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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:10 pm 
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Another thread made me really want to bring up my recent experience.

I'm in recovery for major alcoholism. I drank up to a gallon of vodka a day at my worst and I'm 110 lbs. I was very bad!! So, as I've stated on this board, I was started on Sub after I had an accident, the point being to avoid Oxy or other very addictive drugs. Not all that unreasonable, actually, if you consider the extent of my drinking. I don't doubt that I could have ended up an opiate addict, basically to replace one drug with another.

Well, we moved recently, and I've been struggling to find my new 'home' group. I've always done meetings and had commitments, mainly in Dual Recovery Anonymous because you can discuss things like Sub there. We have no DRA group here. So, I've been trying AA and NA. This is a tiny town. I found a 12-step NA meeting that gives chips 1 X per month and started going. People were nice. I decided to share about my Sub use. For me, I have to be able to be honest in a meeting for it to be worth it. That's the whole point of a meeting!! I knew the Sub may be a deal-breaker because I've been through that before in NA and AA...basically people pulling me aside after meetings and letting me know that until I get off Sub, I'll never be truly sober, never be able to feel reality enough to work the steps thoroughly, etc.

I also shared that my sobriety b-day was coming up. My 5-year b-day, actually. That's a big one!! I saw a lot of looks exchanged. I saw some eye rolling. Of course, it hurt a bit, KWIM? The secretary and a few others came over to me after the meeting and it was just very bad. Bad enough that I'm not going back. I found out that I'm actually NOT sober!! I need to get sober by getting off Sub and then come back and identify as a newcomer. They went on the whole, "I knew this guy who just decided to quit Sub at 16 mg and he hung in there and came to meetings and did fine so we'll introduce you", and "you just switched addictions" and those same, predictable sorts of stories. When I am finally 'ready to get sober', they want me to call them for any support I may need.

Only.....I do not buy this AT ALL!! I have not been high. Suboxone does not, in my book, count as using drugs or losing my sobriety and it never will. Even though they said that they would not refuse me my chip if my conscience led me to decide to take it, I don't want their chip. My 5-year sobriety date was yesterday. I don't feel bad that I couldn't get my chip and my cake. My family and friends are very proud of me. I am weaning off Sub, but it's not because I feel guilty about taking it. If I was an opiate addict, I would take it for the rest of my life and feel like doing so was making a smart decision. I've known hundreds of people (through running DRA groups) who have gone onto Sub and their lives are all the testimony needed to show how miraculous it is for an opiate addict who starts it. I also have known opiate addicts who came to my DRA meetings and felt guilty about the Sub and that led them to quit taking it. Guess what? I'm racking my brain and I cannot think of one of them who continued coming to meetings. Not one!!!! They just fell off the planet.

In the next six months, I plan on making a trip to my old meeting and I'll get my chip and my cake. More importantly, I think I would like to start a DRA meeting here. It's not hard. The info's all on their website. I'm proud of myself for not letting the 'sage' advice of all-knowing 'old-timers' shake me. When I was new to sobriety, I saw those people almost as gods or something. Now, I have God in my heart guiding me.

So...happy birthday to me (yesterday)! That is, if you do consider it a birthday when you're on Sub. I DO!! :D

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:23 pm 
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http://www.woodenurecover.com/ANY-Year- ... 18687.html

Image

Dang it, I've been trying for 15 minutes to insert this picture into this reply so you can have your chip, but I couldn't get it to work...sorry.

F*** them bozo's who say you don't get your chip, that's so petty.

Edited- I fixed the picture for you. Sorry it's kinda small, that was the only one I could grab off the website you linked. doaq.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 4:14 pm 
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Thanks DOAQ!


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:11 pm 
Oh man thats realy shitty that they said that stuff to you, I honestly think I wouldnt of been able to stay composed because Im very proud of myself for how Ive done and I would of told them "to take that stupid little chip and shove it up their bible thumpin asses". Im all for someone that can do well in AA/NA with complete absitnence but I cant and Im not gonna feel bad for it. Excuse my terminology here but I have no problem with god but Im not gonna be like almost every person in AA who gets out of bed every morning and gives god a blowjob and I dont believe getting on my knees and praying will keep me clean either. Staying on subox or methadone and making a commitment to change is what works for me, not following "the steps". I cant stand NA/AA and am forced to go right now and cant wait till I dont have to anymore. The part that bugs me the most is they have the "one size fits all" approach meaning that if you want to get clean you must attend 12 step meetings or else nope you wont stay clean without meetings and you will fail. Every time someone tells me if i dont attend meetings I will go back to using undoubtedly I want to punch them in their face.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:32 pm 
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Romeo, thanx sooooo much. That's absolutely the nicest thing that you spent all that time doing that. It means more to get it that way than if I'd gotten it from a bunch of dumb-dumbs on high horses who didn't even think I deserved it.

