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Unread 12-10-2009, 08:59 AM   #1
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Default Local meetings - dealing with stigma

Unfortunately the stigma of medication-assisted treatment appears in live meetings.

We'll discuss what you've experienced and how to deal with it in this thread.
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Unread 12-10-2009, 11:26 AM   #2
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I deal with it by taking what I need for my own recovery without getting into my medical history. IMO, my medications and treatment are between me and my doctors....period. I no more expect advice on suboxone from meetings than I do my blood pressure meds.
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Unread 12-10-2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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I have a question that I really need a response to. When I was in AA, and I did inventory, my sponsor told me that the most important thing was honesty, and if I left anything out that the program wouldn't work. She told me again and again, as if to ingrain this into my brain. Therefore, I didn't feel like I was really working the steps because I was holding something back. I don't know if this was just my rare experience but at least in my homegroup that was the general consensus. Has this happened to anyone else?
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Unread 12-10-2009, 12:59 PM   #4
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Hi Lily29,
YOU are our first question! YEA.....welcome! This is a very good question. There is a misconception about what that "honesty" is about. The best way I can explain that is this: The steps are about getting to the inside work (the goal being living an esteem able life) . It isn't about.....lets say Cash register honesty (which is important of course. Cause if we steal that would not be an esteem able act.) It is self honesty what your sponsor was talking about. Example: I tell my sponsor that I haven't harmed anyone in my addiction. My children are grown, I don't live with anyone, Nobody had to pay my bills, take care of me etc.etc etc. BUT....honestly.....don't I think that my children worried about me? What about all the times they called or came by and I was so loaded I didn't remember they called (or stopped by) What about the times I borrowed money from my parents (I may have paid them back) but didn't that cause my parents stress? OR pain? Them having to say yes or no to my requests? Like putting extra stress on others even if they could afford it? What about the worry that my parents had with me living alone and loaded. Are they going to find there daughter dead one day? Is that truly NOT harming anyone? See how my perception was wrong?
Do you see where I am going with this? That self honesty, getting down to the REAL reality. That has nothing to do with taking a medication. The steps are about getting a good look at your behavior, life. Once being armed with that knowledge you can no longer live in denial. You now have a clear picture of truth. What worked in your life and what didn't. Who you harmed and how you harmed them. Knowing all this and being able to apply that honesty to daily life keeps you from participating in things that harm your soul. IT is the harm to our soul that keeps taking us out!
Does this help?
That was a perfect question. Great start to our new forum. Did that clear up anything?
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Unread 12-10-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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With an inventory, I don't know anyone who has ever gotten it perfect. There is nothing that says that inventory must be shared with someone in the program (although step five entails admissions to another). I interpret the inventory steps to be aimed towards transgressions, ways we have harmed others, etc. Disclosing one's medications has nothing to do with that. I think most folks discover that things that seem huge in early recovery turn out to be trivial. This issue is one of them.

My experience has been that almost everything I used to consider to be "a problem with the program" turned out to be a problem with me. Learning to be tolerant of others, and their actions and beliefs, take a lot of time and effort.

Last edited by toms; 12-10-2009 at 01:03 PM..
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Unread 12-10-2009, 01:40 PM   #6
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I can't add much to what Tang and Toms shared. I agree with both.

I will say that in working a 4th and 5th steps, personally my medical issues are mine. What medications I take, what I perceive my short term and long term medical problems to be and so on. To me that is not what the those steps are about.

Further, I work the 4th and 5th steps about every 12 to 18 months. I have found it healthy for me to do this.

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Unread 12-10-2009, 01:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms View Post
My experience has been that almost everything I used to consider to be "a problem with the program" turned out to be a problem with me. Learning to be tolerant of others, and their actions and beliefs, take a lot of time and effort.



I feel that the above is as true as anything could be.

I wish I had a buck for each time I have expressed that view and it took me a long time to get to that understanding, it sure wasn't easy.

I believe that each person needs to forge out their own personal recovery program and that includes how the steps work best for them. It is not about the other members or even the programs themselves, but, how we adapt them and utilize them to best serve the healing process for us, individually.

I have yet to ever see two people truly work the steps the same or apply them the same. Even if they try to, it simply doesn't work that way, it can't. We are individuals with our own individual needs and issues.

