Addicts in AA meetings?

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2zwudz
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Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by 2zwudz » Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:07 pm

I have moderated tradition meetings for awhile now and I’m starting to get frustrated with addicts being brought into the meetings by some of the elders to closed AA meetings. Tonight one of them brought their kid into the meeting and no one said a word. Our traditions state clearly the closed meetings are for alcoholics or people who have a desire not to drink. What is the correct way to handle this.

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avaneesh912
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by avaneesh912 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:49 pm

If you raise concern, there will be 30 others opposing you. Thats the state of the fellowship today. Dont lose your sobriety over it.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by davep54 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:58 am

Avaneesh912 is being too negative; you have the traditions to fall back on. If your group is structured and have regular group conscience meetings raise your concern about people who don't subscribe to the third tradition being permitted to talk in closed meetings (if that's what happening). If you get voted down then it's not a healthy meeting. Is there a healthier meeting nearby that you can join?

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Brock
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Brock » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:02 am

Where I live we also get a couple of addicts at meetings, but mostly they identify as dual addicted and don’t speak about drugs much, I can’t get used to this X years ‘clean’ business however, and wish they would say 'sober.' They sometimes simply say that AA meetings are better than NA, and they prefer them, but when it starts getting out of hand like in this instance, I agree that we should put our foot down. Apart from the third tradition which was mentioned, I look at the first as well, our common welfare comes first, that’s the common welfare of AA and alcoholics, amen and case closed.

Unfortunately Avaneesh is probably right, when members like us raise our concern at a business meeting about things like this, there is often a section who will say it doesn't matter very much. Some people interpret sayings like ‘live and let live,’ and ‘we have stopped fighting anything and everything,’ differently from others, and use these as an excuse to go with the flow and not make any waves, even when the flow might be leading to Niagara falls.

If you get agreement from the group conscience, how to enforce this without undue embarrassment to others can be tricky, I would consider a short note passed around, or placed like a plaque on the table, stating whats written on the primary purpose card, or just order the cards form GSO and hand them out, for those who don’t know, here is what it says on the side for open meetings, closed meetings are even more restrictive.

Primary Purpose Card..jpg
It came out a bit small, but says clearly that we speak about our problems with alcohol.
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"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."

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PaigeB
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by PaigeB » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:01 am

2zwudz wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:07 pm
I have moderated tradition meetings for awhile now and I’m starting to get frustrated with addicts being brought into the meetings by some of the elders to closed AA meetings. Tonight one of them brought their kid into the meeting and no one said a word. Our traditions state clearly the closed meetings are for alcoholics or people who have a desire not to drink. What is the correct way to handle this.
avaneesh912 wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:49 pm
If you raise concern, there will be 30 others opposing you. Thats the state of the fellowship today. Dont lose your sobriety over it.
I am sorry.... this statement is so overly broad. It borders on incorrect. If it is true, than someone needs to do some work. Didn't the International meet in your city one time? Who coordinated that? Did they do it by power play or by Group involvement?

Anyway, what Avaneesh refers to would NEVER (not likely) happen in my District. Maybe Avaneesh needs to do this in his District too:

Take it to the HOme Group/District/Area business meeting. If you like you can use Robert's Rules as they are the fall back "rules" that tend to be used at our larger Group Conscience meetings. Write up your concerns and be prepared to offer a motion(s). Think of other things that might need changing like rotation of the group officers or the cleaning schedule. You may or may not be alone in your request. If you get voted down, there is no harm - nothing changes. It is not personal ~ so don't MAKE it personal. Then, if need be, you can vote with your feet & purse and either start a new meeting or change home groups!

AND We do not "oppose" we have group conscience. :wink:
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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avaneesh912
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by avaneesh912 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:51 pm

Didn't the International meet in your city one time?

It did. And in the closing ceremony, the person from Australia was talking about outside issues and no one stopped him from sharing it. I even asked the people who came with me, how the heck did they pick him.

And vividly remember this early in my sobriety. One of the members identified himself as an addict. Another fellow raised his hand and objected that addicts are not allowed in closed meetings. You know what the chairperson did, asked the addict, if he has a desire not to drink today? And the addict responded with "yes". And the chairperson proudly said, he can stay and continued the meeting.

I am sharing my experience and it may not be the same with others. Let me ask, why dont we share the solution instead of constant drunkalogs? You know what the book asks us to share with the newcomers???? The struggles we went through to stay stopped. I bet alcoholic, addict... whatever could relate to that and ask the question, what we did to stay stopped? There will be more power in the room.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by D'oh » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:13 pm

Just 1 Member's views of Addicts or Others attending Closed Meetings.

