Outside Boundaries

Dual Recovery Anonymous™ is an independent, nonprofessional, Twelve Step, self-help membership organization for people with a dual diagnosis.

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Outside Boundaries

“DRA is a nonprofessional self-help program. There must always be a clear boundary separating the work of DRA from the work of chemical dependency and mental health professionals.”

DRA’s efforts to communicate and cooperate with Institutions, Service Providers, Advocates, and Professionals are all focused on our primary purpose; carrying our message of recovery and hope to men and women who experience a dual disorder.

Dual Recovery Anonymous does not endorse nor is it affiliated with any other organization. DRA works with outside organizations to help educate consumers about the program of Dual Recovery Anonymous and the DRA 12 Steps in the spirit of cooperation, not endorsement or affiliation.

Dual Recovery Anonymous Fellowship 12-Step Meetings

DRA Meetings are a function of a DRA Group. DRA Groups are nonprofessional, self-help, peer to peer support groups guided by the DRA Preamble, Steps, and Traditions.

Group membership and DRA Meeting attendance is open to all members of the DRA Fellowship. DRA has only 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.

DRA membership does not require a diagnosis or referral from a professional or service provider.

DRA Groups may utilize space provided by an institution or service provider, and clients of that institution may attend, but the DRA Group is independent in all other ways.

They maintain a spirit of cooperation with the institution but never an appearance of affiliation with or endorsement of said institution. They are autonomous and clearly not professional services or part of an institution’s program or treatment curriculum.

There are never charges assessed, dues, or fees to attend a DRA Group’s meetings. Members elect their own officers such as chairperson, secretary, and treasurer. Members manage, chair, form service work committees, and elect their own officers without professional moderation, oversight, or supervision.

Group and Meeting Names

In DRA, we all have an equal partnership in dual recovery. DRA’s 5th, 6th, and 10th Traditions suggest that a DRA Group or Meeting, not be named after any person, living or deceased. Nor should its name imply affiliation or possible endorsement of any institution, organization, sect or religion.

Our Traditions and policy of non-affiliation suggest that we do not include the name, identifying initials, or trademark phrases, of a service provider, treatment facility, church, business, or outside organization.

DRA Meetings Provide:

Vision and Hope for both personal dual recovery. Twelve Steps, our plan for dual recovery. Meetings and Fellowship, providing an opportunity to share our recovery from both illnesses in a setting of Emotional Acceptance, Support, and Empowerment. Unity and Service, reminding us that we share an equal partnership in DRA. Our personal dual recovery and participation contributes to the recovery of others and to the fellowship as a whole; including sponsorship and the friendships we form in our dual recovery.

Open and Closed Meetings, Important Concepts and Distinctions:

A CLOSED Meeting is for DRA Members and individuals with a dual diagnosis who are interested in their own personal dual recovery. There may be members who only feel comfortable talking about their dual recovery in a group setting that is attended only by other DRA members. There may also be individuals who are concerned about their confidentiality. Those individuals want their dual recovery and participation to remain a private matter. Anonymity is the right of every DRA member and must be respected at all times.

Being a CLOSED DRA Meeting does NOT mean “for patients and clients only”. If an activity is for patients and clients only, it is inherently not based on DRA’s Preamble and 12 Traditions and cannot be registered or advertised as a DRA Meeting.

An OPEN Meeting is for DRA Members and any interested person who wishes to attend, learn about DRA, and listen. For example, an open meeting may be attended by a family member or friend of someone in DRA. An open meeting might also be attended by someone who is looking for help for a loved one or friend who is affected by a dual disorder.

An open meeting also provides a good opportunity for the Fellowship to carry the message to others who may not have another means of learning about DRA. In no way does this open a meeting up to other than DRA’s Primary Purpose or remove it from the guidance of DRA’s Preamble, Steps, and Traditions.

The primary purpose of DRA is to help one another achieve dual recovery, prevent relapse, and carry the message of recovery to others who experience dual disorders.

Institutional and Service Provider use of DRA

Professionals can have a key role in steering their clients to DRA. Service providers and professionals can help clients support their ongoing recovery process by educating them about Dual Recovery Anonymous.

Encouraging consistent attendance at DRA meetings and ongoing participation in DRA Group activities. And supporting client attempts to start autonomous DRA Fellowship Groups which may include providing meeting space. DRA is independent, therefore no outside organizations or institutions direct or impose themselves on the Group, or the DRA Fellowship, its principles, and activities.

An institution may decide to have members of their staff conduct dual recovery support sessions based on DRA concepts.

The staff may use the DRA Meeting Format and facilitate discussions about the Steps. Those particular activities would be referred to as “DRA Educational Sessions” or In-House Dual Recovery Support Sessions. Activities of this nature are a part of the institution’s treatment program and are clearly not the same as DRA 12-Step Fellowship Meetings. They are not advertised as or registered as DRA Meetings.

