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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:39 am 
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Just curious; How do you all handle people who are all gung-ho for AA/NA, (like a counselor for instance), who tell you that you aren't really in recovery if you aren't 'working the steps' and/or attending AA/NA meetings; that you've become complacent and are just counting time until you relapse? This is a slightly hypothetical question since this is pretty much exactly what my new counselor told me upon meeting me for the first time, (she's a new hire, I've been going there longer than she's been working there, so it's not a case of me being new in recovery), and learning my dislike of AA/NA and that I prefer alternative approaches instead. Not that there's anything wrong with AA/NA if that's what feels best for you, of course! I'm just not one of those people. Anyway, Thank you!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:32 am 
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I love your little fur babies! As far as your question, my guess is that some like to play God, their views should be everyones views. You are not new to, yes I'll say it, RECOVERY and if you are doing well and passing drug tests with your life back in order, than you are doing fine as is. I'm not knocking na by any means, my sponsor was on sub and her husband forced her off it because of cost, so when she found out I was on it I was preached to all the time about tapering now. I was no where close to wanting this, so I had to quit na just because of this one person. The issue that is most important, I was doing great before this, but her constant comments started to make me feel like a total loser, almost to the point of relapse. We got our self respect back from sub treatment, but we are still fragile. I don't want this to happen to you. Again, you are doing fine, keep up what works for you (this forum) and tell her she is getting too personal. What works for some doesn't work for all.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:23 am 
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For a time,(31/2)years, i was asked to join the NA fellowship aloug with my sub treatment. It was a rule of the clinic. Still is. Ive learned much there, good and bad. I think that the word Recovery is being defined abit differently today. It cant just be 12 step recovery anymore. Although for the past 50 years this was Recovery. So indeed there is The Program, and theres the Fellowship. Im a pro sub guy who left the NAers a year ago over the sub issue. I understand what there program is, and I did make friends there, but in the end< as people here warned me years ago, the sub issue would blow up in my face. My sponsor after two years and 3 steps later, did an about face. So i left it. Funny this has come up, i went back to an old meeting id like for years and no one, well one guy, said a word to me. Im theat Sub guy<the SUB sponsor. lol Its all good as they say, If you want to go, go and fellowship. But we on sub really arent like them. Hats off to them, if they can make it work for them. Skay, as far as your countslors go, just tellm the truth, or do what my clinic mates all do, make up a 12 step story for them. We have a cronic brain disease, treated with meds. We need clean new friends. May try to find others in treatment who would like to meet. hope some of this made some sence. I just dont think there is a wroug way to recovery. As loug as life gets better, moving forward, and there is some kind of faith in yourself or your revoery....


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:02 pm 
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Pugmommy is exactly right on! I just wanted to say that always remember, nobody has the right to tell u what works for u. If tying urself to a tractor in the middle of the field while chanting inspirational quotes works for u then do it (obviously that's not going to work too long lol but I wanted to be a bit dramatic). It really pisses me off to hear how others think that they have some kind of rules that everyone who's in recovery has to follow or ur doomed. That's bs. Just like my attorney said, "the judge isn't going to see suboxone as serious recovery so I suggest u stop taking it before we go into that courtroom". He then said that he'd had a previous client who was on suboxone and did wonderful for a yr and after they stopped taking it they immediately went bk to their old ways. It's astonishing to me that such educated ppl can group every addict together because of one person's experience. It threw me off at first and scared me. I didn't know if I should delay the case and taper off or find another attorney after I'd already paid a lot of money for this one already. I finally just went forward with it like I'd planned. Things turned out pretty good after that. Did I change their minds about suboxone....absolutely not, but that's their issues not mine.

I'm getting off topic, I just wanted to say don't let anyone make u feel bad about a choice that's working for u. Feel sorry for those ppl that feel the need to pick apart other ppls recovery.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 2:32 pm 
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I went to 12 Step (AA) meetings every day for the first 3 months after stopping alcohol (i had been on sub and off pills for some time already). Almost every day until about 6 months in. I got a lot out of it that still helps me stay sober.

I met someone the day of my first meeting who, when I mentioned I was on suboxone, said that he's never heard of it working out long term for anyone. That was six years ago and I'm still sober and coincidentally have been off sub for 15 months now and feeling great. I'm glad I didn't stop sub at that time, suffer needlessly and likely relapse.

On the other hand I met my old sponsor who asked me if the suboxone made me feel high which it didn't and did I follow my doctors instructions which I did. He said don't worry about it, AA has no opinion on other medications and that's between me and my doctor.

