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DRA Group Best Practices
Dual Recovery Anonymous™ is an independent, nonprofessional, Twelve Step, self-help membership organization for people with a dual diagnosis.
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Self-Support, Prudent Reserve and Contributions to DRA World Network.
Tradition Seven reminds us, “DRA groups ought to be self-supporting.” The principle of support is a process or cycle that occurs on several levels within our Fellowship: Group, Meeting, Sponsorship, and Personal. It may be expressed in many ways as cycles:
- “In order to offer support, we need support.”
- “We receive support, in order to offer support.”
Many of us have begun our dual recovery during periods of distress: physical, psychological, social, financial and spiritual. Gradually, we begin to feel more stable in our dual recovery and want to help others through the DRA Group’s Service Work.
DRA Groups work to carry our message and provide support through Service Work. Group members develop the skills to coordinate their activities and manage their Group’s finances. The Group’s members offer contributions as they are able to (as there are no membership dues or fees in DRA). Frequently, a contribution ‘basket’ is passed at some point during a DRA meeting. Members are free to contribute whatever amount they feel they can offer, without any sense of pressure to do so.
Groups must first meet basic needs. Those needs may include: literature, the fee (if there is a fee) for the meeting location, coffee, and other DRA related expenses as approved by the Group Conscience. A Group’s 7th Tradition contributions should always be used to help carry the message in one way or another. As the Group grows, they may use some of their financial reserves to expand their meetings or hold special events. Latter they may use monies above their prudent reserves to help broaden the efforts of local area Intergroups and to help support the efforts of the DRA World Service Central Office.
Experience has shown that nothing can so surely damage a Group’s sense of unity and purpose as arguments and problems over money. With those concerns in mind, we recognize that it is not wise for us to gain and maintain a Group treasury that is far beyond the funds we need to meet our Group’s needs for a few months in advance. We do not accumulate wealth beyond a prudent reserve, and we avoid all debt and financial entanglement. We are aware of other potential problems. For example:
- We have found that our Groups can run into problems by borrowing money.
- We have found problems in making loans from our Group’s treasury.
- We have found problems when our Groups failed to keep accurate records or didn’t save receipts.
We need only to maintain a reserve that will sustain our Group’s needs, and broaden our Group’s efforts to carry the message of recovery. Beyond that, we have the opportunity to support the efforts of our local Intergroup, and the efforts of DRA World Network which provides services to our Fellowship as a whole and works to carry the message of recovery throughout the world.
Once a DRA 12 Step Group gets established and begins to collect 7th Tradition contributions, they may decide to hold a Group Conscience Meeting where all of the group members discuss the group’s financial issues. Members become informed on the subject by sharing all the related information and ideas and come to a consensus as to what the group’s financial needs are, what level to set for their “prudent reserve”, and how to handle funds accumulated above the prudent reserve.
Dual Recovery Anonymous World Network Inc., a not for profit 501 3c corporation, was established to provide a system of support as our Fellowship continues to grow and DRA’s Network for Unity and Service continues to develop. Dual Recovery Anonymous World Network was also established to maintain the integrity of DRA’s founding vision and the core principles within our Preamble, Twelve Steps, and Twelve Traditions. Our Founding Vision and core principles ensure that we maintain our primary purpose and focus:
- To help one another achieve dual recovery
- To prevent relapse
- To carry the message of recovery to others who experience dual disorders
Your DRA Group can be sure that 100% of all funds contributed to DRA World Network go directly to carry the message of DRA. Primarily these are such things as:
- The cost of printing and the postage required to mail out our free informational DRA meeting start-up packets to anyone who requests one.
- The costs for maintaining our national toll-free DRA Central Network Office phone line.
- Certain phone and office costs associated with our efforts to cooperate with professional service providers in the social services, justice/correctional system, substance abuse treatment, and mental health helping fields. Many wish to learn how to inform their clients about the value of DRA and meeting attendance. Some wish to incorporate DRA Educational Sessions as part of their treatment curriculum and others wish to offer meeting space and support to independent community based 12 Step DRA Groups.
- The web server space, yearly domain name charges, and other minor costs associated with running DRA’s official Internet web site at http://draonline.org The DRA Online Resource Center.