Addicts in AA meetings?

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tomsteve
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by tomsteve » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:34 am

D'oh wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:03 pm
tomsteve wrote:
Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:32 pm
that addict could also be an alcoholic but doesnt realize it yet. theres many cross addicted in AA.
I have seen this many times. Come in claiming an "Addict" only later to state "I am an Alcoholic/Addict" Switched to Alcohol when their Drug of Choice wasn't available.

And as the Big Book describes "Alcohol was but a Symptom, we have to get down to the causes" (The ism's)
i came in callin myself an alcoholic. when reviewing my life i saw times i wasnt drinking but was smoking a lot of pot.
it didnt take long for me to see that i was addicted to any mind and/or mood altering substance that i perceived to make me feel good.
just happened that alcohol was the major one.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Jen L » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:05 pm

Hi, I'm new on here and was just browsing and this post caught my eye. We have a vast amount of addicts attending meetings in my area. There is a rehab nearby and they are sent by the coach load. We had a group conscience to introduce the Primary Purpose card and it doesn't really stop people from talking about their drug use.....I am secretary at a large evening meeting and a few weeks ago a girl was sharing about how she was down to so many mg of such and such......there was murmurings of "well done you" I was quite upset. I did some research and have decided to keep a list of NA meetings with me so that I can help addicts go to where they can get the help they need. I have also jointly started a soley Traditions meeting which is incredible and wonderful and have come to realise that I am not anti addicts, Im just Pro AA!

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Spirit Flower » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:37 pm

In the past 2 years, I have read about 10 books on opioid addiction and other drug addictions and neuro science. I've come to believe that it is good to put heroin addicts on other opioids like suboxone, or naltrexone. But it really is putting them on a better drug, not clean. I get the purpose and don't disagree.

But some day, most of these people will want to get off that other drug and have a very difficult time. I don't think they really need a higher power when going on medically assisted treatment. But when they try to get off all drugs, then is when they need a higher power. And AA is totally about needing a higher power.
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by D'oh » Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:49 pm

But some day, most of these people will want to get off that other drug and have a very difficult time. I don't think they really need a higher power when going on medically assisted treatment.
But they Do Need a Higher Power, to Get the 12 Steps.

Call it "Postponing" but treating Addiction with a Drug isn't Treating an Addiction. It is slowing, calming, postponing it. Sad yes, but true. I have driven Alcoholics to Detox (a 2 hour drive each way) the first stop was at the liquor store, for the ride there. They come back weened and dry, about 1/2 take the program.

"Who cares to admit Complete Defeat" It is where I had to get to, to grasp what the Program has to offer, Higher Power being the very next Step after "I Can't"

I have a 22 year old son, who might have inherited my problem. He has been through more Car accidents, Job losses, the same quick to temper, and such. He is 1 year older than when I first walked through the doors. It is painful to watch but, I know I wouldn't have Sobered up until I hit my Bottom. "Complete Defeat"

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Brock » Sun Feb 02, 2020 7:29 pm

...I am not anti addicts, Im just Pro AA!
Welcome here Jen, and while I agree with what others might say about AA being of help to addicts, as you said we do have a primary purpose. In my area we get some addicts, they explain that they go to both fellowships, and actually prefer the AA meetings. I think that’s the basis of the problem in most areas, AA meetings are generally better organized, more convenient, and more helpful than NA meetings.

We don’t even like someone saying they are ‘clean,’ if that happens some of us correct the speaker by coughing or maybe the chairman gives them ‘the look,’ it’s simple, say you are sober not clean. What happened in your meetings like “...she was down to so many mg of such and such...” would not be allowed. I don’t think it means we are not sympathetic or caring towards the addicts, our first duty is to alcoholics, and any alcoholic newcomer hearing things about drugs, which they can not relate to, will mean we, the longer sober members, are allowing addicts to jeopardize the chances of alcoholic newcomers. Best of luck, hope you get the support of the other members.
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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:06 am

This tradition is on of the controversial one. I believe when AA was founded, there weren't many addicts seeking recovery and perhaps the hippie movement post 50' exponentially helped addiction to other mind altering substances and when they realized that they needed help there werent enough resources to help them. The treatment centers didn't help either they treated everything as a drug problem and when the insurance said the patients cant be on insurance forever they sent them in one bus to AA. Thats how you got addicts infiltrate groups. It depends on the chemistry of the people attending the Business meetings. If you have strong AA members who would support the singleness of purpose "dharma" will prevail.

Edit: I do want to add, I take AA meetings in to a correction facility, there the majority of the people of other addiction. Yesterday a guy came in and his problem was fast money. For him alcohol and pot isn't the problem. But we asked him to look at the insanity around the thought process when he is about to commit a crime. His mental twist was he is extorting money from well-to-do (kind of like Robinhood concept). Underlying cause was selfishness and self-centeredness. Why work hard when one can score the same in one act. So, suggested him to read page 62.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Indianapolis » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:28 pm

I feel like this is addressed in the 12-and-12 at page 141 and the group answer was "let him in and help." I dont understand why we would need to exclude addicts, and its common at my meetings that self-identifying addicts are welcome at closed AA meetings.

