Mission and vision
How does DA work?
Drogadictos Anonimos A.C. (DA) is a free standing non profit recovery peer-operated organization with sevices designed for men, women and children seeking help to stop using drugs. Our method of care and support is a spiritual person-centered approach that builds on the strengths and resilience of individuals to take responsibility for their sustained recovery from drug problems.
In addition, the individual recovery is complemented with a recovery residence (shelter, food and clothing is provided) plus extended-care with an emphasis on recovery (individual, group , sports, recrational, occupational therapies, etc ), living skills development (cooking, printing, maintenance, etc), overseen by peers. Guidance is provided toward the establishment of life in sobriety and recovery sustaining activities (i.e., social integration, employment, spirituallity, physical and mental health, etc.).
Drogadictos Anonimos A.C. is led with passion, courage and a deep-rooted belief in a mission of outreach and recovery within communities of need. We lead by example, to empower and encourage our members to develop opportunities and services to reach as many people as possible with our message of hope and strength. Our commitment has always been to provide a dignified and functional space where our members can recover from their addiction.
Drogadictos Anonimos in México represents one of the most widespread organized expressions in the world dedicated to the common good of helping those suffering from their substance abuse. The uniquenes of DA is that its run by volunteers and operates as a grassroots organization.
D.A. began in 1982 in Mexico City, product of the 2nd International Congress of Alcoholics Anonymous 24 Hours and Intensive Therapy. A few mothers, driven to despair by their children’s addiction approached and questioned their leader at that time: David Cervantes. “ Why aren’t there recovery options for drug addicts like those for alcoholics? “
That was the inspiration behind the first DA group: By September 4th of 1983 “Grupo Liberacion” began its activities. Like any project it had conflicts, lack of funds and misconceptions; obstacles that contributed to make D.A. become an effective alternative to the recovery of addiction. Since that moment Drogadictos Anonimos grew to become a unique organization transcending culture, frontiers and language.
While a significant number of other organizations already function under the prescriptive principles of the 12 steps, few offer an approach as comprehensive to its spiritual and ethical practices as DA does. Achieving a balance between treatment strategies supported be empirical practices and medical-academical knowledge.
To help recover all individuals with drug addiction problems in physical, mental, and spiritual aspects, contributing to the individuals social reintegration.
To become a model program that continuously improves the rehabilitation of drug addicts and establish self-financed communitarian houses wherever possible and necessary.
We have been recognized as a source of social cohesion and innovation; for our capacity to continually adapt emerging ideas, needs, and communal opportunities in our areas of influence across Mexico and the USA. Preserving our diversity, adaptability, and capacity for innovation depends in large on obtaining the drug addict’s trust. We see in each person an opportunity to fulfill our Mission. Therefore, we offer the necessary support that the individual requires to move away from drugs.
In order to be able to carry on with our work we specifically looked for and developed the following values:
Respect to human dignity: The mercurial concept of human dignity is feature in DA throughout the dailly labor that is done with every individual. Understanding that addiction is a health problem and as a foundational commitment to human value or human status, not a shame. We look for a dignified recovery process.
First, establishing that the addicts stay is strictly voluntary, without the use of mistreatment or punishment. Also trying to offer suitable spaces, healthy foods and carrying out recreational activities that work towards recovery. All, characterized by an ambiance of brotherhood: the determining element to stop isolation and renew the ability to reintegrate into society.
Honesty: The program on which our recovery is based invites us to be rigourously honest in all aspects of our life. The fundamental concept by which we are released from the dependency of drugs. We understand that collective interests must prevail over personal interest. Our actions should be carried on with due transparency in order to reach the rehabilitation goals and prevention of others who, as ourselves need it.
Unity: We know we have never survived alone and so we are a committed to help one another through, no matter what. We provide one another with a kind of positive peer pressure. We study together, we throw parties together and we learn to solve our problems together. We have come a long way and we are what we are because of the positive influence that we had on one another. The lives of most people are defined by their friends, whether they are Hispanic, white, black, asian, etc. whether they are rich, poor or middle class. We know that the right friends inspire you, pull you through, lift you. We share our experiences on a daily basis and extend our hand to those in need hoping that our fellow drug addicts will decide to look for a way out through the power of unconditional friendship instead of choosing drugs, alcohol or violence.
