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 The Twelfth Tradition of Dual Recovery Anonymous

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Tradition 11 | Tradition Index | More on Anonymity

12. "Personal anonymity is the right of every D.R.A. member. We practice anonymity at the level of public media."

A core principle behind the Twelfth Tradition is placing principles before personalities. Anonymity not only protects individuals from stigma but protects us all from mistakes that might be made by individuals who might carry the DRA name into the limelight of public media where the reputation of DRA could get mixed up with the mistakes and notoriety of the individual. Anonymity is really the spiritual foundation that allows our Fellowship and our program of recovery to work and to survive.

IN OUR OWN WORDS: Members share their thoughts on the Twelfth Tradition

I am so glad that DRA is based on the Steps and Traditions. I am proud of my dual recovery efforts but I want my name and what I say at meetings to stay right there and not go any further. I don't want people gossiping about my latest personal recovery issues. I don't want my picture spread around in some newspaper or web site identifying me as a member of DRA. My job and my lifestyle really depend on this Tradition of Anonymity and like most 12 steppers, I take anonymity very seriously.

I have a very unusual last name. I like to use my full name at closed DRA meetings when I introduce myself. I don't have to, but I like to. At open meetings where anyone can attend, I only use my first name. I feel pretty confident that people in recovery from their two no-fault illnesses--members of Dual Recovery Anonymous, will hold what I say at meetings with respect and confidence, but when non-members can attend I am a little more careful. Some of those people may not understand the importance of anonymity.

This sort of reinforces the Eleventh Tradition where it says we are all equal partners in dual recovery. It don't matter if you are a rock star or president of the local bank. When you come into a meeting you are simply a member in equal standing. Your outside status makes no difference. There are no stars or gurus in DRA.

Anonymity at the level of public media also protects the image of the DRA Fellowship as a whole. No one so far as I know has been elected or appointed to be the official spokesperson, poster-boy or poster-girl for DRA. Our image and reputation as a 12 Step self-help organization should never be tied to how well any one person does in recovery.

I was asked to give a presentation about my dual recovery to a large audience of social service professionals and students up at the college. It was being videotaped for possible inclusion in a TV documentary. I had to figure out how to talk about my personal journey of dual recovery without identifying myself as a member of any specific Twelve Step Group. I ended up using only my first name and saying that I had found support for my dual recovery through a dual focus twelve-step group. I did not give the name. I just told them how important it was to have a group of understanding supportive friends there that I could talk to about things like my depression and medications and how I was trying to cope with those issues on a day to day basis in a healthy and constructive way.

It's the message not the messenger that counts in DRA.  When I participated in a recovery program on our local cable access channel to tell about DRA, I asked them to block out my facial features. I told them how important DRA was to my personal dual recovery and how to contact the World Network Central Office, but I remained anonymous.

Tradition 11 | Tradition Index
More on Anonymity

Fellowship Traditions Discussion Booklet This section of web site in downloadable printable PDF Adobe Reader format

DRA's Preamble Explained - Our Traditions and Founding Vision 

0 The 12 Traditions of Dual Recovery Anonymous  Introduction
1 The primary purpose of D.R.A. is to carry the message of recovery to men and women who experience a dual disorder.
2 D.R.A. has two requirements for membership; a desire to stop using alcohol and other intoxicating drugs, and a desire to manage our emotional or psychiatric illness in a healthy and constructive way.
3 We welcome men and women of all personal beliefs, our program is one of personal freedom and choice.
4 Our groups and service work are guided by the principles of the 12 Steps of D.R.A.
5 Each group is independent, to better meet the recovery needs of our members. We are sensitive to the well being and unity of other groups and to D.R.A. as a whole.
6 To maintain our primary purpose, we avoid all outside distractions. We need not become involved in financial entanglements, lend the D.R.A. name for outside activities and issues, or become drawn into public controversy.
7 Every DRA group ought to be self-supporting.
8 D.R.A. is a volunteer, self-help organization. To carry out our service work, we may employ special workers, form committees and coordinate projects.
9 Our individual dual recovery depends on D.R.A. unity. We carry the message through our personal recovery and our service work.
10 D.R.A. is a non-professional program. We do not provide chemical dependency, mental health or other social services. D.R.A. has no opinion regarding the appropriate use of medications or other methods of managing our symptoms.
11 In D.R.A. we share an equal partnership in dual recovery. Our traditions and service work help us maintain the integrity of our program, to provide for others and to enhance the unity of D.R.A. as a whole.
12 Personal anonymity is the right of every D.R.A. member. We practice anonymity at the level of public media.
Download PDF Booklet  of this entire Fellowship Discussion portion of the web site on The Twelve Traditions of DRA. Adobe Acrobat required


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