a Place | Informing the Community | Organizing
a Group | Making Decisions
One of the keys to starting and maintaining a successful DRA Meeting is
having enough interested people who are willing to attend regularly and
perhaps become involved in the Group's service work. We have found that in most communities there are
plenty of people who are interested in personal dual recovery and DRA
meetings. It’s a matter of getting the message about your new DRA
meeting out to the right people and places.
There are several ways that a group can begin to inform
DRA FELLOWSHIP: There may already be DRA meetings being
held in the community. DRA Groups are run by DRA members that volunteer to
become part of the Group's Service Work Committee. Group Service Work
Committees guide and coordinate activities that help to carry the message
of DRA to those in need and perform needed Group functions called service
work that help keep the meeting going. There may also be a DRA Area Intergroup that
conducts monthly meetings. In some communities, DRA members that form
Service Committees produce
schedules of meetings, have answering services, or print DRA newsletters
to inform the community of a new meeting. They are all ways of working
with the DRA Fellowship to announce a new meeting.
NETWORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY SERVICES: Providing
information in order to carry the message of recovery is different than
the concept of "promotion". A DRA group may want to design and
reproduce brochures or flyers that provide information about DRA and offer
a list of area meetings. Flyers and brochures may be mailed or faxed to
other recovery self help groups, professional service providers, religious
or spiritual organizations, recovery magazines or bookstores, and consumer
or advocacy organizations. There may be community service providers and
organizations that produce newsletters. Frequently, they identify new
resources in their community and may offer to feature information on DRA
and new meetings.
MEDIA: There are city and community newspapers that
feature articles on health related issues. In addition, they may also
provide public service information and list self help groups that meet in
their community. Information about the DRA program and a list of DRA
meetings may be provided to news agencies.
PERSONAL CONTACT: Members of the DRA group may want to
personally visit the agencies and organizations that they intend to send
brochures and flyers to. The purpose of the visit is to provide
information about the DRA program and local meetings. It will also be
helpful to provide printed materials for the people they are meeting with.
In that way, those people will be able to share the information with their
co-workers who in turn, can pass the information on to the men and women
they provide services to.
One of the most effective ways to let the community know about your new
meeting is by using printed flyers or handout sheets. The DRA web site has
flyers suitable for this that you can download and print out. They include
a place to write in your meeting information and some basic information
about DRA. If you have a computer and printer you can design and print
your own too.
You should ask permission before posting these flyers at recovery clubs
or bulletin boards at treatment centers and social services agencies.
Making a personal visit to treatment centers and community mental health
centers where possible may open lines of communication that lead to new
members or resources. Staff members may take an interest in the new
meeting as an additional resource for their clients. If the facility or
institution is already registered in DRA’s educational session and mock
meeting database, they will already know about DRA and will be glad to see
new meetings starting in their communities.
People may need additional information or want to confirm that the meeting is
still in existence or the information they have about time and location is current. A telephone number with an answering machine or
messaging service is almost indispensable. This can be your own home
phone, a voice mail service, or perhaps if you hold your meetings at a
public facility such as a community mental health center or treatment
center, they may allow you to use their phone number and offer to give
meeting time and directions to callers. Please discuss this issue with the
facility director or someone in authority before publishing their phone
Registering your new meeting with DRA World Network as soon as
possible is a good way to let people know of your meeting. People often
call the World Service Central Office toll-free phone number or look on
our web site for meeting information in their area. Registering your new
meeting and keeping the information current is one important way your
Group can help carry the message of DRA. and let interested people know
when and where your meeting is.
We get a lot of calls from professionals who are looking for meetings
in their area to refer clients and consumers to. If and when the Group's
budget will allow, it can help to send your printed flyer, or a
"Welcome to DRA" handout along with your meeting information to
local professionals. These may be sent to substance abuse treatment
centers, mental health care facilities, community social service agencies,
local chapters of NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) and other
advocacy organizations, private therapists, counseling agencies, shelters,
and hospitals that provide substance abuse and mental health services.