Sometimes people can try to make the process, as with the 5th step too black or white, too much of a blue print point of view and that simply can't work, at least not to the best end result for the individual.

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Unread 12-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADMIN View Post
Unfortunately the stigma of medication-assisted treatment appears in live meetings.

We'll discuss what you've experienced and how to deal with it in this thread.

I haven't attended any meetings yet but plan on it very shortly. My question is does anyone find that AA is more lenient towards Sub treatment compared too NA? I realize the goal of both are the same but I've heard many stories about how strict some of these meetings can be..
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Unread 12-10-2009, 04:07 PM   #9
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AA has no "stance" on suboxone, nor does it need one. Someone already posted an excerpt from the Big Book concerning medical treatment. I submit that many folks have overcome far more serious stigmas and been able to remain sober (and they did so without forming separate meetings). We can never create an environment that is totally comfortable, but we could certainly waste resources seeking one.

When I first got sober, there was a lot of talk about Antabuse (a med that causes a person to become ill if they ingest alcohol). I believe it has been replaced in large part, but there were squabbles about its use. Old-timers would say it was a "crutch", which was simply a manifestation of "my way is the only way". Like suboxone, no one knew you took it unless you chose to tell them.

I think we must all choose our battles wisely. Suboxone is no substitute for recovery, it is simply a tool. As we go forward in recovery, we all face many difficult battles that require much energy and fortitude. Turning something as simple as our medical treatment into a major issue is uneccessary and counter-productive. Learning to take what we need from the program while ignoring that which is upsetting and/or uncomfortable is a lesson that needs to be learned early!
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Unread 12-10-2009, 04:27 PM   #10
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Thanks toms..like your last paragraph, that makes alot of sense to me
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Unread 12-10-2009, 04:38 PM   #11
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I know this issue seems like a big deal to newcomers, but someday they will probably laugh at how silly it was. My first meeting was in '79 and, at that time, the big stigma was against druggies, in general. It used to piss me off to hear some of the old farts lecture about "if you need a haircut, go to a barber". I wanted to quit and felt I didn't belong. Later, I found that most of the folks had abused drugs at one time or another, too. Everyone gets into the "I'm unique" thing....the drunks looked down at druggies, the coke addicts looked down on the glue-sniffers, and on and on.

When its all said and done, though, all of this stuff is a side issue. If I were in charge <shudder>, I'd have AA mean Addicts Anonymous. A drug is a drug whether we drink, inject, smoke, or sniff it. What matters is what they did to us, and how we choose to live without them. Everything else is secondary!
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Unread 12-10-2009, 04:49 PM   #12
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The founders of AA made it very clear in their opinions that if we needed medical treatment to seek it. They did not limit it to just certain ailments or conditions. As much as stress, anxiety and depression issues play into recovery and needs to be treated, so does healthy living in general. Be that our sugar levels, blood pressure, diet, exercise and so on.

IMO, the teachings of the founders does take a stance, not just on Suboxone, but, on any proactive medical treatment administered properly by a doctor and that stance is, to take professional advice and treat when needed.

Clearly I am going to project here, but, for me when I read and understand what the founders wanted to achieve and their personal desires for the one suffering, IMO, Suboxone would be a welcome tool, especially to those who understand the science of the disease of addiction.

So we should never feel bad for or as if we are slighting ourselves by working with our doctors and letting them treated as we need it.

Mike
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Unread 12-10-2009, 07:27 PM   #13
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Tang, Mike, great answers, as always. I draw so much on your knowledge and information. Tang-so right about the honest part. I do that too, lie to myself without even realizing it. Mike, I LOVE that you said this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMike View Post

I believe that each person needs to forge out their own personal recovery program and that includes how the steps work best for them. It is not about the other members or even the programs themselves, but, how we adapt them and utilize them to best serve the healing process for us, individually.

I have yet to ever see two people truly work the steps the same or apply them the same. Even if they try to, it simply doesn't work that way, it can't. We are individuals with our own individual needs and issues.

Mike
I am so sick of people with condescending attitudes that make you feel like you're stupid if you want to do something other that the exact way AA is "supposed to be." Frankly, it's almost driven me off this site.

