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|09-03-2011, 06:33 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Relating to Alcoholics
I've never had a problem with alcohol, in fact I absolutely hate the stuff. However I do have a problem with opiates, heroin in particular. I'm wondering, are we addicts and alcoholics so different that we actually need different recovery groups?
I read the alcohol section of this forum today and discovered a lot of similarities. The only differences between heroin addicts like me and alcoholics pertain to the different intoxicant effects of our drugs of choice. For example, alcoholics don't have a problem with track marks on their arms and heroin addicts don't have a problem with hangovers.
But mentally I can't find much of a difference. Since I'm not an alcoholic I will not assume you guys share these basic feelings of most heroin addicts. I want to hear if you guys felt this way when you were actively drinking.
Did you guys feel that alcohol was the most important part of your lives? When I was actively using, my DOC was the most important part of my life. Did you all hate being sober at first? I sure did. Felt strange! Did you like being ****** up 24/7 or did you only drink after work? I remember wishing I could have been high for the rest of my life. Did you guys feel that way about being drunk?
Here's something I noticed. Most people do not get the same effects from opiates that I do. If I got the same effects from opiates that most people do I'd never touch them for fun either. I bet drinking is the same way? Do you guys think you feel different effects from alcohol as most non-lushes?
Personally I'll never understand why you can like alcohol intoxication. I absolutely hate it, I'd much rather be sober. Drinking effects my cognition (something heroin never did) and makes me unable to drive. Also hangovers. And it made me feel incredibly tired.
However I can understand why you guys didnt let that stop your drinking. I never let things like track marks or other possible complications stop me from using so I can understand that.
Basically I want to know if it's really that different. The intoxicating effects are very different but I think it takes us all to the same place?
I would've very interested to hear the opinion of someone who was addicted to opiates and alcohol.
I think alcoholics and addicts are only different when we're actively using, and only because our DOC's have different negative effects. An alcoholic doesnt have to cop in the projects to get a drink and a heroin user rarely has to deal with DUI's. However I think we use for the same basic reason, we dislike however we feel when we're sober.
So our using is pretty different but our recoveries are similar?
|09-03-2011, 11:32 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2011
Hi Nightsd, I only did heroin once because I loved how it made me feel and I knew I'd get hooked. That was well into my alcoholism and I had enough problems already. I did get hooked on pain pills though after an accident, vicodin. During my last years of drinking I was an around the clock drunk and I hated that I Had to drink when I was awake. I couldn't go to bars unless I had drank quite a bit of vodka to stop the shakes first.
To me, the addictions were similar in some ways and different in others. Both became things I coveted, I felt the most secure if I knew I had enough supply to get me through the day. The opiate gave me a sense of euphoria for an hour or so and then I wanted more. The comedown sucked and there was a great deal of shame inside.
In high school I only drank once in awhile because it always made me sick but the point was I drank until I was sick. I never drank just enough to get a buzz and then stopped. Maybe the difference is it's easier to get hooked on opiates and want or need more the next day than it is for a person to get drunk and then want to get drunk again the next day. Perhaps non-alcoholics don't go on binges where they're drunk days on end because they don't feel a Need to keep drinking.
My Mom would get buzzed like twice a year while at a party with my Dad who liked to get buzzed every night. He'd have hangovers and feel like sh*t but the next night he'd do it again.
Back in the late '80's I tried to get into a program in So. CA called the Cooper Fellowship. It's a long term recovery program where you live several months to a year. I had to interview with the guys who ran the place. After hearing my story they said I couldn't stay there because I also had a drug problem. They only wanted alcoholics to live there. They have since changed their policy but at the time they made me feel even more hopeless by refusing me.
To me, we're all in the same boat together in recovery. Alcohol brought me to my knees and I identify as an alcoholic in AA. It saved my life. I do agree with you that we get high or drunk to change the way we feel. Drinking eased my fears, gave me confidence for years and then it boomeranged and I became a recluse while drinking.
Personally I don't like the separation or distinction between the two addictions. In the beginning I went to AA and NA but after a few months I narrowed it down to AA. The need to fit in was fulfilled in both programs but I didn't like that here had to be 2 programs. In AA later on I became a General Service Representative and learned about the Traditions and their importance so AA can continue to help the alcoholic who still suffers.
So.....in my experience I was discriminated against at the recovery home because I had both problems but while in the respective meetings I felt like I fit in.
|09-04-2011, 02:36 AM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Hi JimE, thanks for your eloquent and interesting post!
I have also been "looked down on" by alcoholics who think they're somehow better than I am. It really is the same problem, in my opinion whether you're using heroin like I was or using alcohol, it's all the same road to the same destination.