In our Area, NA has always struggled, opens then closes, 1-3 people attending till 1 slips or moves. So no one to carry "How a Meeting is structured".

So in our area the "And A's" are somewhat welcomed in (with some reservations by some Members).

But here are "My thoughts". Does the Big Book not state "Alcohol is but a symptom?" So then is the "ism" the problem or the "Alcohol?" For me, it is "Why I drank." "Why I thought I could drink and do it different this time."

So that being said, I believe that as a Group, if an Addict is asked to leave a Meeting the Group should supply the Addict with a 40 of Vodka on the way out, saying "Try this for a week or so and then come on back."

It was at one time illegal for a Group of Addicts to gather, it isn't any longer. And just "Maybe" a Higher Power sent them through the Door for a Reason "We" might yet not understand.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Layne » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:24 pm

Tonight one of them brought their kid into the meeting and no one said a word. Our traditions state clearly the closed meetings are for alcoholics or people who have a desire not to drink.
Did anyone ask the kid if he had a desire not to drink? Perhaps drinking is a problem for him as well because maybe when he drinks, he then seeks out drugs; and so he has a desire to not drink. What about the older guy that comes in right as the meetings start, sits at the back of the room, never says a word, and leaves as soon as the meeting is over. Does anyone ask him if he has a desire to not drink? When I came into AA, i had no problem admitting that I was an alcoholic. I didn't really want to stop drinking though, I just wanted to stop all the crap that was happening in my life. I wanted to get a handle on my drinking, not stop drinking. Should I have been shown the door?

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Jojo2
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Jojo2 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 5:02 am



So in our area the "And A's" are somewhat welcomed in (with some reservations by some Members).

If they are dual addicted, they are, of course, entitled to be there.

At the opening of every f2f I attend, we are all reminded to confine our shares to .. 'problems as they relate to alcoholism'.


Tradition 5 states: Each group has but one primary purpose: to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.  

"Shoemaker, stick to thy last!" . . . better do one thing supremely well than many badly. That is the central theme of this Tradition.  Around it our Society gathers in unity.  The very life of our Fellowship requires the preservation of this principle. 

TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 150   

The following was sent to me some time ago in regards to sponsorship:

 When I first came to AA, it was for heroin addiction and drug court says AA has higher success rate and more time sobriety. I thought I should be in na but I didn't have a choice. I've went to all kinds of AA and NA meetings and what's funny is they have the same message, recovery. It's all about being addicted  

This is fundamentally false of course.

The reason that all these different 12-Step programs exist is: Identification

Why else would there not simply be one big "Anything Anonymous" fellowship and programme? 
The problem is with anyone in AA meetings talking about problems unrelated to either consuming, or recovery from, dependency upon alcohol.  That's the real problem.    

The very first thing that any newcomer in any meeting for recovery from any problem whatsoever needs to be able to do is :
Identify with the problem. 
If an alcoholic in an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting is unable to identify because nobody is sharing about anything to do with either alcohol or recovery, that is a problem.
  "Shoemaker stick to thy last". The Washingtonians drifted away from their initial purpose of helping the individual alcoholic, and disagreements, infighting and controversies eventually destroyed the group.   

The Washingtonians forgot their primary purpose: identification with, and recovery from, alcoholism. 

 “Had they stuck to their one goal, they might have found the full answer” (AA Comes of Age, pg 124, 125)  

The influx of people discharged from treatment centres, maybe misinformed or mistakenly thinking AA could fix all problems, was followed by a renewed emphasis on AA’s Primary Purpose via

The Blue Card for Open/Closed Meetings, Conference Action 1987 ( see Brock's earlier post)

Suppose, though, that we are approached by a drug addict who nevertheless has had a genuine alcoholic history. There was a time when such a person would have been rejected. Many early A.A.’s had the almost comical notion that they were pure alcoholics — guzzlers only, no other serious problems at all.
When alcoholic ex-cons and drug users first turned up, there was much pious indignation.
“What will people think?” chanted the pure alcoholics.
Happily, this foolishness has long since evaporated. 

 Bill W   co-founder Alcoholics Anonymous

This is from A.A. General Service Conference-approved literature: 

Problems other than Alcohol


https://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/P-35_Pr ... lcohol.pdf  

We have to confine our membership to alcoholics, and we have to confine our A.A.groups to a single purpose.
If we don’t stick to these principles, we shall almost surely collapse. And if we collapse, we cannot help anyone. 

