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Attn: AAers and NAers -Getting the lowdown

Old 02-02-2010, 06:33 AM
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Attn: AAers and NAers -Getting the lowdown

Well, it has become plain as day to me that I need outside support for my problem. I realize, and actually look forward (!!) to going to a meeting. My hesitation lies in the rumors that AA does not really welcome substance abuse addicts. Apparently, there's some kind of prejudice against them being in the group? And two - AA has a better recovery rate than NA. There are way more AA groups in my town to choose from too. I have heard that NA is full of people who are court ordered to attend, so it's not really a positive energy group kind of thing.

I am NOT looking for excuses to not go. I am looking for ANY way to go. I just want to feel welcomed. The thought of rejection scares me as much as relapse. Where would a nice little ol' pill popping housewife feel safest going?

All you AAers, would you turn your back on me?
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by AlonebutHopeful View Post
All you AAers, would you turn your back on me?
Of course not. Are you alcoholic?

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Old 02-02-2010, 06:39 AM
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heck no .... But you will find there are a few that prefur it just the drinkers who attend . Ive been to meetings that have had both druggies and drinkers, If you find one thats a unwelcomeing to you , Im sure the one up the street from that will welcome you . Dont let one bad one ruin it for you, Even those who are or or the other sometimes search a few meetings till they find the correct one that works for them , Dont give up just try a diff one . another suggestion would be to ask someone you know in the program if they go to an AA meeting and see where they mite go that they feel accepted in that club house . best of luck and congrats on your recovery ~ huggles Endzy ~
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:08 AM
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I know that here we have people from NA who come over to AA as well, and I've never seen it be a problem at the meetings.

To answer your question, no way would I turn my back on you. Like Endzoner said, since you have multiple groups/meetings there, if one doesn't feel the best to you, try another. It will work out (:
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:34 AM
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From what I've heard, and read here, in most AA meetings it is preferred if you keep your sharing limited to your experiences with alcohol. Other than that, I can't say.

There are also a lot of court-ordered people in AA meetings too.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:56 AM
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I guess it varies from group to group. The only experience I have, for the most part, is with my home group and I can tell you that we have many AA/adicts that attend regularly and share their experiences.

You might just need to try out different groups until you find the right one.

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Old 02-02-2010, 08:58 AM
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In my area the drinkers introduce themselves as alcoholics, the drug users introduce themselves as addicts, and the ones who do both introduce themselves as alcoholic/addicts. And it's no problem at all. This is only my 30th day but everyone has always been equally as welcome, best I can tell.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:07 AM
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My experience around here (Durham, NC) is that many "closed" AA meetings insist that only those who identify themselves as alcoholics or as someone who "has a desire to stop drinking" or "has a desire not to drink today" are allowed to attend. I wonder if, since I've heard that most people who have any kind of substance abuse problem are likely to have problems with any OTHER substances, you could just say you have a desire not to drink..assuming that's true.

I would encourage you to get to any AA meeting you can, and remember that while they do limit discussions to alcohol, most of what's discussed about alcoholism could easily apply to any other addiction.

Best of luck to you.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:08 AM
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AlonebutHopeful I have a pretty simple question, Do you have a desire to stop drinking?

The reason I ask is because the only requirement for membership in AA is a desire to stop drinking.

As already stated just go!!!

In my area we have a sprinkling of straight up addicts that attend AA, we have a huge percentage of alcoholics who are both alcoholic & addicts, in 90% of the meetings in my area addicts are more then welcome with open arms.

Now just to prepare you just in case, in my area we still have a few OLD OLD timers who do not want to hear the word addict mentioned in an AA meeting, but they are so few and far between that those cross addicted or straight up addicts have no problem finding AA meetings they are more then welcome in. If you do not feel welcome in a meeting just go to another one.

I know more then one addict who's sponsor is an alcoholic. One of my sponsees is a recovering alcoholic & Crack head who has been clean & sober for over 18 months.

Oh yea, try to limit your shares to alcohol or simply "Recovery" until you get a feel for the meeting. AA needs to maintain its singleness of purpose and as a result it is a good idea to not have a meeting begin to sound like an NA meeting when it is an AA meeting mainly for the newcomers.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:17 AM
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I'm sorry, I should have made myself clear. I do not drink. My mother was an alcoholic so it was something I tried to be careful not to start. It's pain pills I have a problem with. Funny how I spent my whole life worrying about drinking, but these things sure did sneak up on me.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by AlonebutHopeful View Post
I'm sorry, I should have made myself clear. I do not drink. My mother was an alcoholic so it was something I tried to be careful not to start. It's pain pills I have a problem with. Funny how I spent my whole life worrying about drinking, but these things sure did sneak up on me.
In that case, I'm not an expert but I would think you should try some NA meetings to see if you can find a group that really hits home for you. Nothing wrong with attending AA meetings as well (given the number of addicts that go), but the topics will be driven by alcohol abuse.

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:40 AM
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You could go to open meeting. At an open meeting I go to they just ask that you keep sharing to alcoholism. That doesn't mean that addicts can't share and mention they are addicts. They can - they can talk about their powerlessness, unmanageability, working the steps, recovery.

It's just detailed description of drug use is not welcomed. The primary purpose of carrying the message to the alcoholic.....particularly a newcomer in the meeting.....is very important.
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Old 02-02-2010, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by intention View Post
You could go to open meeting. At an open meeting I go to they just ask that you keep sharing to alcoholism. That doesn't mean that addicts can't share and mention they are addicts. They can - they can talk about their powerlessness, unmanageability, working the steps, recovery.

It's just detailed description of drug use is not welcomed. The primary purpose of carrying the message to the alcoholic.....particularly a newcomer in the meeting.....is very important.
As Intention stated "open" meetings are for anyone who wants to go whether for themselves or a significant other, "closed" meetings are for alcoholics only.

