Updated letter from DRA's
founder to the Fellowship 11/2001
Today, our Fellowship continues
to grow. We recognize that more people have joined our
Fellowship and started meetings. We also recognize that more
people want to learn about DRA and attend or start new meetings.
Clearly, the growth of our Fellowship will continue to be an
ongoing process. Developing our Network for Unity and Service
will be an important part of that process.
Unity means uniting
for a common purpose: To help one another achieve dual
recovery and to prevent relapse.
Service means DRA
Service Work: We carry our message and provide support to
other people who experience dual disorders.
connecting: We are connecting or drawing together DRA
and Groups to develop the working structure of DRA.
DRA NETWORK FOR UNITY AND SERVICE: A Vision
Vision of DRA members, forming
Groups to provide Service Work.
Vision of Groups, helping members
learn how to form and maintain active Groups.
Vision of our Fellowship, members
and Groups, working together to coordinate
and provide activities and Service Work at the community, state
and national levels.
DRA GROUPS AND GROUP CONSCIENCE: Principles To Build On
DRA Groups: Our Groups provide a way for us to
work in unity as a team. Our Steps and Traditions help us as we
form and maintain active Groups. Our Steps help us identify and
strengthen our personal assets. Our assets are our positive
abilities, experiences and skills, which we learn to use in our
dual recovery. In recovery, we have opportunities to use our
assets to help other people. Our Traditions also help us. They
help us recognize that we are all equal partners in dual
recovery. As equal partners, we share in the process of forming
and maintaining active Groups. We share in the opportunity to
volunteer, perhaps serving as a Group Officer or in another
service position. We may volunteer to organize and participate
in Group activities. We share in the opportunity to participate
with the Group and in Service Work.
Group Conscience: Our Group activities and Service
Work are guided by the principles of our Fellowship (Preamble,
Steps and Traditions) and our Group Conscience. They help us in
practical ways and in our planning, problem solving and
decision-making. Equally important, they help us develop and
maintain Group unity. The foundation for Groups to remain active
Group Service Work: There are many types of Group
Service Work, and they all have one thing in common. They
benefit Group members, newcomers, and the Fellowship as a whole.
Service Work includes all activities to enhance Group unity, to
carry the message of recovery, and to provide support. DRA
meetings are only one example.
Meetings: Group members volunteer to start
and provide meetings. The Group is an important resource for
meetings. Over time, concerns and challenges may occur
within a meeting. The Group offers an opportunity for
members to work together to develop positive ways to address
concerns, as concerns begin to arise. The Group provides a
resource to help the meetings maintain a positive focus and
Hospital and Institution (H&I) Meetings: H&I
meetings are provided by Groups or Intergroups. The meetings
are provided to people who are currently in hospitals,
treatment centers, correctional facilities or other
institutional settings. Groups may form an H&I
Committee, with several members participating to provide
meetings. An H&I meeting may provide the first
introduction to DRA for people who are currently in an
institutional setting. The Group will need to learn the
regulations and guidelines their members will need to follow
to provide an H&I meeting in a particular facility.
Clearly, H&I meetings are important. They require the
special attention of a Group in order to establish and
maintain a positive working relationship with each
institution. For those reasons, H&I meetings should
always be arranged, coordinated and provided through a DRA
Group or Area Intergroup.
Sponsorship Principles and Suggestions: DRA
Sponsorship is the process of helping another person who has
expressed a desire to recover within our Fellowship. An
important Sponsorship principle is helping another person
develop his or her own program for dual recovery "…the
one that is most meaningful." (Preamble). Perhaps
Sponsorship is similar to coaching another person in dual
recovery. We provide opportunities to help them personally
learn about DRA’s "tools" for recovery. Those
"tools" include our Steps, meetings, and
friendships in our Fellowship. As they begin to learn about
the DRA "tools", we provide support as they
develop their "skills" to use their
"tools", in their own dual recovery. Sponsorship
provides an important opportunity to help another person who
is in the process of finding and following their own path to
dual recovery within our Fellowship.
Group Activities: Groups may decide to organize and
provide activities. Activities may include: parties, dances,
outings, picnics, potluck dinners, DRA Conferences, etc. A Group
may also decide to produce their own newsletter, which may begin
as a single page, and include personal stories, poems, letters,
artwork, and meeting information.
DEVELOPING OUR NETWORK: Fellowship Opportunities
Our Group Information Exchange and Information Support will
be important steps in developing our Fellowship’s Network for
Unity and Service.
Unity & Growth: Networking will provide a
way to help members and Groups, within the same state or region,
to contact one another. Through our Network, members and Groups
will be able to work together.
Service and Support: Networking will help us
expand our opportunities to provide Service Work. As newcomers
contact us, we will provide start up packets. Their calls will
initially be returned by our DRA Call Response Group. This Group
will help newcomers connect with the DRA Group in their local
community or region. The local Group will connect with the
newcomer and provide the information and support that newcomers
need, especially if they wish to form a Group and begin a
Today, the Network for Unity and
Service is a personal Vision and Hope. It is a Vision of opening
new opportunities for our Fellowship to join together. We will
join together to build the working structure for DRA. We will
join together to support one another. We will join together and
celebrate our dual recovery. The Vision is expanding our ability
to help more people through Group Service Work. The Hope is
knowing that it is believable and achievable.
Yours in Dual Recovery,