Once you get past step 1, aren't we all working the same steps of inventory, admission, character defects, etc etc? Why are steps 2-12 different for an addict than a drunk? The vast majority of meetings aren't about whether I liked vodka or wine or meth --- it's a question of how I'm living a better life and learning to "adult" today.

I dont understand the exclusion tendencies. Other than trite "we have to do one thing well" -- can someone tell me how an addict is different from a drunk after step 1? And if its just step 1, what percentage of your meetings are really focused there??

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Theo50 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:47 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 6:06 am
snip... I believe when AA was founded, there weren't many addicts seeking recovery
...snip
I am in agreement of your point, but would change this to "I believe when AA was founded, there weren't many non-alcohol drug addicts seeking recovery". Since alcohol is indeed a drug, an alcoholic is essentially a "drug" addict.

I am turning 56 this year and I most certainly don't recall fentanyl, or oxycontin as the drug of choice back in the early 80s. In the 1930s, I would imagine alcohol was the drug of choice, along with nicotine.
Last edited by Theo50 on Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Theo50 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:52 pm

Indianapolis wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:28 pm
I feel like this is addressed in the 12-and-12 at page 141 and the group answer was "let him in and help." I dont understand why we would need to exclude addicts, and its common at my meetings that self-identifying addicts are welcome at closed AA meetings.

Once you get past step 1, aren't we all working the same steps of inventory, admission, character defects, etc etc? Why are steps 2-12 different for an addict than a drunk? The vast majority of meetings aren't about whether I liked vodka or wine or meth --- it's a question of how I'm living a better life and learning to "adult" today.

I dont understand the exclusion tendencies. Other than trite "we have to do one thing well" -- can someone tell me how an addict is different from a drunk after step 1? And if its just step 1, what percentage of your meetings are really focused there??
Excellent point. Alcohol, after all, is just a symptom of alcoholism.
After step 1, aren't we just trying to find a spiritual solution to recover from our mental state of mind?

I would expect, and have, seen more younger members joining AA having issues with multiple drug additions, along with alcohol. The "vaping" industry is just in its infancy and has made significant impacts on the nicotine addicts. Cigarettes have been replaced by vaping for the younger generation. Society has imposed such a stigma on cigarette smoking that the tobacco industry has lost its hold on recruiting adolescents, at least in the USA.

I haven't researched it yet, but isn't "alcohol" going to be available in a vaping type of drug, to be able to enter the brain as fast as smoking cigarettes?

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Jojo2 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:47 pm

Jen L wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:05 pm
Hi, I'm new on here.
I have also jointly started a soley Traditions meeting which is incredible and wonderful and have come to realise that I am not anti addicts, Im just Pro AA!
Welcome Jen.

Always good to hear about Traditions meetings and workshops. I was fortunate when new to have a Big Book and a Steps and Traditions meeting.

Bill’s thoughts on the status of drug addicts within A.A. are as timely as when they appeared in a 1958 Grapevine.

Here is the link to the AA Conference Approved pamphlet:

Problems Other than Alcohol: Bill W. Co-Founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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


" Sobriety — freedom from alcohol — through the teaching and practice of the Twelve Steps is the sole purpose of an A.A. group.
Groups have repeatedly tried other activities, and they have always failed.
It has also been learned that there is no possible way to make non-alcoholics into A.A. members.
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."

"There seems to be no reason why several A.A.s cannot join, if they wish, with a group of straight addicts to solve the alcohol and the
drug problem together.
But, obviously, such a dual-purpose group should not insist that it be called an A.A. group, nor should it use the A.A. name in its title.
Neither should its straightaddict contingent be led to believe that they have become A.A. members by reason of such an association."

When an alcoholic attends an AA meeting they need to be able to identify with other alcoholics – that’s the foundation of how AA began – with Bill talking to Bob. They need to be able to listen and think “That’s me. That’s me. I’m the same as that person” which then leads to the connection that they too can have what that person has – a sober life!
If I attend an AA meeting and people are talking about their addiction to drugs, I don’t identify. I don’t make that connection. It’s not a game of semantics – it’s the foundation upon which millions of alcoholics have built sober lives. As a sober members of AA it’s our responsibility to see to it that we adhere to our 5th tradition.
.

We are Alcoholics Anonymous, not Anything Anonymous.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:37 pm

I dont understand the exclusion tendencies. Other than trite "we have to do one thing well" -- can someone tell me how an addict is different from a drunk after step 1? And if its just step 1, what percentage of your meetings are really focused there??

Its about identification atleast initially. Also, If people dont share their gory war stories and shared the struggle (which is what Working with others chapter suggest) then I would agree. I have heard countless mind-numbing drug stories, which is very detrimental to a thorough bred alcoholic.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Indianapolis » Mon Feb 03, 2020 9:23 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 7:37 pm
I dont understand the exclusion tendencies. Other than trite "we have to do one thing well" -- can someone tell me how an addict is different from a drunk after step 1? And if its just step 1, what percentage of your meetings are really focused there??