It is Alcoholics Anonymous, you mention you hear AA has a better recovery rate, that is partially because of the singleness of purpose AA has, as in AA is for alcoholics, by alcoholics.

In all honesty you do not "qualify" to be "a member" of Alcoholics anonymous, because, simply put, you are not an alcoholic, you are however welcome to attend an open meeting and listen, and reach out for help, however I understand your reluctance and trepidation about NA, but if you were to go to a few NA meetings and ask the people with solid "clean time" where the "good meetings" are, there are usually good meetings to be found in every fellowship.

That being said there are addicts and duel addicted that do attend open AA meetings, maybe in addition to some NA meetings you could attend some open AA meetings and listen, there will be sober people there that will mention in passing their drug use, possibly approach them after the meeting to find out how/where they got sober.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by AlonebutHopeful View Post
All you AAers, would you turn your back on me?
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.......but, if you sat a table with me and constantly did drugalogues, probably would not sit at your table much. Could say the same, however, about someone that constantly did drunkalogues. And might also avoid your table if you sat down and said, hey, I'm so-and-so and I'm an addict. It is Alcoholics Anonymous, after all.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:06 AM
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Thank you everyone for your kind replies. As I stated before, I do not want to go where there's a chance I would be not welcomed. And I am 100% positive that AA would not be a safe place for my tender feelings.

So, NA it is. And I am ok with that. I will make something work. As for those in AA who would resent my presence, I understand where you are coming from. But I would also like to point out that some of us wouldn't know we were being offensive and to go a little light on those who might not have found the right place to ask for help.
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:09 AM
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alcoholics anonymous for alcoholics.
narcotics anonymous for people addicted to narcotics.
if you have problems with both you get dual citizen ship..lol
makes perfect sense to me..

to be honest im pretty hardline with this.
not because im elitist or do i judge anyone for whatever brought them to their knees.

identification is everything imo........certainly in the beginning..

when my wife was ill recently she went to the doctor.......he didnt know much about said illness and put her on to a specialist........someone that knew the ins and outs of that illness and how best to treat it....
thankfully he knew what he was talking about and she is on the mend.

Alcoholics anonymous came together with one alcoholic seeking out another and then sharing with each other about their drinking..
bingo.....identification.........vital..
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Old 02-02-2010, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AlonebutHopeful View Post
Thank you everyone for your kind replies. As I stated before, I do not want to go where there's a chance I would be not welcomed. And I am 100% positive that AA would not be a safe place for my tender feelings.

So, NA it is. And I am ok with that. I will make something work. As for those in AA who would resent my presence, I understand where you are coming from. But I would also like to point out that some of us wouldn't know we were being offensive and to go a little light on those who might not have found the right place to ask for help.
no no no no..........its not that your not welcome.
its a simple case of right place for right illness/addiction

i detest people that give addicts a hard time in aa rather than taking the time to get them the right imformation......

whom are we to stand on the moral high ground.
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Old 02-02-2010, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by AlonebutHopeful View Post
Thank you everyone for your kind replies. As I stated before, I do not want to go where there's a chance I would be not welcomed. And I am 100% positive that AA would not be a safe place for my tender feelings.

So, NA it is. And I am ok with that. I will make something work. As for those in AA who would resent my presence, I understand where you are coming from. But I would also like to point out that some of us wouldn't know we were being offensive and to go a little light on those who might not have found the right place to ask for help.
You are ABSOLUTELY welcome to go to an open meeting to LISTEN and look for someone there that can help you, many addicts and duel addicted attend open meetings, there is a good chance to find one that has worked the steps and can help you

And I am 100% positive that AA would not be a safe place for my tender feelings.
This is without ever attending a meeting?

I'd suggest going to an open meeting and asking for help before making any unjustified sweeping statements that you have absolutely no experience with.

AA is absolutely a safe place for tender feelings, it's not too safe for drugalogues though, there is a difference.

As for those in AA who would resent my presence
No one in AA would "resent your presence" at an open meeting, that's what they are there for, some however might resent if you started sharing long tedious drugalogues and blow by blow accounts of your trials and tribulations at group level.

Many new people mistake AA for group therapy, which it isn't, an AA meetings primary purpose is there to carry the message to the alcoholic that is still suffering. Don't whine, blather or tell drugalogues at group level and you will be fine.

It's not a matter of "resenting your presence" it's a matter of respecting the house you are in, and if You go to an AA meeting, there should be no confusion, it even has the word Alcoholic in the title, it is a meeting by alcoholics, for alcoholics.

Open meetings non alcoholics are welcome to attend and listen. That is why they are called "open", that is their purpose, to allow "outsiders" and "possible alcoholics", and spouses of alcoholics to view the process, the resentment comes when non alcoholics and non-members with not even a nodding acquaintance with the twelve steps start using the meeting as their personal dumping ground for things no one wants to hear about.

That is where the confusion comes from, it's not that outsiders aren't welcome, it's just "shares" should be limited to alcoholism and the recovery thereof, either for those who don't know to ask for help, or those that do know, to offer the solution.

It's not group therapy, the meetings are a vehicle to reach new people, and for new people to specifically ask for help, not a venue for new people to spew blather.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:06 PM
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See, I am not one to open up at all. So the chances of me "spewing blather" or reciting drugathons or whatever you call them lol are very slim. But thanks for the heads up!

I guess the only way I'll know if I'm making the right choice is to go huh? What's the worse they can do to me? Point me in the right direction?

Thanks again everyone.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AlonebutHopeful View Post

I guess the only way I'll know if I'm making the right choice is to go huh? What's the worse they can do to me? Point me in the right direction?

Thanks again everyone.
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