It really angers me when one addict looks down on another addict simply because they used a different drug. Heroin is just as hard to quit and stay clean from than booze. If you know how to get it, it's just as easy to buy as a beer. The only difference is the actual effects of intoxication. Heroin obviously is a lot different than alcohol. The euphoria it produces is a world beyond alcohol, after all, it mimics the body's own pleasure chemicals.
I have learned to never judge another man's addiction.
I guarantee you this one thing. If an alcoholic had to use a needle to get drunk then alcoholics wouldhave track marks too. I hate being judged for that. Just because someone used an IV route to get loaded doesn't make them worse people. If alcohol were illegal like heroin, you would see alcohol cartels and everything.
Addicts are allergic to their drug/s of choice. Don't judge an addict for what they do when they're desperate. We've almost all gone through some pretty crazy lengths to get loaded. So don't judge others and you shouldn't be judged either.
We're (almost all) here to recover, and whether you were using coke or heroin or alcohol, our using is different, but our basic reasons for using was the same, and therefore our recoveries are very similar too. We simply didn't like being sober. We were self medicating so that we could feel different. We were running away from feelings of anxiety, depression , boredom, and hopelessness and we thought we found the cure with our drug of choice. And technically we did but we could only escape for a few hours when our problems grew in size and ferocity.
Addiction is escapism, pure and simple. And it doesn't matter whether your car keys to your nirvana came in a bottle or a balloon, we were all running away from the same stuff to begin with, we just drove a different model to get there.
|09-04-2011, 01:39 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Detroit, MI
>>> If it makes sense - It ain't spiritual!
- All Big Book quotes are from first Edition -
|09-04-2011, 01:59 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: LA - Lower Alabama
As an almost pure alcoholic - I rarely did anything else for my high, and I have never done opiates or speed - I do not believe we need seperate groups. However other people do not feel that way. So other groups formed. For me personally I will welcome any addict into my AA group. We have compulsive gamblers and even an overseater in there from time to time. Other groups are not so accepting.
It is easier to practice total abstinence than perfect moderation
Any quotes from the big book of AA are from the first edition, or are otherwise exempt from copyright infringement under the "fair use doctrine".
|09-04-2011, 05:48 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Las Vegas, NV
I also read a study recently showing that women (only) with red hair have a threefold higher tolerance for pain than the average person.
|09-04-2011, 08:51 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: "I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost ..."
I don't see any difference among addicted people except for their DOC...just sitting in different seats on the Titanic.
|09-19-2011, 07:51 AM||#11 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2008
Blog Entries: 1
I think that I react different to alcohol than most people. Ever since the very first time I drank I got this incredible high from it. Most people I know who are normal drinkers don't seem to think that drinking or getting drunk is a big deal, so I'm guessing they didn't get the same feeling of euphoria that I did. Was it the most important thing in my life? Yes. Did I want to spend the rest of my life drunk? Definitly. Did I want to be intoxicated 24/7? Yes, I managed to keep up work and school most of the time, but when I had the option I would just drink, sleep, drink, sleep, drink sleep....That's what happened when I was left to my own devices.
I did do other drugs at times, (never heroin though) and didn't feel the same desire to do them again and again that I felt with drinking. I have this theory though, that if I hadn't gotten hooked on drinking first, I would have been very likely to become addicted to some other substance. But, because I had already found my substance of choice, I couldn't care less about other substances.
I'm convinced that I would have got addicted to something else if it wasn't drinking. I have the personality for it. I was looking for something lacking in me, in my life, and if I didn't find it in alcohol I would have looked for it elsewhere. So, yeah, I think there is a lot of similarities between different addictions.
|09-19-2011, 09:45 PM||#13 (permalink)|
Late stage optimist
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Auburn, WA
Depends on the Person and What Their Comfort Zone Is
Different recovery groups are there because many persons in recovery don't feel comfortable going to meetings or being associated with a group that they feel "can't relate" to their story or history of addiction. This is a good thing, for those of us who need to feel a strong identity to the persons in the group.
I am a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. Took many drugs, but mostly cocaine in the final years of active addiction.
I attend AA meetings and CA meetings. But CA meetings are few and far between here, and so I have one meeting that is my CA homegroup, and most of my weekly meetings are AA. There are heroin addicts, prescription opiate addicts, pot heads, crack heads, even some overeaters (who are also chemically dependent) who attend my AA meetings. It is not uncommon to hear someone talk about mental health issues and medications they have to take for mental health disorders.
I don't run into very many folks any more at AA meetings who don't approve of or like folks talking about other drugs at the meetings. If I run into a meeting like that, I don't frequent it in the future.
Think of it as a matter of free choice, and in recovery it is nice to have those choices.
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