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12 Step Discussion Mega Thread

OverDone

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
5,400
Often enough, threads get started concerning 12 Step Programs. In order to keep things neat and tidy, this is where all 12 Step discussions should be held.

Experiences, whether positive or negative, should be shared here and all off-topic discussion will be removed.

For whatever reason, discussions concerning 12 Step Programs tend to get heated and emotional. This is understandable but please stop, take a breath, think out your response and then type away.

PLEASE REMAIN CIVIL, RESPECTFUL AND STAY ON TOPIC.

Below are some nifty links to peruse. Some are 12 Step related, some are not. Different things work for different people.



 
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theartofwar

Bluelighter
Joined
Jul 29, 2009
Messages
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Location
Boston
I looked at the site - I've looked at the NA pamphlets - and I've gotten different responses from different groups I've attended. My question is MMT , Suboxone, are these simply either accepted by groups or not and it is up to to members who run and organize the group ? Or as it NA is a nationally run system do they have a specific stand on these two methods of opiate dependency ?

I actually have my first meeting again in a longgggg time time, 7:30 tomorrow night.
 

OverDone

Bluelighter
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
5,400
NA does have an official stance on drug replacement therapies. Below is copy/pasted from another post I made. I typically suggest to people to simply not reveal that they are on a drug replacement program. Is this wrong of me to do? Eh, who knows?

The Treasurer of my homegroup is on methadone. No one has a problem with it so it can be up to the individual group (although the below bulletin states otherwise)

Oh, and NA isn't 'nationally run' but is a worldwide organization with a very specific service structure that keeps it going. It starts with the 'individual group' that belongs to an 'area' which belongs to a 'region' and then I think each region reports to what is called the 'World Service Office'


NSFW:
Bulletin #29

WORLD SERVICE BOARD OF TRUSTEES BULLETIN #29

Regarding Methadone and Other
Drug Replacement Programs

This bulletin was written by the World Service Board of Trustees in 1996. It represents the views of the board at the time of writing.

Not all of us come to our first NA meeting drug free. Some of us were uncertain about whether recovery was possible for us and initially came to meetings while still using.

Others came to their first meetings on drug replacement programs such as methadone and found it frightening to consider becoming abstinent.

One of the first things we heard was that NA is a program of complete abstinence and "The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using." Some of us, upon hearing these statements, may have felt that we were not welcome at NA meetings until we were clean. But NA members reassured us that this was not the case and we were encouraged to "keep coming back." We were told that through listening to the experience, strength, and hope of other recovering addicts that we too could find freedom from active addiction if we did what they did.

Many of our members, however, have expressed concern about individuals on drug replacement programs. Questions come up regarding such individuals' membership status, ability to share at meetings, lead meetings, or become trusted servants on any level. "Are these members clean?" they ask. "Can one really be a 'member' and still be using?"

Perhaps by answering the most important question first—the issue of membership—we can establish a context by which to approach this issue. Tradition Three says that the only requirement for NA membership is a desire to stop using. There are no exceptions to this. Desire itself establishes membership; nothing else matters, not even abstinence. It is up to the individual, no one else, to determine membership. Therefore, someone who is using and who has a desire to stop using, can be a member of NA.

Members on drug replacement programs such as methadone are encouraged to attend NA meetings. But, this raises the question: "Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so. While some groups choose to allow such members to share, it is also a common practice for NA groups to encourage these members (or any other addict who is still using), to participate only by listening and by talking with members after the meeting or during the break. This is not meant to alienate or embarrass; this is meant only to preserve an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings.
Our Fifth Tradition defines our groups' purpose: to carry the message that any addict can stop using and find a new way to live. We carry that message at our recovery meetings, where those who have some experience with NA recovery can share about it, and those who need to hear about NA recovery can listen. When an individual under the influence of a drug attempts to speak on recovery in Narcotics Anonymous, it is our experience that a mixed, or confused message may be given to a newcomer (or any member, for that matter) For this reason, many groups believe it is inappropriate for these members to share at meetings of Narcotics Anonymous.

It may be argued that a group's autonomy, as described in our Fourth Tradition, allows them to decide who may share at their meetings. However, while this is true, we believe that group autonomy does not justify allowing someone who is using to lead a meeting, be a speaker, or serve as a trusted servant. Group autonomy stands only until it affects other groups or NA as a whole. We believe it affects other groups and NA as a whole when we allow members who are not clean to be a speaker, chair a meeting, or be a trusted servant for NA.

