth and to find ourselves breaking our promises again and again. We know what it’s like to suffer as a result of our crystal use—our members have suffered financially, socially, romantically, professionally, emotionally, and physically. But by working together with fellow recovering addicts in CMA, we are rebuilding our lives and learning how to stay free from active addiction.

How do I join CMA?

The only requirement for membership in CMA is a desire to stop using crystal meth and all other mind-altering substances. Basically, you’re a member of CMA when you say you are. It’s that simple.

So how much does it cost to join CMA?

There are no dues or fees for CMA membership. Typically, each CMA meeting passes a collection basket to cover expenses such as rent and literature. Members are free to contribute as much or as little as they wish.

Is CMA a religious organization?

No. CMA is not allied with any religious organization, but most of us found that our own willpower was not enough. We found a solution to our crystal meth addiction through a power greater than ourselves. Everyone is free to define this power as he or she wishes. Some people call it God. Others think of it as the CMA group itself, the forces of the universe, or the laws of nature. Some people don’t give it much thought at all and still recover. In CMA, there is room for many kinds of belief and nonbelief. (More information is available in the CMA pamphlet “A Higher Power.”)

What advice would you give to new members?

Here are a few things that worked for many of us in the early days of recovery:

  • We stayed away from the people, places, and things that we associated with our crystal meth use. We avoided seeing people who were still actively using, even if we considered them friends. Some of us changed our telephone numbers to avoid calls from using buddies or dealers. We changed Internet screen names and identities to avoid triggering messages and e-mails. Some of us needed to stay away from the Internet or home computers. We avoided any place where there was a lot of crystal meth use.

  • We attended CMA meetings regularly— every day, if possible. Some of us went to more than one meeting a day if we needed to. At meetings, we found the support and friendship of people who were struggling with the same problem we were. We had an opportunity to talk about what was going on with us right at the moment.

  • We exchanged phone numbers with people we saw at meetings. We called even if we felt shy or awkward when doing so. If we felt like “picking up” crystal meth, we picked up the phone instead and reached out to a fellow recovering addict. Most people were happy to listen and share their own experience. 

  • We found a sponsor. A sponsor is another recovering addict who offers guidance and support in a one-on-one relationship. When we started coming to CMA, people at meetings were there to respond to our questions, but that wasn’t always enough. Issues came up between meetings, and many of us found we needed close support as we began to live a life free of active addiction. Our sponsors gave us that support.

These are only suggestions. They are the actions we took to help us make it through the difficult days of early recovery. We know from our own experience that they work. We believe that by taking these same actions you too can begin to recover from addiction and start rebuilding your life.

  • Expressions of Hope

    Expressions of Hope CoverExpressions of Hope is a collection of personal experiences from crystal meth addicts in recovery. This newly expanded and revised edition has been redesigned around the stages of the recovery process: personal stories of powerlessness and hopelessness before entering the rooms, working the program of recovery, application of the common tools and suggestions, and learning how to face life on life's terms in sobriety.

    The selected stories, articles and readings were chosen to represent a wide range of topics, including physical health, intimate relationships (including marriage and children), becoming sober in prison (and reintegrating after being released), and even the economic crisis. Though the selections are diverse and were written by those in early recovery as well as those with long-term sobriety, the message conveyed throughout this book is that no matter how bleak life seems right now, there is always HOPE.

    The books are available now at the low price of $8.00 per copy.

    Order Here

    Read More
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  • Upcoming Fellowship Outings

    The Rubin Museum of Art Fellowship Outing

    Friday, May 19th, 6:30PM
    Meet our group in the lobby then we’ll join the free docent tour at 7:00PM (tours last 45 minutes)

    The Rubin Museum of Art
    150 West 17th Street

    Join your fellows to visit Rubin Museum of Art, an urban arts oasis that stimulates learning, promotes understanding, and inspires personal connections to the ideas, cultures, and art of the Himalayas, India, and neighboring regions.  Admission on Friday nights is free.

    For more info contact David F. at (415) 676-1850 

    The Frick Collection Fellowship Brunch and Outing

    Sunday, June 11th 11:00AM

    The Central Park East Green
    Just off 5th Avenue between 70th and 71st Street

    Join your fellows for Sunday morning bagels and coffee in Central Park. We’ll head across the street to the Frick Collection around noon. The collection, known for its distinguished Old Master paintings and outstanding examples of European sculpture and decorative arts, is housed in one of New York City’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions. It provides a tranquil environment for visitors to experience masterpieces by artists such as Bellini, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Goya, and Whistler.

    Museum admission is “pay-as-you-like” from 11:00AM-1:00PM on Sundays

    For more info contact David F. at 415-676-1850

  • Updated meeting info in Connecticut

    It Works!

    Friday 7 - 8 PM

    Golden Hill United Methodist Church
    210 Elm Street
    Bridgeport, CT 06604

  • NYCMA Intergroup Monthly Meeting

    Generally, the meeting is held the last Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm at GMHC, 446 W 33rd Street. Check the directory for the room number.

    Check the events calendar to confirm the date, time and location of this month's meeting.

  • NYCMA Monthly Anniversary Meeting

    Please attend the monthly Special Open Meeting of NYCMA celebrating anniversaries that occurred in the prior month. Celebrants briefly share experience, strength and hope and receive a medallion marking their clean time. Plus, there's cake!

    The anniversary meeting typically takes place on the first Monday of the month at 7:30pm at The Center 208 West 13th Street New York NY 10011. Refer to the meeting listing in the lobby to find out the room location. 

    Check the events calendar to confirm the date, time and location of this month's meeting.  

    Click here if you would like to celebrate your anniversary at the next anniversary meeting. 

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