Service: We want to transmit a message of life and prevention in the same way we received it: free of charge and without personal gain to other people who suffer from the use of drugs. Having brought about a personality change sufficient to remain in recovery; we are empowered to demonstrate the new principles by which we live, in our daily life through example.
How does DA work?
Drogadictos Anonimos has taken AA´s 12 steps and adapted them to the problem of recovery from addiction. The steps are a synthesis of concepts drawing upon diverse resources (medicine, psychiatry, religion, etc), and our own experience of drug use and recovery. We have streamlined these principles in a way that the addict can accept them. And we have created an association of a kind where individuals can put these principles to work for themselves and others.
Also, we have capitalize on our great advantage: our personal experience as drug addicts who have recovered. When one drug addict who has got recover talks to another who hasn’t, the new man sees in a few minutes that he is talking to a kindred spirit, one who understands. Neither can the recovered DA member be deceived, for he knows every trick, every rationalization of the drugging game. So the usual barriers go down with a crash and a mutual confidence, indispensable of all therapy, surely follows.
For the first time, the addict, thinks himself understood and useful; uniquely useful indeed, as he takes his own turn promoting the recovery of others. No matter what the outer world still thinks of him he now knows that he can get well, for he stands in the midst of scores of cases worse than his own who have attained the goal.
So our main concepts are:
1. Acceptance of the disease.
2. Analysis of the personality and catharsis.
3. Acceptance of a Superior Power.
4. Interpersonal relations.
5. Work with others.
We have embraced therapeutic strategies to empower and address feelings of fear and loss of self-esteem by the drug addict. As an organization, DA has decided not to wait for problem situations to become a crisis. Therefore, we use different therapies that provides oportunities to every individual in our community; these are our therapies are:
Group therapy: Group sessions are celebrated where, peer-to-peer; experiences of pain an overcoming are share. These stimulate the listener to do the same with total freedom and total security of which they are surrounded by people whom understands them. At the same time it obtains the awareness of the disease, through facing the causes that originated their emotional and spiritual problems.
Individual therapy: Group and individual therapies works together, consisting in that each individual choose a member (same gender) to whom; without pressures and in confidence, talks of his/her problematic. This by itself provides a sense of belonging and lightens the problems that need to express. This selected person is called sponsor, because it will guide and help to recognize how it must be lived the rehabilitation program.
Sport therapy: D.A. encourages physical activities inside and outside of the recovery centers. Specifically soccer and athletics; not only to obtain health benefits but also because the development of values, attitudes, abilities and knowledge that helps them to a better reinsertion to society. These activities have their greater expression in the sport event that reunites the 32 centers and integrate the association every two years, when the anniversary of foundation of Drogadictos Anonimos, A.C. is commemorated.
Recreational therapy: The activities regarding the use of the free time that the members can have, during their rehabilitation in the facility, are aim to the elaboration of handcrafts, organization of dances, plays, games, with the intention of encouraging the sociability of the individual, whose characteristics generally are those of isolation.
Since its inception Drogadictos Anonimous’ primary focus has been to provide direct care services such as; temporary lodging, transitional housing, clothing, meals, counseling, referrals, work training and educational services.
Temporary lodging: In Drogadictos Anonimos we consider the first stage of rehabilitation as critical. The drug addict must move away from the environment in which the disease has developed in order to concentrate their complete attention to the rehabilitation process. For this reason, DA suggests to remain for a minimum period of 3 months, accommodating them free of cost. The only requirements asked to be admitted to any of our centers of Drogadictos Anonimos, is to come accompanied by a family member, accept voluntarily their permanence and commit, voluntarily, to participate in all the activities.
Food: During their stay the new members receive 3 meals a day, allowing the individual to improve his physical health condition.
Clothing: 70% of our fellow members are poor. Therefore, during their initial stage of rehabilitation they received all necessary garments. Also, they receive all necessary toiletry and articles of personal hygiene.
Social reintegration: Drogadictos Anonimos seeks to generate a succesfull social reinteration model that supports rehabilitation for the addict in recovery.
Prevention: Create awarness about the consecuences of drug use in society.
Leadership Development: Establish an effective, systematic and permanent process for educating board members, staff and volunteers to ensure that they are aware of their legal and ethical responsibilities, are knowledgeable about the activities of the organization and can carry out their functions effectively.
Sustainability: Guarantee the continuity of the recovery program by diversifing founding sources.