That statement gives me hope, because that is exactly how it should be. So thank you for that! And thank you Tang for the best response!
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Unread 12-10-2009, 10:47 PM   #14
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Thanks Lily for your question. We are hoping that this forum is the basis of a better understanding of the steps. Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
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Unread 12-10-2009, 11:38 PM   #15
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Honestly, I thought this was going to be a way to discuss the steps, in the lovely way that Mike put it in the quote I have above, but I'm not comfortable with someone on here who seems to just be condescending and while he may have the best of intentions, the whole point is that I felt AA would have worked great if there had only been someone to say, "here's a little breathing room, you do it how it works for you."

Now here I have a guy who smirks at those who dare to question AA? I'm sorry I don't like it and won't post with him anymore.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 09:31 AM   #16
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AA may seem rigid, but like attitudes concerning medications, that perception has more to do with individuals than the program in general. Many times it has been described as "a simple program for complicated people". I guess I see the steps as a framework or guide to build a program of recovery upon. There are as many ways to work them as there are individuals in the program.

One thing I struggled with has to do with my upbringing. All through school, Scouts, and other endeavors, I worked through lists of requirements to achieve some goal. Naturally, going into AA, I was eager to finish the steps and be done with it. Hearing that they were ongoing was something new, so I fought against it. Later, it was pointed out that this was simply the natural tendency of looking to the future as opposed to doing what I could in the day.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 11:08 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lily29 View Post
Honestly, I thought this was going to be a way to discuss the steps, in the lovely way that Mike put it in the quote I have above, but I'm not comfortable with someone on here who seems to just be condescending and while he may have the best of intentions, the whole point is that I felt AA would have worked great if there had only been someone to say, "here's a little breathing room, you do it how it works for you."

Now here I have a guy who smirks at those who dare to question AA? I'm sorry I don't like it and won't post with him anymore.


Hi Lily ............. Listen, if you feel that the steps have things which you can benefit from and use to make your recovery better, then work it for you! It is a ridged program to a degree, but, it is also a very individual one! Your goal here is to help you do that in any way we can.

I know in another folder on the site some pretty harsh things were said, but please trust that if that takes place here, those views will be removed. This is our goal, steps without stigma and to help if we can other find positive ways to adapt the steps into their personal recovery programs.

We have some family things going on today which are urgent, but, I will get back with what I promised you in chat and more on this.

Mike
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Unread 12-11-2009, 12:52 PM   #18
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Mike you are like my personal savior!

To be honest, it's not the nutjobs that spout nonsense, it's just a regular poster, one of us, who had made fun of me every time i suggested that the steps as they are witten may not need the the only or right way. Apparently someone thinking for themselves gives them a "little chuckle."

-Lily
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Unread 12-11-2009, 03:47 PM   #19
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If I let the stigma in recovery meetings lead me, I would have relapsed long ago. In my heart I know what is necessary for my addiction to be at rest, and I have had the best years of my life so far as a result of having faith in my path. Life is so beautiful when you leave the opinions of others behind you.
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Unread 12-11-2009, 05:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lily29 View Post
Mike you are like my personal savior!

To be honest, it's not the nutjobs that spout nonsense, it's just a regular poster, one of us, who had made fun of me every time i suggested that the steps as they are witten may not need the the only or right way. Apparently someone thinking for themselves gives them a "little chuckle."

-Lily


oh God Lily, I would be a terrible savior for anyone, I am trying to save myself and then at times wonder! lol But, thank you for the kind words.

Listen, IMO, I do feel that there has to be structure and some do's and don'ts in working the steps, but, there must also be flexibility and room for each person to find how they can best use the suggestions and lessons in the steps, to best be a positive force in their lives! And that will be somewhat different for each of us.

My goal has always to not project what I feel a step should mean to someone, but, to try and help them find what it means to them and how it fits in their life and can benefit them. To be honest at times this simply isn't possible for me to do and if that happens, then I try to find the person someone else who they might either connect with better or who might have a better delivery than I do. Again, it varies and if we keep that in mind then we can help each other better. There might be things I do in my AA recovery which works great for you, but, might not be a good fit for another and so on. We have to stay open minded and tolerant. No question is a dumb one and not every answer is the perfect one!

Some people use the steps only as a portion of their recovery and that works well for them, others live and breath the steps nearly 24/7 and that works good for them. The important thing is, that it works for them, that they are benefiting from the program in some positive fashion. And of course for others, it simply is not a good fit at all.