Yes, it does suck sometimes at meetings. I've gone for so long that I guess it doesn't surprise me much. There ARE good meetings. You just have to look for them. The one I used to be the secretary of was fantastic. But it was DRA, and we made it clear that we all had to use or had at one time used meds. Nobody ever got jumped on. People used to always be so grateful that they finally had somewhere that they could talk about everything.

It's rough trying to go up against a bunch of guys like that when they have the know everything "Group Think" mentality. You kinda know beforehand that there's nothing you can say that they won't write off as a dope fiend defending their drug, so it's no use arguing. They do not intimidate me. A lot of those people are addicted to meetings and feeling powerful and righteous.

The upside was that after this informative conversation with the all-knowing leaders, a kid, well young guy, came up and we talked and talked. He is on Sub and we exchanged numbers. He couldn't believe I'd brought up Sub, lol, and said he never said anything about his Sub and that no one knows about it. AND he's gay, which I'm guessing would be really hard in this town. I think we'll become friends, if he doesn't mind hanging out with a mommy. Something good always comes out of everything.

laddertipper

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:53 pm 
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CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 YEARS THATS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hate people like that in meetings I don't talk about my sub use in meetings and I agree that it has me holding back a lot! Your doing great keep up the good work!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Congrats on 5 yrs....
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:32 pm 
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Well what a great accomplishment. I too am also an alcoholic and got sober in the rooms of AA. I had a great home group and a real hard ass old timer for a sponsor. I went to a lot of meetings before I felt comfortable with this one....

Well I moved a way for awhile and recently moved back. I was accepted back with no issues and then recently I told my sponsor the same one from the very beginning 4 yrs and 9 mos ago that I have been taking suboxone. Now early in my sobriety I broke my ribs and had to take pain meds. I talked to him about this and he said medicine is always between you and your doctor.....we have no opinion on that. But when I tell him about suboxone he tells me I need to find a new sponsor....just like that. I was probably stunned as you were. Some of them guys are such pompous asses but it is the only game in town. The next meeting I was at my sponsor led the meeting and he said in front of everyone that my new job was to pass out the chips and to grab one for myself each day I continue to take sub. Others have made snide remarks to me and I definitely can tell the difference. One of the side effects I have is pin prick pupils (I hate this).

Like you I am so done with AA......they have been my home for almost 5 years. I have received some grief recently because I am tapering and considering getting off subs. I hate it that the only place that you can go to feel safe and be amongst people that are just like you passes judgment on you for taking suboxone. I hate it. There are so many arguments about the why you should or shouldn't be on suboxone and believe me I have struggled with them all. The whole thing sucks and your situation definitely sucks. That rigorous honesty bullshit is something isn't it? You wanted to be honest and instead they made you feel like shit..........Once a lady was leading a meeting and had never given out the chips before and she said "Does anyone have 2 months clean" Well it was my 2 month anniversary and I went and got my chip. I was very happy because I had never gone 60 days ever without putting something in my body. After the meeting 3 old timers came up to me and said "can we see your chip?' I showed it to them proudly and they said "This is a 3 month chip we don't give 2 month chips at this meeting" and then walked away with my chip............SOB!!!!!!!!

I was ready to quit right then and there but I didn't need a coin to remind me I was 2 months sober. I hate that happened to you and I like that you are thinking of starting your own meeting- you are very strong. I hope it works out and let us know. For me I still have some decisions to make but what everyone else does really isn't any of my business...I have to worry about me and what I think is best. Hopefully I will get the guidance I need.

Again great job on 5 years........

Jim


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 Post subject: that's crap!
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 12:45 am 
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Hey there....
I'm new here but i just have to say Congrats on 5 years! I had five years before my relapse and I know what an accomplishment that is. Good for you.

Ok, it's complete crap what they said to you. You know it. we know it. I think that was awesome of Romeo to attach that chip for you. You deserve it.

What ReRaise said about his experience, his sponsor abandoned him? Unbelievable. I have a really hard time with this kind of black/white thinking and ignorance. IGNORANCE!!

I'm living with the ignorance as well. I have been on methadone 2.5 years and am getting read to swtich to bupe hopefully Saturday. Altho now that I am off methadone 3 days and I feel a cloud has been lifted off of my emotions (yep, crying over nothing!) I do know that I was not high when on it. Blunted is really more like it, less motivated than my usual type A personality. And I know I have been in recovery for 2.5 years. I have been stable. I also think I will feel even better on the bupe. and I am not going to let anyone tell me otherwise.