Its about identification atleast initially. Also, If people dont share their gory war stories and shared the struggle (which is what Working with others chapter suggest) then I would agree. I have heard countless mind-numbing drug stories, which is very detrimental to a thorough bred alcoholic.
The gory war stories -- drug-alogue or drunk-alogue -- are only useful very early in sobriety, and even then I believe better in small group settings. I hit two meetings a day most days, and I hardly ever hear war stories of people's drinking escapades. Weve got 11 more steps to work and discuss after #1. I just dont see this argument swaying me overall.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by Jojo2 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:58 am

Jojo2 wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 4:47 pm


When an alcoholic attends an AA meeting they need to be able to identify with other alcoholics – that’s the foundation of how AA began – with Bill talking to Bob. They need to be able to listen and think “That’s me. That’s me. I’m the same as that person” which then leads to the connection that they too can have what that person has – a sober life!
If I attend an AA meeting and people are talking about their addiction to drugs, I don’t identify. I don’t make that connection. It’s not a game of semantics – it’s the foundation upon which millions of alcoholics have built sober lives. As a sober members of AA it’s our responsibility to see to it that we adhere to our 5th tradition.
.

We are Alcoholics Anonymous, not Anything Anonymous.

Closed meetings are for A.A. members only, or for those who have a drinking problem and “have a desire to stop drinking”.
Open meetings are available to anyone interested in Alcoholics Anonymous' programme of recovery from alcoholism.


The Primary Purpose statement differs slightly for Closed meetings:

THIS IS A CLOSED MEETING
OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
This is a closed meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. In
support of A.A.'s singleness of purpose, attendance at
closed meetings is limited to persons who have a desire
to stop drinking. If you think you have a problem with
alcohol, you are welcome to attend this meeting. We ask
that when discussing our problems, we confine ourselves
to those problems as they relate to alcoholism.
(The 1987 General Service Conference made this statement available as an A.A. service
piece for those groups who wish to use it.)

THIS IS AN OPEN MEETING
OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
This is an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are
glad you are all here — especially newcomers. In keeping
with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition
which states that “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking", we ask that all who
participate confine their discussion to their problems with alcohol.
(The 1987 General Service Conference made this statement available as an A.A. service
piece for those groups who wish to use it.)

Group Conscience meetings determine such matters.

"Each Group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole".

Tradition 4 means very simply that every A.A. group can manage its affairs exactly as it pleases, except when A.A. as a whole is threatened.

Alongside the freedom we have, there comes a huge responsibility to protect the Fellowship as a whole

Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by D'oh » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:47 am

THIS IS A CLOSED MEETING
OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
This is a closed meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. In
support of A.A.'s singleness of purpose, attendance at
closed meetings is limited to persons who have a desire
to stop drinking. If you think you have a problem with
alcohol, you are welcome to attend this meeting. We ask
that when discussing our problems, we confine ourselves
to those problems as they relate to alcoholism.
(The 1987 General Service Conference made this statement available as an A.A. service
piece for those groups who wish to use it.)

THIS IS AN OPEN MEETING
OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS
This is an open meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. We are
glad you are all here — especially newcomers. In keeping
with our singleness of purpose and our Third Tradition
which states that “The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking", we ask that all who
participate confine their discussion to their problems with alcohol.
(The 1987 General Service Conference made this statement available as an A.A. service
piece for those groups who wish to use it.)
100% correct. But it then becomes a 2nd Tradition Issue, not a 1 or 2 Member issue.
I dont understand the exclusion tendencies. Other than trite "we have to do one thing well" -- can someone tell me how an addict is different from a drunk after step 1? And if its just step 1, what percentage of your meetings are really focused there??
In a way, 100% of that Meeting is the 1st Step. If infact, "Addicts" are Not Allowed, then you have a New Comer in your Midsts.
Excellent point. Alcohol, after all, is just a symptom of alcoholism.
After step 1, aren't we just trying to find a spiritual solution to recover from our mental state of mind?
It is all about the "Ism". I always say "If there is a Miracle Cure and I would never touch another Drop, I would be Dead or Locked Up in a very short time." The 12 Steps is about Living, something I could never do with or without Booze.

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Re: Addicts in AA meetings?

Post by avaneesh912 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:52 am

The gory war stories -- drug-alogue or drunk-alogue -- are only useful very early in sobriety, and even then I believe better in small group settings.
Its never useful. My point is, there are some people who just drink. When they hear drug related war stories, they could conclude, since they didn't do those, they are not alcoholic. Like the person who thinks, there should be ramifications (bodily withdrawals) when they stop and therefore not alcoholic. I know its dumb but thats how the alcoholic mind thinks. It takes a while to understand that those are just symptoms. But then it will be too late.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Tue Feb 04, 2020 7:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Show him the mental twist which leads to the first drink of a spree. We suggest you do this as we have done it in the chapter on alcoholism.(Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)

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