We should never judge another's recovery but, we should offer help when asked and if we feel they are truly doing something which can place their recovery at risk, we should care enough to be honest and tell them so, but, because we want to help them, not condemn them!

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Unread 12-11-2009, 05:23 PM   #21
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Well said Hairgril and I could not agree more.

To me, AA and the fellowship is like recovery in general, something to be enjoyed and celebrated.

Mike
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Unread 12-12-2009, 03:27 PM   #22
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I think most of what we hear in meetings is far from original. The biggest part of the message is continually repeated in meetings as different members add their own spin. You can never tell when a casual remark will affect someone deeply. As long as we continue to come back, it keeps working.
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Unread 12-12-2009, 05:13 PM   #23
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Quote:
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I think most of what we hear in meetings is far from original. The biggest part of the message is continually repeated in meetings as different members add their own spin. You can never tell when a casual remark will affect someone deeply. As long as we continue to come back, it keeps working.

So true toms, coming back is important one of those quirky sayings which is true.

IMO, taking time to visit various meeting locations and various types of meetings is also very important. It takes some time to get a real feel for the program, the people and the different types of meetings.

Mike
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Unread 12-13-2009, 12:19 AM   #24
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Without blowing my own horn I can state that I have a great deal of respect in AA.

That said there are a few folks who know my situation and have chosen to judge that. Oh well is all I can say to that. Each person involved still respect me as a person but believe my way was not sober to them. That is up to them and as long as we remain friendly, I have no beef with any of them in fact still hang out with them from time to time.

To me there is no big deal. I heard this a long time ago in AA and it bears repeating here:

" What someone thinks about you is no business of your's! "

Heck we all have opinions often wrong or misinformed. Oft times these opinions are my own judging me! Has any one heard we are our own worse critics?

When we allow others to have an effect on us for their judgement we are really judging ourselves in the court of "people pleasing"

let us stop this and be true to ourselves. Yes we need others to keep us on the beam but not to knock us off the block!

Glen

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Unread 12-13-2009, 04:59 PM   #25
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Hairgirl, OMike and theswan, its people like you that keep me wavering back this site. I have also noticed that when he posts around you he cleans his acts up and quits the judging. Now if only Mike could be everywhere all the time.... lol
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Unread 12-13-2009, 10:29 PM   #26
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Lily29, Don't ever let anyone drive you away from anything. No matter what someone says or does if YOU let them drive you away. THEY WIN. Why in the world would we give anyone that satisfaction.
From my experience whenever someone judges someone else.....THEY look like the ass! Most people are truly here, and in meetings to help. Some make the mistake of taking there "time" as a badge of honor. The people I want to follow give credit to God. They are grateful for there time. Not proud.
Just know that you are important. Take the message from the people who support your journey. Not those who cannot find compassion in struggles.
I'm glad you have stuck around. Your doing all the right stuff. I'm really proud of you.
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Unread 12-14-2009, 02:43 PM   #27
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Thank you so much Tang.

I am going through a really hard time right now and it's messages like yours that keep me going on the right path.
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Unread 12-14-2009, 05:05 PM   #28
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Well said Tang, very well said ..........

Lily, IMO ...... we need our support line and our peers in recovery to be honest and even call us on our shit at times, but, as we should do with others, they should do with us, as keep the message positive, constructive and proactive.

As Tang said, surround yourself around people like that and yes, those who are grateful and who enjoy recovery and living again!

Your going to do well and remember, part of healing is learning to problem solve instead of letting raw emotions toss us off balance. That one took me a while LOL, but, once I got it, it really helped a bunch.

Mike
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Unread 12-14-2009, 06:13 PM   #29
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I've been thinking about why it has been bothering me so much what this person has been saying, and I finally realized it is because he is making his experience with AA everybody's experience-he's projecting his on what others could or should be.

The thing about AA is that it is incredibly diverse, don't get me wrong it brings people together in a wonderful way, but no generalization will ever fit it because all meetings will vary. I don't think it is fair to tell a newcomer what their experience with AA or NA will be like because we don't know.