Many groups have developed guidelines to ensure that an atmosphere of recovery is
maintained in their meetings. The following points are usually included:

*
Suggesting that those who have used any drug within the last twenty-four hours refrain from sharing, but encouraging them to get together with members during the break or after the meeting.
*
Abiding by our fellowship's suggested clean time requirements for service positions.
*
Seeking meeting leaders, chairpersons, or speakers who help further our primary purpose of carrying the message to the addict who still suffers.

We make a distinction between drugs used by drug replacement programs and other prescribed drugs because such drugs are prescribed specifically as addiction treatment. Our program approaches recovery from addiction through abstinence, cautioning against the substitution of one drug for another. That's our program; it's what we offer the addict who still suffers. However, we have absolutely no opinion on methadone maintenance or any other program aimed at treating addiction. Our only purpose in addressing drug replacement and its use by our members is to define abstinence for ourselves.
Our fellowship must be mindful of what kind of message we are carrying if a still-using addict leads a meeting, or becomes a trusted servant. We believe that under these circumstances we would not be carrying the Narcotics Anonymous message of recovery. Permissiveness in this area is not consistent with our traditions. We believe our position on this issue reinforces our recovery, protects our meetings, and supports addicts in striving for total abstinence.

Note: This bulletin addresses the use of methadone maintenance as a drug replacement strategy. It is not addressing the medicinal use of methadone as a pain killer. We encourage those who have concerns about the use of methadone in pain management to refer to Narcotics Anonymous pamphlet, In Times of Illness.

source: http://web.na.org/?ID=bulletins-bull29
I fuckin' HATE this viewpoint, but I still go to meetings regularly and am able to suggest to folks that they may not want to share that they are on MMT/suboxone due to other people's self-righteous judgments. It sucks but its a reality.

The above bulletin is VERY contrary and for me, I don't need to incorporate that narrow minded viewpoint into my program.

ANYTHING, that can help a person feel better, function better, and get away from that deadly monkey on their backs is fine by me. There are other options out there. Personally I grabbed onto what was presented to me, gave it a chance and like lacey said, took the meat and left the bone.
 

crystalserenity

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Feb 13, 2011
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83
Location
Idaho
Taow-most groups do not like to see any type of drug in use in order to be considered truly clean. However the only requirement for membership is a DESIRE to stay clean. At my 1st meeting I would not share much of that to the group-find an addict with significant clean time n discuss ur concerns such as those privately. When u arrive there should be info pamphlets n 1 I know of addresses this issue specifically. Lots of luck n luv.
 

Legerity

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TOAW, some people may disagree with your approach at meetings, but you can still experience the benefits of attendance despite this. It's near impossible to get an instant social support network like AA/NA otherwise. I'm sure you can find people who are using the same method of recovery as you, or who support your right to make your own decisions. Do whatcha have to do :)
 

theartofwar

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Jul 29, 2009
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Boston
thx for responses - i am not on bupe or methadone - I used to be on them for years each. I am going back to NA 7:30 tomorrow for help period, I was just curious if there was an official statement on what constitutes clean , and now it has been answered , ty.
 

oliphill

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Apr 9, 2003
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Location
Bury St. Edmunds, UK
Just wanna say, I personally have tried every other way possible to stop and have found NA to be the only thing to ever work for me. And not just being clean, I am gaining so much from it internally, by trying to live my life based around the spiritual principles suggested in the fellowship. I have a great group of clean friends, which I have deep, meaningful, real relationships with, I am actually helping people rather than doing everything for my self for so long, I am actually starting to gain a strong feeling of well being and contentment without drugs, which I of course thought would be impossible. The first few months were very hard, the feelings I felt were of course intensified, as I had been using drugs on a daily basis for 10 years, and it takes a long while for the brain to readjust.

I am a very logical thinker and tend to look at everything from a scientific angle. This, of course, caused me to struggle a lot with the word "God". Luckily for me the 12 step treatment centre I went to was run by an atheist, and we had a workshop on "The atheists guide to the steps". I do not see myself as an atheist, more an agnostic, but this workship helped to smash my false belief that it was a religious program, the final excuse I had.

