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Old 02-07-2014, 08:38 PM   #1 (permalink)

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I am an addict in AA

There I said it! Do any "traditionalists" object to that? I do not feel that talking about drugs in a meeting is a violation of the traditions. Alcohol was not my drug of choice. An alcoholic is simply a drug addict whose drug of choice is alcohol. I think saying the "dry goods" is ridiculous. Everyone knows what I mean anyway. The term "alcoholic/addict" is used several times in The Doctor's Opinion. Drug use is mentioned frequently throughout the Big Book. It is no secret that Dr. Bob and Bill Wilson used drugs. The story "Acceptance is the Answer" is one of the most important stories in the Big Book and it is almost exclusively about drug use. The author of the story used "speed" and opiates. He was much like myself. I shot OPIATES and COCAINE in my arm with a SYRINGE! I did drink heavily at some points in my active addiction and I am sure I could have been a true alcoholic if I worked for it but I discovered things that I liked more. Furthermore, I did not find a solution in NA. If you ever read the Basic Text and attended NA meetings you should be aware that IT IS NOT THE SAME 12 STEP PROGRAM! It was based on AA but there are clearly big differences. I am bringing this up because the chair person at a meeting interrupted me while I was sharing and told me to keep it to alcoholism because I was talking about drugs. What really ticked me off was that the chair person was a heroin addict like myself and no one else in that meeting cared. In fact most of them were addicts. Yes I caught a resentment! I think society views alcohol as being different as drugs and unfortunately that attitude is still prevalent in AA. If simply mentioning drugs in a meeting is a violation of the traditions than that means every reference to drugs in the Big Book needs to be removed. Any opinions on this matter?
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know what others will say, it doesn't matter to me. I think we are all in a meeting to connect and get better. I am sure others will weigh in on this. Keep coming back.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll just say that I view myself as an alcoholic/addict. My drug of choice is alcohol. But along the way, in my 56 years I also used a couple other drugs. But always stuck with the alcohol, years after putting down the drugs of my youth.
In my home A.A. Meeting we all just talk about our addictions, nowadays, at least in my meeting there are just a handful of "just" alcoholics. I also attend a couple of C.A. Meetings. I'm not a stickler..but then I'm a newbie. . Bobbi
My Life Began, When I Became Willing & Honest.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:11 PM   #4 (permalink)

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I have been told that Bill Wilson experimented with LSD during his "sobriety."However, LSD was legal in the 1950s and it was part of a scientific study. He was reportedly a chronic 13th stepper as well. Maybe he was a sex addict too? I heard he made a statement that a "pure alcoholic" was a mythical creature.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Agree w/ your view but the reason chairperson reads @ beginning of mtgs "...we ask that you pls confine discussion to you're problem w/ alc" is coz most people in aa haven't or don't use drugs(which weren't as prevalent as they are today) plus that's what Bill & Bob intended. IMO it might be chaotic having mixed aa & na. I also agree that alc is a drug. Don't be so concerned in name identity. Call yourself whatever you want but remain sober
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:48 PM   #6 (permalink)

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One of my home groups had a big to do over this a while back. The meeting has been a closed meeting since it began, but recently we got a huge influx of people from a sober living community. Some of them were alcoholics, some addicts. When one of the girls introduced herself as an addict, she was asked to leave the meeting. (She didn't just get kicked out...a couple of people went out with her and talked with her separately). That turned in to a firestorm with an endlessly long group conscience meeting that thank god I was out of town for because really I could care less. It's an open meeting now, which annoys me a little not because I care if people are addicts, but because I don't like having random al-anon folks, people doing projects for school, etc. coming in to the meeting. (There's about a million other open meetings in the area for that purpose...I liked that this one was safe from that...but that's an issue for another post).

I don't have any experience with NA, but I think there is definitely a shift within AA. Very few alcoholics these days haven't at least had some experience with drugs...especially the younger generation. The only time it bothers me is when addicts start going in to detail about stuff that really doesn't relate to alcoholism at all...like talk about drug dealers or specific methods of doing drugs. Otherwise I think it's all the same...we're all using various substances to avoid or alter reality.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:13 PM   #7 (permalink)

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I got off opiates when I was 19 but drank, smoked weed, and took magic mushrooms for about 4 years before I went back to opiates. I was also a workaholic during that time. Looking back on it I would say that I was drinking "alcoholically" before I slid back into my opiate addiction. Once I started doing opiates I almost stopped drinking completely. Alcohol and opiates do not mix well. I stopped drinking because the combination of the two would make me sick and when I was on opiates I only wanted to feel the effects of the opiates. Alcohol would put a "damper" on my opiate high. I would sometimes drink to ease the pain of opiate withdrawal. I would take alcohol over any stimulate such as cocaine but opiates were my favorite above all else. Alcohol was among my favorite drugs I am sure I would have been a full blown alky if I never discovered opiates.
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Old 02-08-2014, 12:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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The reason why there are so many anonymous groups is so that the addict can identify, e.g. Cocaine Anonymous - I went to one of their meetings because a friend invited me and they pretty much believe that Cocaine is a drug in itself i.e. Nothing like heroin, marihuana etc.