All we can do is offer our support and words of wisdom, like what I have received from OhioMike, Hairgirl, Swan and Tang. Thanks guys
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Unread 12-15-2009, 12:37 PM   #30
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Quote:
Ohio Mike said:However, we ourselves can choose to live without letting stigma effect us. We have no control over how another is ultimately feel or form an opinion about something.
And your right, but it does effect some of us, those that don't will never accept the fact that no matter how hard we work, it doesn't matter to them, but what is important is how it matters to us, to me it's a godsend. Not having to go to meetings where the scarlet letter S is above my head.

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Unread 12-15-2009, 03:45 PM   #31
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I think it effects all of us at some point and to some degree and I think what hurts us the most is that not only are we trying to do the right things for ourselves, but, it is actually our peers in recovery who are harming us with the stigma, the very people who by all rights should understand us the best.

This is where we need to have confidence in our own recovery program, the personal advances we have already made and find the personal strength and learning from the experience to take it and flip into a positive growing experience for ourselves.

Though some may not be able to be tolerant of us, if is the ideal type of situation for us, to learn to be tolerant of others. Easy to say, hard to do, but, if we can achieve, then we have made some huge personal gains which I feel can benefit us in many aspects of our lives.

We can't expect to be able to do it all at once, just like recovery in general and it is going to frustrate and even piss us off at times, but, little by little we can grow and leave those type of personalities in our wake and we progress and we can hope for them that our example can add something positive to their recovery and of course to help them find the true message of the steps and traditions.

So Darkeyes, what type of meetings did you run into trouble at?

Mike
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Unread 12-15-2009, 11:20 PM   #32
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I got to thinking about this and started wondering.......WHY would you want to mention to any AA/NA group that you are on a medication? What is the payoff? You know how people are always saying that everything we do, we do because there is a payoff!
What is really going on in our heads when we make the decision to share we are on medication? I know that it is important to some people because they want to help others. Give people options if they have been struggling to get "sober" and it hasn't happened for them. But, what about the other reasons. I have to ask myself this question. Am I doing it because I want to be unique? Be different than the rest? I know in the beginning because my drug of choice was pills I would MAKE sure that others knew I wasn't an alcoholic or a druggie! My pills were prescribed. It wasn't my fault I got addicted. I really really tried to make people understand that! The old timers would say.....Ang, who cares? Why do you insist on being "unique"? PRIDE....I wanted and needed to be "not like those others" I was judgmental. I wasn't even aware that I was judging. I SOOOOOO wanted to be better than cause if I was better than it meant I wasn't less than! (or at least that's what my perception was!). My pride and ego got in the way of everything. HMMMMMMMMM makes sense that I relapsed over and over again. BUT....I didn't understand that in the beginning.
My point is this. And this post is probably going to start some controversy. Sorry, if it does...I just wanted us to really think about why we might feel the need to share about the medication. Look inside yourself and see if maybe you have any of the same feelings I did back then. Sometimes we don't even know that is what is going on till someone points it out. I may be way off the mark in this thinking for some people. BUT....I may hit home with others. Either way it is important to always check your motive behind something. You might be surprised at what really comes out.
I am grateful today that people have the courage to tell me the truth about what they see in me. They have NOT made it easy for me to hide within myself any longer.
I realize today that what I want to be is one of many....NOT better than or less than. My journey is to be of maximum service to GOD and my fellows. How can I best serve HIM and you. Don't let ego keep you stuck.
BTW....if we can help someone by sharing what has helped us. Then by all means share your on Suboxone. BUT....again check your motives. If it will harm YOUR recovery it is better left for later down the road, when you are better able to deal with opinions!
Just some thoughts! What do you think?
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Unread 12-16-2009, 01:25 AM   #33
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Ang-

I know for myself that the only reason I ever mentioned my being on Suboxone to NA members was because I was practicing the honesty that was a vital component to the process. I was proud of my decision and I never expected to be shunned or mislead, but I was.
I respect the structure of the program, but more people need to get off the soapbox and worry about self. I think some people just refuse to accept that an addiction treatment medication can have positive effects, they refuse to find out for themselves, and they cast their own shadows of doubt onto people who are handling recovery better than they are.
I was not going to let "people" ruin my recovery. I took what I needed and left the rest.
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Unread 12-16-2009, 02:28 AM   #34
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Ang-

I agree with everything you just said,, from wanting to believe i was unique to because I wasn't an addict because my drugs were prescribed. Thank you for letting me see some honesty within myself
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Unread 12-16-2009, 07:08 AM   #35
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Quote:
I know in the beginning because my drug of choice was pills I would MAKE sure that others knew I wasn't an alcoholic or a druggie! My pills were prescribed. It wasn't my fault I got addicted. I really really tried to make people understand that! The old timers would say.....Ang, who cares? Why do you insist on being "unique"?

oh Brother, does that sound familiar! lol

Very well said Tang!

