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Old 02-07-2014, 04:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just wondering...

Hi everyone,

I've been going to AA meetings for a while now (been sober 2 years) and really love the program. A friend who has been going with me for about 6 months wants to try NA and has asked me to go with her. Some of the old-timers in one of our AA groups have been a bit weird lately about people mentioning that they're addicts as well, so she wants to try something different and I don't really blame her. My question is, alcohol is definitely my drug of choice. I tried other stuff here and there but always went back to drinking. I consider myself an addict in the sense that I consider alcohol a drug, but alcoholic is the title I give myself. Should I introduce myself as an addict in NA meetings? Or just say alcoholic as I would in AA? Or something else? Should I avoid closed meetings? Is it seen as a negative for an alcoholic to go to NA? Any insight is greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello Riverbird...

I'm sure you'll get a variety of responses, but I'll attempt to answer your questions based on my experience.

Quote:
Should I introduce myself as an addict in NA meetings?
In every meeting in my area there was once included in our "readings" something called a "Clarity Statement." The clarity statement requested all members to refer to themselves (if speaking) as addicts because NA focuses on the disease of addiction and to separate one drug from another would suggest that there are two diseases. So I would say, yes...if only out of respect. Some of the oldtimers in NA get their feathers ruffled when people introduce themselves as alcoholics or talk about "sobriety."

Quote:
Should I avoid closed meetings?
I should say not! You've already stated that you consider yourself an addict because alcohol is a drug (a point that's cleary made in NA literature). I believe as long as you say you're an addict you qualify to attend.

Quote:
Is it seen as a negative for an alcoholic to go to NA?
As a newcomer I attended both fellowships...and even to this day, I know of many alcoholics that attend NA meetings and many addicts that attend AA meetings. Many recovering folks I know say that as long as they can get to a meeting it doesn't matter which fellowship they go to. If there were no NA meetings where I live, I'd certainly go to AA. There's differences in our literature, our language and how we go about doing stepwork...but the 12 steps are the 12 steps.

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Old 02-11-2014, 02:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi there

In NA we call identify ourselves as addicts and we DO consider alcohol to be a drug. Some people say they're 'cross-addicted' but 'addict' is typical.
Last night one of the guys shared that he had been battling two types of drugs for his entire life and let on that one was alcohol.

I think the point is to find a fellowship where you're comfortable and feel 'at home'. Give NA a try, it CANT hurt!
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Old 02-11-2014, 07:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I too have been in AA for two years and just got into it on the AA section about discussing drug use in AA meetings. I would introduce my self as an addict at NA meetings. NA has it right! Alcohol is a drug too!!!! Unfortunately a lot of people in AA don't read the BB and fail to notice that drug use is mentioned frequently in AA literature. I am starting to debate whether or not I should switch fellowships because I was a heroin addict. The only issue is that there aren't very many NA meetings near me. All are about 30 minutes from my house. There is an AA meeting within 15 minutes of my house everyday.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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4thdimension86,
I hear your position exactly, I too attend AA meetings as I would need to drive 30+ miles if I need an NA meeting, OR attend AA which there are 6 to pick from every week within 12 miles. Personally, my home group is an NA meeting that I found my sponsor at. I STARTED A NEW NA MEETING when I was 9 months clean, because I felt there is a need. That meeting has had 4-10 addicts weekly for almost a year now. So I do 2 NA meetings and 2-4 AA meetings a week. The "recovery community" I live in is very accepting of addicts at AA meetings. Alcoholics are not jumping up and down to try out an NA meeting, but are tolerant and accepting of addicts in AA "open" meetings.
I have only encountered intolerance at an AA area sponsored seminar. Lots of long timers that know AA rules, and one found it necessary to make sure I knew that "addicts" were not permitted, only alcoholics.
The experience has given me a lot to think about, learn, and explore traditions, and opinions.
Mention of drugs in the BB is something I will need to learn. I explored this topic in the AA section, now I am checking out the consensus in the NA section.
I do feel like I am straddling a fence sometimes. I belong to both programs. I need both programs.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting about this topic. I forget how lucky I am to live somewhere where there are plenty of meetings. I have been struggling with feeling like I don't belong in NA meetings since alcohol was one of the main drugs that I used. But people I talk to at NA meetings are fine with me being there. And the literature clearly says it is okay for alcoholics to be there because alcohol is a drug. I love the idea that addiction is the problem and not a particular substance. That makes so much sense to me. I really like the NA program. I'm so glad I tried it.
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Old 02-16-2014, 11:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yes, I embrace the concept of addiction being the problem and not the particular substance. I had a
Quote:
knowledgeable AA
inform me that alcohol is a FOOD, (according to the FDA) and NOT A DRUG. I found it odd that she would use the government to
Quote:
divide
alcoholics from addicts, but whatever!
Quote:
If you line up 10 people, not all will become alcoholics from drinking, but all 10 will be addicts if drugs are the substance
Opinions on this statement?

I am starting to see older AA's as afraid of being "grouped" with addicts, and the division is possibly ego driven? I guess I see addiction and alcoholism are both A DISEASE, and the fact that alcohol is socially accepted and legal makes alcoholism a morally acceptable disease...if you made alcohol illegal then it would the same as heroin socially and legally.
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Old 02-17-2014, 09:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is alcohol a drug? Of course it is...

To a pharmacologist, that question is a little bit like “Is water a liquid?” Alcohol is not just a drug, but the archetypal drug: the drug most widely used and the drug that causes the most addiction, disease, and violence. That linguistic distinction is both an effect and a cause of the fact that “drug” (meaning intoxicant) has been given a strongly negative connotation. A drinker (alcoholic) told that he is a “drug user” (drug addict) may be offended as well as puzzled.

Alcohol is a depressant and included in the same class of drugs as barbiturates and benzodiazepines. So...anyone who asserts that alcohol is a food solely because it is derived from fruits, vegetables or grains is ignorant of the fact that there are over 100 chemical substances that are derived from plants for use as drugs or medicine.

Alcohol, also known as ethyl alcohol, is the second most widely used psychoactive drugs in the world (caffeine is number one). While alcohol is a legal drug, it also has a high potential for abuse. One survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that nearly 70 million over the age of 12 reported participating in binge drinking or heavy drinking (2002). Alcohol use and abuse also has high social costs. According to the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 50 percent of all assaults, homicides, and highway deaths involve alcohol (2000).

I believe that the problem that some AA's have with accepting alcohol as being a drug or of being "grouped with addicts" is related to culture and lack of education. The stereotypes of the addicts on "street drugs" are fading due to the increased number of people becoming addicted to prescription drugs and the ends being the same for all addicted persons: jails, institutions or death.

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Old 02-18-2014, 06:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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They don't like to be grouped with addicts because, why? We're morally reprehensible? An alcoholic's life is just as unmanageable as an addict's. And since alcohol is a drug that would make them....yes, an addict.
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