A cross addict using drugs and alcohol will be able to relate to you as much as in Overeaters Anonymous a cross addict using drugs and suffering from bulimia will be able to relate to you, however any pure alcoholic, overeater, gambler, sex addict will not be able to relate to you or your drug use because they have never done it.

NA is a good bet for a drug addict; AA and NA for an alcoholic drug addict; AA, NA, GA for an alcoholic drug addict gambler etc etc.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In my area, a few meetings specify that we are to keep our sharing to our problems with alcohol only. Other meetings welcome anyone. I respect the wishes of the particular meeting I'm attending.
Note to self: One day at a time. And don't forget to breathe.

Believe in yourself. Getting sober and staying sober takes serious guts - you are brave and strong and true. - From 'Crying Out Now: Thanksgiving Survival Guide'
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TigerLili View Post
In my area, a few meetings specify that we are to keep our sharing to our problems with alcohol only. Other meetings welcome anyone. I respect the wishes of the particular meeting I'm attending.

I never had any side dishes other than a little pot here and there but it never had a grip on me like alcohol. I could take it or leave it and did so for many years with no problem. Alcohol was my vise.

It does not bother me when I hear people introduce themselves as alcoholic/addict or just addict in an open meeting. I think the point is to share your issues with our addiction, how you over came them by sharing your experience, strength and hope. I don't feel getting specific during the meeting is what keeps us sober.

Now the meeting before the meeting and the meeting after the meeting, I let my hair down more. That is when the relationships and friendships are born and we find the people that we can relate to on a more specific level.
Sail on Silvergirl, Sail on by. Your time has come to shine. All your dreams are on their way. See how they shine.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I would respect the meeting. AA was set up specifically to deal with problems of alcoholism. It also has a tradition that states its main purpose is to carry the message to other alcoholics who still suffer. While I personally see a lot of overlap between drug and alcohol addictions, I do not identify with addictions to gambling, sex, eating, etc. Where is the line to be drawn for which addictions are allowed inside the rooms?

That said, there are plenty of AA meetings where discussing drug addictions are no problem, so just try different meetings until you find ones you like.
The only way to stop the cycle is by not drinking - at all. Period.

I started drinking to feel older. I stopped drinking to feel younger.

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Old 02-08-2014, 03:48 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Wow - I feel so lucky that my meetings that I chose to attend are not rigid like the ones discussed her. Perhaps that is judgement but its also gratitude in what is availed to me. I welcome you, just like I welcome and am welcomed as an alcoholic/addict in my Home Group, Mens Meetings and Step Study.

Many of you already know this but I don't delineate between substances or behaviors. It is my view that Addiction has no prejudice between risk and poor or substances between booze or crack. For me alcohol was merely the most convenient and available drug, which is why the love affair began - my first marriage if you will. I left her later for cocaine but still carried on affairs with my first love - the divorce ws never final. As such, I find it helpful when in my meetings the topics include real life, which does not limit to just alcohol.

This is my rationale for step work, because I believe while other techniques can help with sobriety, step work is designed to change an addict/alcoholics way of living. A lifestyle, which I agree has its benefits.

Sorry if I offend anyone with my experience or beliefs.

I wonder how many alcoholics are unwilling to identify as an addict bc they have not yet been activated. I would guess all true alcoholics if the booze was removed and offered another mind altering drug of choice such as cocaine or heroin would become addicted to those substances? It is my view that the Real alcoholic described in the BB uses the substance to escape and the problem is with the thinking, as a result of a spiritual void. A Hungry Ghost if you will. SO based on this, I have to question how many alcoholics are fearful of being classified as an addict due to ego, which is at the core of most alcoholic/addicts problems.

Would AA be called Addicts Anonymous if it was created today? Alcohol was the most common drug in the 1930s when AA was founded. It still is today but with the epidemic of prescription pills are other drugs becoming just as widespread? I see the narrow scope written amongst many of you here as a way to feed your own ego and limit the scope of your own recovery by focusing on one part of the elephant. Someone told me in step #4 as to how broad a net you want to cast, "how solid do you want to make your recovery?" For me I have had to tear all preconceptions down and go back to my roots to understand the scope of my addictions, which identified just as written in the Big Book that my maladies went well beyond just alcohol.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:51 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Well I have seen lots of addicts in AA meetings where I am and have never seen anyone ask them to leave. Quite frankly I would be upset if they were asked to leave. What if they are hurting and there is no NA meeting they can get to? Better to be at AA meeting rather than getting drugs. An addict is an addict whether it is alcohol or drugs. I don't know, I just didn't think there was such a division, I've never seen it and if there is one I just think it is sad .
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Can you find one alcoholic that follows rules? ALL rules??? bwahahahahaha.....
Someday everything will all make sense.
For now, laugh at confusion, smile through tears,
& remind yourself that everything happens for a reason.