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Unread 12-16-2009, 09:26 AM   #36
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I think some folks might confuse "honesty" with feeling a need to reveal every detail about their lives. There is the inventory in Step 4, followed by the personal disclosure in Step 5....but those don't carry over into every meeting we attend. Honesty is one of the foundational principles of the program, dut its' definition can mean many things.

Many of us practice what they call "cash register honesty" as opposed to honesty with self. There is also "brutal honesty" which can easily injures someone else. The amends step speaks to this.

To me, the important point is that we try to be honest about what we say and do in our everyday lives. Concerning the program, I think it means that we are honest about the issues that cause us to want to use, and that means relating some things that may make us uncomfortable, but must be rooted out if we are to enjoy some peace. To some extent, there will be issues that are so sensitive that we share them only with the most trusted of friends, a sponsor, or even with HP. Denying things that we are afraid to reveal can lead us back to addiction faster than almost anything.
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Unread 12-21-2009, 01:19 PM   #37
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A personal story from a AA meeting.

I'm not sure how this fits in here or if it does at all, but, I learned from it, so maybe it can help another person at some point down the road.

Prior to a meeting one afternoon a woman was speaking to a couple of other women. Her conversation was not exactly private as it filled the room. I was sitting reading and over heard with little to no effort what she was speaking about. Though I did not know her personally, I did know a little bit about her story based on her sharing in the rooms. She had a long standing problem with relapse, though she seemed to understand the program and seemed to be committed to it.

Anyway, she was explaining that she was taking Ultram and was sharing how much it was helping her. After hearing her comments for a short while got worried for her based on her past sharing in previous meetings. So I interjected myself into her conversation in the following manner and added this ..............

Excuse me, I don't mean to be rude and butt in, however I heard you mention Ultram and I just wanted you to be aware that even though it is not a scheduled narcotic, for us who suffer from addiction it can be dangerous to take, as it effects us in the same fashion as opiates do. So please be careful and check with your doctor or get a 2nd opinion.

Well this did not go over very well and I walked into a hornets nest, as her response was the following......

Well you really should mind your own businesses and stop taking my inventory. My sponsor is a nurse, a damn good one and she has 20 years clean in AA so I think she knows what is best for me. Now mind your own business and don't get into mine anymore.

I apologized and did just that, minded my own business and did not give her problems a second thought after that.

Well a short time after that she went from going to one or two meetings a day to disappearing. Slowly word spread that she had relapsed and this time it was even worse, as she was really misusing Oxy by snorting it. Nearly a year later she surfaced again after spending about a month in treatment, prior to doing so.

I don't know what the real point of sharing this is, except to say this, though I felt her reaction to my worrying about her situation was harsh and honestly hurtful to a degree, I did not take it personal. I couldn't if I wanted to stay productive in my own program.

There would have been a time when I would have challenged her and debated the issue with her. There would have been a time when I would have let my personal hurt feelings and my ego lash out at her and explain to her the reason we come to peer support. but those reactions would have only served to hurt me more and it wouldn't have made a difference in her situation at all.

Working the steps and growing within the AA fellowship helped me understand that it was my actions and reactions which mattered the most, not other persons.

By the way, that was nearly 4 years ago and sadly this same person still struggles with relapse. Her biggest DOC issue is with opiates, though alcohol can play into the mix as a byproduct. I would love to be able to help her learn about Suboxone, but, she still has all of the answers, so she is not ready yet to accept the needed information. When I'm in a meeting with her, I always pray for her, that she will soon truly surrender and let her fellows and the program help her.

Mike
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Unread 12-21-2009, 01:42 PM   #38
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By the way, a foot note to my above story ................ Those old behaviors? ..... well I came close, I came very close to making it about me being right, making it a point to being about me telling her, I told you so after her relapse.