You don't have to be religious to work the 12 steps outlined in the various fellowships. Here are the converted 12 steps, and I will ask if I can upload the whole powerpoint presentation:

12 Steps (minus God)

1. We admitted we had a problem, that our lives were a mess
2. We realised we needed/could get help
3. We asked for help
4. We wrote a detailed description of ourselves, both positive and negative
5. We told someone else what we were like
6. We recognised personality traits that caused us pain
7. We asked other people how they changed
8. We made a list of people we had harmed
9. We made amends to these people always remembering to look after them and ourselves
10. We continued to look at our behaviour
11. We looked at ways we could improve our relationships with people, places, etc
12. We woke up, tried to help others and did our best

Hope this may potentially help someone. :)
 

Legerity

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^^^That's great. I am not averse to spiritual things although I don't really connect with AA/NA's form of spirituality. But I really like the choice of words in the version that you posted!
 

OverDone

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Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
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J Here are the converted 12 steps, and I will ask if I can upload the whole powerpoint presentation:

12 Steps (minus God)

1. We admitted we had a problem, that our lives were a mess
2. We realised we needed/could get help
3. We asked for help
4. We wrote a detailed description of ourselves, both positive and negative
5. We told someone else what we were like
6. We recognised personality traits that caused us pain
7. We asked other people how they changed
8. We made a list of people we had harmed
9. We made amends to these people always remembering to look after them and ourselves
10. We continued to look at our behaviour
11. We looked at ways we could improve our relationships with people, places, etc
12. We woke up, tried to help others and did our best

Hope this may potentially help someone. :)
I dig this! I really dig this!

I don't see a problem with attaching the PP with the exception that it may exceed the maximum allowed file size (off the top of my head I think it is 172 KB but don't quote me on that)
 

belfort

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Nov 2, 2005
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does someone have to stand up and speak at a na meeting and give their life story or can they just sit back and watch??
 

Legerity

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I don't think I've ever seen anybody "forced" to speak at a meeting. When I went, if there was a main speaker he or she would normally be asked in advance. If it was a discussion meeting, when it came to a person's turn he or she could always just pass.

The only meeting I went to that was somewhat different was a "tag" discussion. After you speak, you point to whoever you want and tell them that it is their turn. I suppose they could also decline, but there was a bit more pressure in that situation.

Either way, even if there is some sort of unspoken pressure, it's not a necessity from what I've seen.
 

D's

Moderator: NMI
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great thread idea OD.

sorry my brain isn't working tonight, i'll post more later lol.
 

calmAnimal

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in the moment
ha oli, i am also a very analytical person and often over think things, which has caused me to have a problem with the word"GOD" and all of its dogma and associations. but in the basic text it says (i think its step 2 ) something like "we can call it the group, the program or we can call it god". that is in refrence to what can restore an addict to sanity. i also hear alot of ppl say that they call it god cuz its just easier.

for me "god" is not a supernatural being, not the puppet master, none of that, to me it changes all the time and its not just one thing. its whatever help me that is loving caring. whether its a song, a person, a show, or just remembering that i follow "spiritual" principles (basically the correct unselfish thing to do). TBH i want to invent a word that will be used that has NO religous conotations what so ever. ill let ya know when i do :)

to me this program doesnt really even have anything to do with drugs anymore. i have NO desire to use (which is mind boggling) and i can see areas in my life that i want to work on. its about seeing the patterns in my life and using the steps to correct what i dont like and keep the shit i do like. and just be a better well rounded person in general. hopefully i will finish my 4th step tonight.
 

panic in paradise

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by the dawns early light
i would go into AA/NA meetings an atheist or agnostic and feel fine knowing the people, and the program, and how "GOD" was just any higher-power, a car even! it doesnt matter, your own heart, your wifes hair - haha, you dont have to tell anyone, or say the word god during the "prayers" which seem more like reiterations of some valuable thoughts; the serenity "prayer" specifically.

... grant me the serenity --- etc.
its a lot easier to accept and do or try it seems, then struggling on as an active alcoholic.
you dont have to commit yourself for life, just get some time and insight into a better
much more free one; it really can and does happen everyday.
 

belfort

Bluelighter
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
2,299
ok, say someone that has been clean for a year or so goes to 12 step meeting and complains of being mostly anhedonic still..just cant seem to enjoy life like they used to prior to drugs..what do the 12 steppers recommend them do then??
 
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