I guess my point is that I love the big book, I take a lot from it and it still helps me stay sober. Meetings are run and attended by human beings who all have their own "twist" on it and at times, especially to a new person who is hurting, you take someone's "twist" as a rule when it's just someones interpretation of it. For example my old sponsor thought that you need to attend a meeting every day of your life or you will be drinking/relapsing within a week. Also he had a rule that you need to call your sponsor every day. There's no mention of these things in the big book obviously. It eventually drove me to fire him although he helped me a lot in the beginning.

The phrase "take what you want and leave the rest" (another "twist" but a good one! :)) comes to mind here. Also "There is no wrong way to get sober" was a good one written on the wall of one of my favorite meetings I used to attend.

I haven't been to a meeting in years but once and a while I listen to a speaker tape. There is a website with many many free speaker tapes from different fellowships you can stream for free. I don't know if I'm supposed to post links but it is xa-speakers.org


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 3:37 pm 
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Thank you for the compliment jennjenn, how ya been? You also made very good points, as always

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:11 pm 
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I'm seeing a lot of personal stories and expierence but not a lot of answers or suggestions for you. A lot of I, I, I.

Consider debating them with facts. They can come at you with this or that but ask them, "do you know and can you tell me what the 12 month success rate for avoiding relapse is for opiate addicts using 12-step as their treatment? If they cant answer, let them know it is around 10%. In other words about 9 out of every 10 opiate addicts relapse within one year. Then ask them what the relapse rate is for either buprenorphine or methadone. Again if they don't know, share with them that multiple studies have shown about a 50% rate. Then ask them, are you really telling me that I should choose or change to a treatment model with a 1 in 10 chance of working or one with about a 1 in 2 chance? Ask them what they would choose if it was their life?

Debate them on the facts. Make them defend THEIR choice of treatment rather than making you defend yours.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2016 9:25 pm 
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donh wrote:
I'm seeing a lot of personal stories and expierence but not a lot of answers or suggestions for you. A lot of I, I, I.

Consider debating them with facts. They can come at you with this or that but ask them, "do you know and can you tell me what the 12 month success rate for avoiding relapse is for opiate addicts using 12-step as their treatment? If they cant answer, let them know it is around 10%. In other words about 9 out of every 10 opiate addicts relapse within one year. Then ask them what the relapse rate is for either buprenorphine or methadone. Again if they don't know, share with them that multiple studies have shown about a 50% rate. Then ask them, are you really telling me that I should choose or change to a treatment model with a 1 in 10 chance of working or one with about a 1 in 2 chance? Ask them what they would choose if it was their life?

Debate them on the facts. Make them defend THEIR choice of treatment rather than making you defend yours.


Good advice here from don :oops: :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 6:57 am 
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donh - I would say that's a good suggestion for debating someone in AA/NA, but this is a counselor she is presumably PAYING for services.

My suggestion is, FIRE her immediately. Telling someone they are "just counting time until you relapse" just because they don't subscribe to the counselor's philosophy borders on malpractice in my book. Having just entered the field myself I can tell you that the standard of care is to find the treatment modality that works best for the PATIENT - not to have someone pay for a counselor's personal, judgemental opinion! That really pisses me off.

I'm not feeling too warm and fuzzy about AA/NA these days, but I found myself yesterday handing a client AA literature & giving him some info on navigating the AA program. Why? Because he expressly stated that he wanted to join AA and work their recovery program. So I was supporting HIS choice for HIS recovery....


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:10 am 
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I agree Lilly!

Pugmommy I'm doing great as I hope u are too. Right now I'd really like to never speak to my fiancee again but u know how it is when ur mad lol. Have a wonderful day!!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 2:25 pm 
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Lillyval wrote:
donh - I would say that's a good suggestion for debating someone in AA/NA, but this is a counselor she is presumably PAYING for services.

My suggestion is, FIRE her immediately. Telling someone they are "just counting time until you relapse" just because they don't subscribe to the counselor's philosophy borders on malpractice in my book. Having just entered the field myself I can tell you that the standard of care is to find the treatment modality that works best for the PATIENT - not to have someone pay for a counselor's personal, judgemental opinion! That really pisses me off.

I'm not feeling too warm and fuzzy about AA/NA these days, but I found myself yesterday handing a client AA literature & giving him some info on navigating the AA program. Why? Because he expressly stated that he wanted to join AA and work their recovery program. So I was supporting HIS choice for HIS recovery....


Great answer, Lilly! Are you working in the field?

Amy

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2016 8:31 pm 
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I agree! Very good comments Lilly. I should have added that myself. Wish I had. I'd say, take my advice and tell them what I suggest and THEN take Lily's and fire them! :) this goes for all medical care. They work for you/us. We need to at least agree in treatment philosophy no matter if it's heart disease, diabetes or whatever. You have to trust your care providers but start from a common philosophy.