Fortunately I had been there before and made that mistake before. Be it Ultram, vicodin, alcohol or whatever. Sadly locally the Ultram deal is big and comes up too darn often. Thankfully though this time, my fellows caught me and saved me from myself, reminding me some of the lessons of the steps and the program.

So please understand, though this growth deal within the fellowship is not always easy and it is easy to back slide. We are human and must accept that perfection is not a goal or expectation. That growth and progression is.

Further, as much as we want to help others, we need to accept that not everyone is the perfect candidate for us and that is nothing personal against them or us.

ah well, just some thoughts.

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Unread 12-21-2009, 04:09 PM   #39
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After a while in the program, new problems arise. One of them is, what do you do when you encounter someone who is doing or saying something that you know is flat out wrong? There is no easy answer. Do we keep our mouth shut and mind our own business, or do we butt in? This kind of situation is a dilemma, and I have erred in every direction.

In any situation, all we can really do is give it our best shot and move on. Sometimes keeping our mouths shut is the hardest thing to do!
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Unread 12-27-2009, 11:44 PM   #40
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Toms.....my answer to that is how spiritual I am! lol....There are times when I want to jump in and correct someone BUT....usually when that happens it is because I am playing GOD. I am in ego! I start thinking hey...I gotta save that person! This jack ass is wrong. ps....the jack ass is usually someone I am NOT fond of! wink That's how I know it is ego! When it is someone who is just trying to help but they may be wrong I say to myself.....Everything is in Gods timing. Something, even if it's wrong must need to be said!
I can remember a situation years ago that happened at a different fellowship that I belonged to. This one person was sharing in AA and she mentioned that she was detoxing from pills! This "oldtimer" stopped this gal in mid sentence and told her she was in the wrong room! They have other programs for people like you! I was pissed! At break this gal heads for the door and I went after her! I shared with her that not everybody was well in the rooms of AA. EVEN if they have time! I told her I was also a pill popper and I ONLY went to AA meetings and that she was welcome to stay!
Then I promptly marched my butt over to this SOB that said that to her, and proceeded to tell him what an ASS he was! Problem was.....I was not staying sober either! I was relapsing and relapsing and my focusing on saving the newcomer was killing me! Today I realize that everything happens for a reason. This newcomer Gal popped in and out and I sponsored her a few times! BTW....Last month November SHE died. Oxy overdose! SEE it didn't matter what that Oldtimer said. She wasn't ready to get sober. Even going back to the rooms didn't get her sober. Had I focused on my recovery back then she might have gotten a sponsor that actually knew something about recovery. Instead she was hanging onto me! And even though we had something in common WHAT I DIDN'T HAVE WAS RECOVERY. When the student is ready.....the teacher appears! That is how I got sober. I started hanging around the people who HAD recovery. Then I became willing to do whatever they said to do! And BTW....sponsoring people when I couldn't stay sober myself wasn't one of the things they had suggested. SO....I worked on MY recovery.
Anyway...long story short. What I learned from that experience is ...... Watch my motive. When I am spiritual....God will clear the way for me to be of service. I am NOT in conflict about what to do. BUT....when I get angry....usually it is ME being in MY will. Watch out! Ang is going to save the world!
OUCH......
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Unread 02-26-2010, 02:10 PM   #41
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I didn't read every word of the thread; but MIKE, any chance you could quote the part in the big book where you said the founders did take a positive stance. It would be nice to have some ammo in my pocket
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Unread 02-26-2010, 06:20 PM   #42
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There is a section about the AA stance towards medicine. Paraphrased, it pretty much acknowledges that our doctors are the best judges of our medical needs, we defer to them. In the back of the Big Book (personal stories), read "Doctor, Addict, Alcoholic". Its my favorite....Paul O. definitely had his act together!
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Unread 02-26-2010, 08:53 PM   #43
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I haven't had a big book for several months now. I have a bad habit of giving them away and central office is across town, but, Toms puts it well.

Maybe Tang can open her book and quote the exact words.
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Unread 06-17-2010, 04:54 PM   #44
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Hi family, grateful recovering addict named Joe! First of all, it's my prayer today that each and every one of us stays clean, just for today. I find myself needing education regarding suboxone and subutex. I found this site through searching.