AA is not Anti-anything else. It isn't out of meanness, elitism, or lack of compassion that we need to insist on adhering to our primary purpose, but simply survival based on experience.    

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BA Lodi
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by BA Lodi » Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:29 am

I think I have a dual perspective on this topic.

I really don't know what is going on in F2F meetings now. But it surprises me that AA Groups are still uncomfortable with the word "addict" let alone the people themselves just like they were in the 1980s!

I was strictly AA for over 3 years. Some addicts turned up at our AA meetings because they didn't have meetings of their own every day. I was struggling with what I thought was a religious undercurrent in meetings and in the Big Book and I wanted to know more about addiction. So I attended some NA meetings. I was attending both AA and NA for a couple of years. I decided I liked the NA text and meetings better. Being a real pure high- bottom atheistic alcoholic (never used any drug but alcohol), NA was still better suited to my needs. And it gave me some insight I would need to deal with my younger son. I disconnected from my AA Home Group, joined an NA Home Group, and began doing service work there. I still talked to my AA friends and attended a few AA meetings a month. But I was mostly NA for the next 10 years.

Compared to a REAL addict, I was quite the sissy! There were a few people with 10 years clean, but it was rare in NA in those days for someone to have 5 years sober/clean. Once I got beyond the using details, I had valuable ESH to share. There were several people who went to both meetings. Most of the NAers I met did some kind of street drug but used alcohol to excess or to enhance a high, too. NA makes a big deal about the fact that alcohol is a drug because it's easy to focus on the street drug but tell yourself that drinking isn't a problem. And alcohol brought many an NAer to his/her knees. In AA in my area, we also had alcoholics that focused on not drinking but thought a little prescription drug abuse or pot was okay. It wasn't long before they had to reevaluate that premise.

I backed off from both fellowships at the 15 year mark to make getting and keeping a job outside the home my priority. I stayed sober for another 15 years with 1 on 1 contacts, some meetings, and a convention or two a year. At retirement in 2010, I was unsuccessful at reconnecting with my old AA Home Group. But NA was a little too exciting for me now. I had aging problems and I knew I had found my place when I discovered AA online. It took a while for me to think "sober" rather than "clean." I have made important discoveries and progress in my program online, and I am very thankful!

SO, I think an addict in an AA meeting should be treated as any other newcomer. I do NOT think an addict should be allowed to talk about anything but his problems with alcohol. If he does, a good chairperson can guide him towards the alcohol part of his story. And after the meeting, he can be asked to concentrate on just alcohol. NA is for all drug addicts. I would never dream of going to a cocaine anonymous meeting because I never used cocaine. And again, once WE get past the drinking/using details, the spiritual part of the program gives us all the bond.

Thank you for listening. Barbara, alcoholic

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by innermost » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:07 am

What is the correct way to handle this.
I would first start with prayer. Asking your HP the best way forward for
you to handle this in your group or groups.
The first 164 pg. is the program!

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by D'oh » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:14 pm


What is the correct way to handle this.
I would first start with prayer. Asking your HP the best way forward for
you to handle this in your group or groups.
As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action. We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer

87

running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “Thy will be done.’’ We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions. We become much more efficient. We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.
It works—it really does.
Kind of like the Book describes.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by tomsteve » Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:52 am

innermost wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:07 am
What is the correct way to handle this.
I would first start with prayer. Asking your HP the best way forward for
you to handle this in your group or groups.
what would the master do?

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PaigeB
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by PaigeB » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:36 am

avaneesh912 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 5:51 pm
I am sharing my experience and it may not be the same with others. Let me ask, why dont we share the solution instead of constant drunkalogs?
Yes - things are done differently all over. It's kind of a Tradition. :wink:

In Iowa, District 8, I rarely hear drunkologs. When I do it is mostly in the "what it used to be like" portion of a 45 minute speaker. I have heard you mention that before & don't know how to help you change that where you are. Maybe you could invite speakers/workshops from places where the Steps are priority and talk of our experience with how we recovered is really all we know.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by innermost » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:29 am

tomsteve wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:52 am
innermost wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:07 am
What is the correct way to handle this.
I would first start with prayer. Asking your HP the best way forward for
you to handle this in your group or groups.
what would the master do?
"What would the master do? "
Indeed ! A worthy (12x12) tradition 3 read.
The first 164 pg. is the program!

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