So....I am sorry for your experience. I just don't talk about it to many people. It's not worth it.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:36 am 
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Dude... I HEAR YOU!

I've been there. I could say a lot about 12 step programs and their lies. At one stage my sponsor (my city's biggest NA "guru") told me that if I worked the steps, I would be cured of my bipolar.

So I worked the steps, went off my meds at 7 months clean. And guess what! I lost mah frikkin marbles. Ended up paranoid, depressed, contemplating ending my own life .. then chose the "easier softer way" and relapsed (bah).

Anyway, it really sounds to me like you need some 12-step DE-BRAINWASHING. Penn & Teller do a great job of it. Check this out. You won't miss your 5 year tag.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tPNgHrIk

Take all the money you'd put into your NA tin over a year, buy yourself some cheap Nescafe, some long life milk, some brown sugar and some plastic cups. Spend the rest on a hooker. Same chance of staying clean as NA. Infinitely more satisfying.

T.

edit: link fix


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 3:30 pm 
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I've seen people at meetings give out medical advice like what was given to you. People who have zero experience with psych meds or emotional/psychiatric disorders. This INFURIATES me!!!! It's so wrong, especially when someone new comes in to a meeting and is surrounded by the "old-timers" who seem to knows everything and have such sage advice. I've had friends who are truly bipolar. Absolutely normal when taking their meds.....unrecognizable...even scary... if they don't take them. One of my friends stopped her meds during her pregnancy and she was someone completely different than who I knew. She would stay up for weeks on end. She seemed to be on drugs, except the trouble was she was NOT on her drugs.

There's a lot of chatter about how over-diagnosed psych disorders are, and that may be true to a degree, but they exist nonetheless. I can't imagine telling someone they don't have a disorder that a doctor has diagnosed them with. I can't imagine telling them to discontinue medication. If that person went and killed themselves or someone else because they abruptly quit their meds on my encouragement, which then caused them to suffer a psychiatric episode, I'd surrender myself to the police.

I love being sober at this point and it is the only way to be. I used to say that to people at meetings who were really miserable and newly sober. It's hard at first, but give it time and you'll be so much happier. Getting time under my belt has given me one huge advantage. I used to think about using (which was drinking for me) and then before I knew it I had bought my booze and was drinking and going "why did I do this?!" After some time being sober, well actually, after a number of relapses that were very frustrating, a window emerged between the thinking and the doing. So, when booze crossed my mind, I reflected on all that I'd suffered and lost or almost lost because of booze, and I had the time to realize I didn't want to go that route. Now, it's become so normal that I have to say I don't think about drinking because I don't WANT to drink. I REALLY DON'T!!! It's funny because I remember thinking that I could never go a month, let alone 5 years, without having a sip of alcohol.

After getting sober the final time, I used antibuse. It was my insurance policy while I developed that window of reason. Sub is like antibuse for opiate addicts. We all know in our hearts that we don't take Sub to get high. It may be physically addictive, sure, but it's not a 'getting loaded' drug. It's a recovery drug, like methadone. Chinagirl, I love your attitude. You have been STABLE. That is the key to rebuilding your life. You have been sober. I second what you said about not letting anyone tell you differently!

All that ultimately matters is the honesty of the relationship that we have with ourselves and (IMO) our higher power. Other people's opinions are their problems.

laddertipper

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First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Hey laddertipper,

Good to hear from you again.

I was just talking to my wife about the 'thought to drug' thing last night. Used to be an instant reaction, if I thought about my DOC I was soon on my way to finding it.

Nowadays, it's like my brakes finally work again. I have had very, very little craving, but when I do I am able to think it through to the end and I'm not cool with going back there ever again.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:33 am 
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Congrats !!! That is great 5yrs wow. I have just started Suboxone in Sept and it has been a blessing. I too have had problems with NA. I believe im sober and boy did I get the look as if I just shot dope before coming to the meeting. Anyway you sound like your doing great. That is so awesome you got that much time clean. Wish you many more. ( dirty nj )


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:20 pm 
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I too congratulate you on 5 years sober! That is amazing and you should be very proud of yourself for achieving such an accomplishment. I also think it is wonderful that you were honest because in that process, you helped the young man who was afraid to speak up and say anything.