Great comments Lilly!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:19 am 
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I treat them the same as any religious person. It's all good as long as long as they don't impose their personal recovery beliefs on me. That includes their idea of what is "clean" and what isn't. ie... I personally consider it a "bust" if I smoke a cigarette. But I'm not about to go to NA meetings and tell the people smoking outside the meeting that they're not clean.

Sometimes with these steppers you just gotta put up a boundary. I pretty much refuse to talk recovery with the closed-minded ones who spout all the dogma. I am however friends with lots of people who attend NA who I consider to be a bit more open minded, who give me space and accept that I'm treading my own path.

Counsellors are meant to be impartial, secular. How is it that a counsellor can get paid to spout NA to clients? What's going on in that organisation for that to be okay? If you want NA you go to a meeting and you get a sponsor. If you want something else, you go to a separate organisation for counselling. There should be no crossover.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 9:20 am 
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Lillyval wrote:
I'm not feeling too warm and fuzzy about AA/NA these days, but I found myself yesterday handing a client AA literature & giving him some info on navigating the AA program. Why? Because he expressly stated that he wanted to join AA and work their recovery program. So I was supporting HIS choice for HIS recovery....


Good on you Lilly. How it should be done.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 10:29 pm 
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Are you on Suboxone and your new counselor knows this and is promoting NA? If so the couselor should be told that recommendations for that should be appended with strong warnings about the dangers you face. Wherever you are there is bound to be a dug-in anti-sub contingent in the NA crowd. They don't want to be persuaded they are wrong or change their views and they can really harm someone's psyche at a fragile point in their recovery by condemning their use of maintenance drug treatment.

It happened to my D yesterday. She knew this could happen but so far she's kept a somewhat low profile at NA, only telling people she feels secure with about her Suboxone use, or sometimes sharing with someone struggling in early recovery with no medication assistance that they might benefit from this. But she had a meeting with a potential sponsor and wanted to be honest and told her. The woman told my D she is not clean. She started quizzing her about whether she ever feels like she wants be really clean. She suggested that my D, who's been in recovery on suboxone 5 months, should just quit taking it today and that she knows people who have done this, just stopped. Turns out she knows one person who did it after 3 years and tapered slowly under his doctor's guidance. She refused to be my D's sponsor. You can imagine how steamed I am. Trying to kill my D with her ignorance. I know it isn't really her fault that she doesn't know any better. But you know, she was berating my D like this when she knew that just 2 days prior my D had received a definitive diagnosis of bipolar. My D is devastated, feels like she's lost her community and that she can't go back that they'll be sitting in judgement. There are many nice guys there, but apparently she just found out the few women(heavy gender imbalance there) are all in the anti-sub camp.

Regarding the NA push, it may be your counselor isn't aware of any other options and it does seem like NA is the bigggest draw around here, maybe because they are so long established. If you know of other alternative groups, you could inform him/her about these opportunities. My D goes to various Buddhist type recovery group meetings she's found out about, but they meet once a week and each have their own members, unlike NA where she sees many of the same people at different meetings and at the numerous holidays events. So she kept going and liked it a lot for the fellowship even though the spiritual aspect of it is rather difficult for her. She will try the SMART meetings now, but there are only 2 per week in our area, but dozens of NA meetings (and I don't know HOW many AA meetings, lots.)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 1:52 am 
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Thank you, everyone, for all of your advice and personal stories. Believe it or not I actually had a very long reply typed out to all of you focusing on all the wonderful points you each made that helped me or that resonated with what I already believe, but, sadly, I accidentally clicked the wrong button on my tablet and when the page went back everything had been lost. That's what I get for not saving a draft! Lol! Anyway, some good news from all of this; I'm changing counseling agencies and it will have at least two good things about it; closer to my house, (walking distance, so that's good), and it takes Medicaid so I will no longer have to pay for counseling. My hope for a third good thing is another great counselor like the one I had before the current one. Someone who understands that there are other means to an end and that their way doesn't necessarily mean the only way. Thank you all so much for being such positive support!

^_^

P.S. Thanks, Pugmommy, for noticing my furbabies! They mean the world to me and will be three years old this summer! I take it by your handle that you've got a dog? (dogs?) and they're pugs? Pugs are a-freakin'-dorable! Their little squashed-in faces and curly tails. Hehe!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:14 am 
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TeeJay wrote:
I treat them the same as any religious person. It's all good as long as long as they don't impose their personal recovery beliefs on me. That includes their idea of what is "clean" and what isn't. ie... I personally consider it a "bust" if I smoke a cigarette. But I'm not about to go to NA meetings and tell the people smoking outside the meeting that they're not clean.

Sometimes with these steppers you just gotta put up a boundary. I pretty much refuse to talk recovery with the closed-minded ones who spout all the dogma. I am however friends with lots of people who attend NA who I consider to be a bit more open minded, who give me space and accept that I'm treading my own path.