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Old 02-08-2014, 05:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm with the chair on this one.

I also don't agree that a drug is a drug is a drug, etc. If that were the case, we would have NA and that's it. Problems for everyone solved. But that's not the case - there are hundreds of groups that are 12-step based to address specific addictions and behaviours.

I know that there is always a lively discussion on this topic, and I understand that there are many cross addicted folks out there, but if a newcomer walks into an AA meeting and they hear someone share about shooting up and snorting and nothing else, then I wonder how they will identify...are they in the right place, etc. I myself have sat through AA meetings where there was a majority of people discussing drugs and maybe some alcohol. I don't have to return to those meetings, and I usually don't. That's my prerogative.

Having said that, I certainly would never ask anyone to leave though. That's contrary to the spirit of the fellowship and the program, in my view. I can always direct someone to a fellowship that is more in line with their main issue.

Just an opinion though
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:00 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I can't speak for AA as a whole clearly. But personally, I do not mind when someone shares a little about their drug use - however I guess I would mind if someone was solely always sharing about their drug use. I mean it's called Alcoholics Anonymous. It doesn't get much simpler than that.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:17 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 4thdimension86 View Post

If simply mentioning drugs in a meeting is a violation of the traditions than that means every reference to drugs in the Big Book needs to be removed. Any opinions on this matter?
I know that closed meetings can be a real tickler on this issue
I'm not sure if
I was more addict or more alcoholic (somewhere in the middle I guess) ???
and as I'm sure that you have noticed
meetings vary on this issue
bring up any drug in some meetings and one practically get's booed
yet at another meeting no one seems to care

I try to keep my sharing while in AA to booze
occasionally I will mention (other things)
my booze mixed with other things

you have made a good point that I have brought up with my Sponsor often
drugs are mentioned in the AA Big Book
he being one who only drank seems to not want to hear it ???

yet this man's nickname is Big Book Bob
(yes my Sponsor has the same name as I)
and this man knows most all of the BB by heart

I also agree -- NA meetings are not for me
it seems that good long term sobriety is not often found there

so where do we stand
for me I try to mention booze only
in my mind I know what I did and the things that I mixed together
guess that I don't need to share that with everyone in an AA meeting ??

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Old 02-08-2014, 08:12 AM   #18 (permalink)
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each group is autonomous.
when in rome, do as the romans do.
but then my ego kicks in.

personally drug use was a problem that related to alcoholism for me.
all big book quotes from 1st edition
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:42 AM   #19 (permalink)

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Personally for me I have heard that people in AA don't like talk about drug use but in 32 years I have never seen anything said in a meeting to anyone when they mentioned drugs. I know they mention it early to start the meeting.

Truthfully I don't hear a lot of people talk about alcohol in a meeting either unless they are brand new or are the speaker.

What I do hear is about how people deal with life sober.

I think anyone with integrity would just let it slide, it's not like it happens every meeting. Talk about anything you want if it helps you stay sober for this 24 hours, just limit it to 3-5 min so everyone who wants to gets a chance to share.

I need less problems not more.
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Old 02-08-2014, 09:56 AM   #20 (permalink)

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Hmmmmm I could be wrong but NA was founded in the 1950s and was originally called AA/NA. From what I heard addicts were not as welcome in AA back then. Drug use was very taboo during that era. I read something online about how the police used to stake out NA meetings back then so they could bust junkies. The bottom line is that NA is not the same 12 step program. It is very similar but I did not find a solution in NA. I appreciate many aspects of NA but I could never picture myself staying sober through NA. I understand the disease concept of NA but I believe I have the spiritual malady described in AA. It is in interesting story about how I ended up in AA and not NA. When I was in rehab I was exposed to both fellowships but was uncertain of which one I wanted to belong to. After leaving rehab I got caught in a really bad position. I was stuck at someones house that was full of drugs and I knew I would be stuck there for three days until I could leave. I did not want to use and didn't know what to do so I called people in both fellowships and asked for direction. Everyone I called in NA told me to "just not use." I can't just not use! The person I called in AA told me to pray. Praying is what kept me sober through those three days. That person in AA later became my sponsor. If all addictions to mind altering substances are not the same than why does AA work so well for addicts like me? I identify myself as an alcoholic in meetings but I still do not feel that talking about drugs is a violation of the traditions. If so the BB needs to be revised because it is full of violations.
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