I'm inspired by the amazing experience, strength, and hope shared by recovering addicts regarding suboxone. To me, an addict recovering in NA, I have always found suboxone to be "outside issue". I realize that NA has an old service bulleting lurking around their web site about so-called drug replacement therapy, but in my mind the goal of suboxone treatment is its eventual elimination, thus leading to abstinence, so what's the problem?

Anyways, as someone who sponsors, I feel that it is my duty to give my sponsees and/or newcomers the "party line" regarding DRT, to prepare them for what they might face from some of the self-righteous idiots, BUT I very quickly and emphatically try to share that we're not MDs just because we got clean, and we have a program of choices. Just like no one has the right to tell me whether or not I am clean, I have no right to tell someone else whether or not they are clean.

I think sometimes NA loses sight of the fact that a physician-supervised regimen is superior any day to dangerous self-medication. Anyhoo, I apologize to anyone who has ever been cornered by a NAzi. We're not all dicks.

I'm here to learn, thank you for tolerating me, I hope I haven't stepped on anyone's toes, and may HP keep you all in his/her/its hands, just for today.

Peace and love,

-Joe G.
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Unread 06-18-2010, 09:31 AM   #45
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Glad to have you aboard, Joe! Actually, the goal of treatment is to eliminate addictive behavior, NOT abstinence (or even eventual abstinence). Its a matter of getting ones goals straight. Many people do become abstinent, but some cannot. As long as the myth persists that they are somehow "less sober", we are really only trading one stigma for another!
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Unread 06-18-2010, 11:26 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toms View Post
Glad to have you aboard, Joe! Actually, the goal of treatment is to eliminate addictive behavior, NOT abstinence (or even eventual abstinence). Its a matter of getting ones goals straight. Many people do become abstinent, but some cannot. As long as the myth persists that they are somehow "less sober", we are really only trading one stigma for another!
Thank you Tom. I'm adjusting my thinking, and the honest sharing of folks in here, as I read through comments, is helping significantly. If the medication causes no impairment, in my mind it is no different than an antidepressant and is being used to treat a very similar condition.

I have some questions I would like to ask, if people would humor me. Perhaps if there's a more appropriate thread, rather than hijack this one, I'd gladly post them there.

Again, thank you everyone, and may blessings find you wherever you are today.

-Joe
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Unread 06-18-2010, 01:11 PM   #47
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You may ask whatever pleases you, either here or in a new thread!
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Unread 06-18-2010, 01:14 PM   #48
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Hi Joe, welcome to the thread. Please feel free to ask any question you wish, about any topic. We all will help as we can! If by chance Nancy feels the thread can get a better response someplace else, she will move it. No worries!

Again, Wlcome!

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Unread 06-18-2010, 01:31 PM   #49
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OK, and thank you! Suboxone wasn't available when I got clean, otherwise I might very well have personal experience, but I certainly appreciate yours!

I've been told that certain OTC medications interact with suboxone or subutex and produce a high. The OTC meds specifically are cold medications. It's not at all uncommon for addicts on suboxone in this area to be nodding off at meetings, with the excuse that they took something for a stuffy nose. Is there any truth to this?

A few addicts taking suboxone say they have been approached to sell their meds. Can suboxone produce a high in someone who does not have an opiate tolerance?

Almost across the board the experiences I have read regarding suboxone have been positive. Subutex, maybe not so much. Has anyone in here ever experienced a "high" from taking their medication as prescribed?

Thank you all again for your experience, strength, and hope.

Peace and love!

-Joe G.

P.S. Picking up a freshly-detoxed addict tonight to take him to his first meeting. This discussion could NOT be more timely. HP (with respect, that's Hewlett Packard for you atheists) works in mysterious ways!
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Unread 06-18-2010, 03:30 PM   #50
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Cold medications which contain alcohol should not be taken with Suboxone, IMO.

Suboxone using Suboxone but taking too high of a dose could nod off. Suboxone works best at the powest effective dose, per person.

People who are opiate naive could or would feel a high feeling by taking Suboxone.

Suboxone is not a good street drug for those who have been taking opiates, as it does not build tolerance and it does not produce a high in them. Most of the people I encounter buying on the streets are doing so because they cannot afford a doctor or are trying to hide their recovery. But, most are trying to us it for recovery. The others are getting it to put back for the times they run out of their drug of choice, so they can get through the dry spell without getting sick.

I hope this helps.

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