Staff Facilitated DRA Education Sessions and In-House Support Sessions Provide Opportunities:

  • Clients/consumers have an opportunity to learn how to use the DRA Steps and program for their personal dual recovery
  • Clients/consumers have an opportunity to gain an understanding of the DRA Fellowship
  • Clients/consumers can gain empowerment to:
    • Form their own autonomous 12 Step/12 Tradition DRA Fellowship Group
    • DRA Group members can participate in service work by chairing and running DRA 12-Step Meetings for other members and newcomers.


There are no set rules as to how a DRA Education Session or In-House Support Session is organized or run. Staff members may facilitate the group directly or they may initiate it then simply observe, offering input and guidance only when the process seems to stall.

Generally, a DRA Education Session or Support Session will resemble an actual DRA Twelve Step Fellowship meeting with the reading of DRA literature at the beginning of the meeting as suggested in the DRA Meeting Format, and following to the degree possible, the same format of an actual DRA meeting. Client / Patient participation is encouraged by having various participants read the different opening documents.

Clients may take turns as the session chairperson to facilitate the sense of direct peer to peer support.

Boundary Appropriate Outside Relationships

Dual Recovery Anonymous strives to work with organizations such as mental health and substance abuse service providers in the spirit of cooperation, not affiliation or endorsement. DRA must always maintain its autonomy and independence from the professional community, advocacy organizations, and the various service providers that are designed to meet the needs of individuals with co-occurring disorders.

There must always be a clear boundary separating the work of DRA from the work of chemical dependency and mental health professionals.


The relationship between institutions and DRA is one of cooperation rather than direct affiliation, in terms of endorsement or influence. The term “institution” refers to hospitals, treatment centers, correctional facilities, organizations, agencies, and programs or service providers. An institution may provide space for a DRA Group to hold their meeting. Some institutions have also assisted groups by helping them inform the community about the new meeting. However, institutions do not influence the DRA Fellowship, the Group itself or the way DRA meetings are conducted.

Full Twelve Step DRA meetings based upon DRA’s Twelve Traditions that are held in institutions are open to other DRA members in the community. In that way, the individuals who are currently receiving services can participate with and learn from the DRA members in the community. They will have role models, learn how DRA meetings are conducted, and learn where DRA meetings are being held in the community.

Institutions & Service Providers should be cautioned that the DRA name, logos, crest, and documents, are the copyrighted, and/or trademarked property of Dual Recovery Anonymous World Services Inc. They may NOT be used in any way that may suggest an endorsement by or affiliation with Dual Recovery Anonymous. DRA copyrighted materials and/or trademarked names, phrases, and logos may not be used in conjunction with any outside enterprise, commercial organization, or affiliated in any way with non-DRA use.

Service providers, Professionals, or any other outside organization or institution must make certain that their name, logo, and letterheads do not utilize the name or logo of DRA and that their name, advertisements, and literature in no way erroneously imply an affiliation or an endorsement by DRA.

There are no DRA sanctioned hospitals, treatment centers, social service, or mental health agencies. DRA has no opinion on the various treatment modalities, does not suggest or prescribe medication or make mental health or substance abuse diagnoses.

DRA does not engage in consumer education or advocacy work except for the carrying of our own message of hope and recovery in accordance with our Founding Vision, Preamble, and 12 Traditions.

We are strictly a Twelve Step, Twelve Tradition, Self Help, Peer to Peer, Mutual Support Fellowship. We do not engage in public debate or political processes even when they may be issues close to our heart. Individual members of the DRA Fellowship may of course, decide to become advocates for certain social issues or causes but they should follow the ideals set forth in the Twelve Traditions and not do so in the name of Dual Recovery Anonymous.

Our Twelfth Tradition states that we practice anonymity at the level of public media.

DRA does not provide treatment, professional therapy, or case management. DRA does not provide formal, paraprofessional, or consumer-driven, clinical or counselling interventions or social services.

We do not track client progress or keep attendance records. DRA respects its member’s right to privacy and anonymity absolutely.
DRA is a program of freedom and choice. DRA does not participate in forcing or coercing anyone to attend DRA meetings. Participation at any level should be entirely voluntary.

DRA meetings are not professionally moderated, however, an institution or service provider’s DRA educational sessions and in-house dual recovery support sessions maybe. These are clearly part of a treatment program’s services and curriculum intended to introduce the concepts of DRA to clients, and not actual DRA Fellowship meetings.

DRA is not affiliated with any religious faith or organization. DRA has no opinion on religious matters. DRA does not proselytize or promote religion of any kind. In DRA, each person’s religious beliefs or lack thereof is respected as an individual’s personal choice.

DRA does not provide character references or attendance and membership records to anyone including treatment centers, service providers, lawyers, or government officials. Our meetings and our heritage is based upon the right of personal anonymity.

Please Note:

All of the content in the DRA section of the site, is copyright protected by DRA World Network Inc., and is not in the public domain. The DRA Crest logo is Trademark protected by DRA World Network Inc., and is not in the public domain. Any reprinting or distribution is subject to our Terms of Use and all applicable U.S. and International Copyright and Trademark law.
Twelve-step program - Twelve Traditions

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