I have said it before and will say it again that since development of suboxone, and in anticipation of more medications assisted recovery options in the future, they must develop some kind of new program for us. A program that deals with starting sub, changing your lifestyle, tapering, decisions to taper, etc. There are a variety of tools from NA/AA that are absolutely beneficial. But I do think the religious part of it could be lesser since the medications reduce the level of desperation one experiences going cold turkey without assistance. I don't have to pray to an imaginary being as my only option these days. No offense to the religious but I am an atheist so for me...that is all it is and it makes you feel a little hopeless to walk into a meeting only to realize it relies on this imaginary being. There is no comfort in that. I think there is something to be said for a spirituality component or meditation, etc. I just think there needs to be a shift for those who have chosen medication assisted recovery.

For those of you required to attend......I am SO sorry. My doctor normally requires NA/AA attendance. I excaped that by going to therapy (infrequently at best these days) and by working out. Since I have never had a dirty UA, she thinks I am different. I don't know that I agree with that entirely, but I am more than happy to ride that train in order to get out of the meetings that would seriously be a total waste of time in my opinion.

We are here for you and can certainly celebrate your five years! So congratulations and I hope you do start a meeting in your area.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:14 pm 
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My feeling is that one's clean time is between them and their HP. Only you and HP really know. If your house is in order, and you have worked the program while on suboxone, take your coin or whatever, you've earned it. If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, calmly tell them to kiss your ass and worry about themselves!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:00 am 
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moman wrote:
My feeling is that one's clean time is between them and their HP. Only you and HP really know.

This is exactly what I've been told and I totally agree. The philosophy works pretty well because, typically, we are our harshest critics.

I've been very fortunate to find an NA home group that is accepting of my Suboxone therapy. I've also found acceptance with many AAs. That's not to say that I haven't heard the rantings of those against replacement therapy. Who could miss their presence? They tend to be so loud... and tend to sound so very angry (which makes me question how well they have incorporated the steps into their lives).

Starting a Sub-friendly meeting is an awesome idea. I wish you all the best and I congratulate you on all your clean time.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 10:07 am 
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When you think about it, *everyone* is accepted at their word about their "clean time". I agree completely about the loudmouthed zealots. They seem to either be folks who failed on ORT, or simply idiots with no experience.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:34 am 
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Seems I assumed you're male in my post. My mistake.

So by dude, I mean dudess.

And by hooker, I mean.. gigolo.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:31 am 
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I am a big AA/na person myself. I dont collect keychains since I am on sub. THis does not mean that I dont belong in the meetings... the only requirement for membership is the desire to live drug/etoh free, am I right?

I dont understand why the author of this thread is upset at all... after five yrs in the program and being as active as you are I am sure you have read all the pamphlets the program puts out... let me show you one.

Bulletin #29
Home > Information about NA > 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.



IN posting this ... by no means am I judging one that chooses sub. I myself choose sub. I just couldnt face another wd so I choose maintance treatment. I choose sub over methadone only due to how much easier it is. Not to go daily to a clinic... I only go monthly. NOt that the office I go to is a "safe" place to hang out.. it for sure is not. I just dont understand how the author of the thread can be so upset. I never remember being in any meeting that condone replacement tx... I never hear anything against it either. It just that there has to be a clear cut line somewhere. And its clear and always has been clear that NA/ AA goal is to be drug free

Just because modern medicine comes up with another replacement treatment the 12 step program IMHO should not change thier beliefs.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:36 am 
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bottom line IMHO.... yoiur clean time is between you and your maker. If to you being on sub is being clean then in your eyes your clean. It dosnt matter what others think. They do not pay your bills or live your life. So why walk away from a progame that teaches us how to live without the dope. Take what you can use and leave the rest behind.

Just dont expect the program to bend thier position for you or anyone that chooses BMT or MMT.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:58 am 
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birdie wrote:
bottom line IMHO.... yoiur clean time is between you and your maker. If to you being on sub is being clean then in your eyes your clean. It dosnt matter what others think. They do not pay your bills or live your life. So why walk away from a progame that teaches us how to live without the dope. Take what you can use and leave the rest behind.

Just dont expect the program to bend thier position for you or anyone that chooses BMT or MMT.


I completely understand why they OP was upset and she has every right to be. What I don't understand is how you can't see that.

You said, "Why walk away from a program that teaches us to lives without the dope...just don't expect the program to bend their position for you...". If the program isn't consistent with a person's beliefs and how they define clean time, it's up to that person to walk away if they choose and I can understand why. I don't see why they would be questioned for walking away. It appears that you don't expect the program to "bend" their position, but rather for her to "bend" her position. I find that quite inconsistent. I know she still attends a different "sub-group", so to speak, of the 12-step program that does not frown upon replacement therapy and that works for her. In fact I believe she started her particular group up. I say kudos to her and I hope she's not bothered by your post. Again, I completely understand why she was upset.

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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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