Counsellors are meant to be impartial, secular. How is it that a counsellor can get paid to spout NA to clients? What's going on in that organisation for that to be okay? If you want NA you go to a meeting and you get a sponsor. If you want something else, you go to a separate organisation for counselling. There should be no crossover.


Yes, yes, yes! I totally 100% agree! At the last group I attended there, (if you could call it a 'group' considering it was just myself, one other person and the counselor lecturing us for two hours), she ranted on about doing the steps and stopped in the middle to ask in an almost accusatory tone if we had a sponsor yet. When I said no she said "But, you're working on it, right?" and before I could reply she went on with her lecture. If I had to give her any praise at all it's that she sure knows how to put on a show. What with her stomping around the room, banging on the walls and yelling about AA/NA stuff it kind of felt like I was in the middle of an old-fashion religious revival performance. I think she'd make a great infomercial salesperson or late-night TV preacher. The other person I was with looked about as uncomfortable as I felt during the whole performance. It wasn't much help to either of us, either, as neither of us got to speak because she used up the entire time with her own stories and praising the NA/AA way. The other staff I've encountered there, while expressing how much they like the 12-Step Program for themselves have always been good about understanding and accepting that sometimes it's not for everyone. My last counselor was totally on board with me getting support elsewhere as long as I had support she didn't care if it came from the 12-Steps or the internet or what have you.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 2:27 am 
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WonderstruckMom wrote:
Are you on Suboxone and your new counselor knows this and is promoting NA? If so the couselor should be told that recommendations for that should be appended with strong warnings about the dangers you face. Wherever you are there is bound to be a dug-in anti-sub contingent in the NA crowd. They don't want to be persuaded they are wrong or change their views and they can really harm someone's psyche at a fragile point in their recovery by condemning their use of maintenance drug treatment.

It happened to my D yesterday. She knew this could happen but so far she's kept a somewhat low profile at NA, only telling people she feels secure with about her Suboxone use, or sometimes sharing with someone struggling in early recovery with no medication assistance that they might benefit from this. But she had a meeting with a potential sponsor and wanted to be honest and told her. The woman told my D she is not clean. She started quizzing her about whether she ever feels like she wants be really clean. She suggested that my D, who's been in recovery on suboxone 5 months, should just quit taking it today and that she knows people who have done this, just stopped. Turns out she knows one person who did it after 3 years and tapered slowly under his doctor's guidance. She refused to be my D's sponsor. You can imagine how steamed I am. Trying to kill my D with her ignorance. I know it isn't really her fault that she doesn't know any better. But you know, she was berating my D like this when she knew that just 2 days prior my D had received a definitive diagnosis of bipolar. My D is devastated, feels like she's lost her community and that she can't go back that they'll be sitting in judgement. There are many nice guys there, but apparently she just found out the few women(heavy gender imbalance there) are all in the anti-sub camp.

Regarding the NA push, it may be your counselor isn't aware of any other options and it does seem like NA is the bigggest draw around here, maybe because they are so long established. If you know of other alternative groups, you could inform him/her about these opportunities. My D goes to various Buddhist type recovery group meetings she's found out about, but they meet once a week and each have their own members, unlike NA where she sees many of the same people at different meetings and at the numerous holidays events. So she kept going and liked it a lot for the fellowship even though the spiritual aspect of it is rather difficult for her. She will try the SMART meetings now, but there are only 2 per week in our area, but dozens of NA meetings (and I don't know HOW many AA meetings, lots.)


I'm so sorry that happened with your daughter. That really makes me mad when other people think they have the right to play doctor with another's very life! That's another huge reason I've looked elsewhere for support because of AA/NA's unspoken-yet-spoken stance on Suboxone. My counselor, (mine just until I change agencies soon), is also of that mindset. One of the first things she did was verbally bombard me with questions about when I'll be getting off of Suboxone. I have my exit interview coming up next week and I am going to print out some stuff from other groups like LifeRing, SOS, Rational Recovery and SMART to maybe try and educate her about other paths to a clean and sober life.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2016 8:45 pm 
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I went to the biggest meeting in my city once. It usually gets over 100 people every Friday. Everybody dresses nice for it. A really well known and well liked NA character shared from the floor that he believed "drug replacement" had a place in the treatment of heroin addiction. Most of the room broke out in laughter at him. I couldn't believe it.

If you ask me... Anyone who goes off their suboxone after being pressured in NA and later dies from an overdose... NA has some level of responsibility for.

Something else that irks me is how NOBODY asks questions or talks about when people come to harm while they are doing meetings, whether they relapse or self harm or are preyed on... But when people stop doing meetings and relapse or die, it's because they stopped doing meetings. There's a very selective memory in those rooms...


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