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 Post subject: The NA Syndrome
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Hello everyone. I have been following this site for a few months now. This is my first post.
I have been on sub since 2006. I have been to NA meetings. I was unaware that I was
The only one on sub, till 15 minutes into the meeting. So I Introduce myself and announced I had been clean for a few years.

I then told them I was on sub. Boy did the hoo-rah turn into a funeral procession.
After the meeting the counselor came up to me chastised me for mentioning
Methadone. I didn't go into war stories during the session. Anyway I am not

Clean the guy tells me. You can't say your sober when your on sub. Why
Is there this holy-er then though attitude? Everyone looked down at me.
I was pissed when I left that night. I thought to myself why? I went to two
Meetings that was it.

I have more to add later but for now I just wanted to say hello and I look forward
To reading Dr J's emails. I look forward to some good conversations in the future!!

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Opportunity may only knock once but temptation leans on the doorbell...


Snake


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:32 pm 
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Hey snake,

Glad you decided to jump into the mix and post!

The reaction you got from NA is typical from all the stories I have heard on the subject. Don't let them bum you out, the fact that they can't handle that you're on Suboxone is THEIR problem, not yours.

I certainly considered myself sober when I was on sub. I know I wasn't out rippin' and runnin' tracking down every opiate I could get my hands on while I was on sub. Suboxone completely changed my life.

I look forward to hearing more about you and your story.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 12:42 pm 
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Hello and welcome to the forum! I'm glad you found us and I hope you stick around. I'm confident you will find lots of support and empathy here.

I haven't been to an NA or AA meeting in so long, so I don't personally have experience on this subject. BUT - I've read posts my many, many people who have this same problem. Telling you you're not clean because you're on sub...well, I strongly disagree with this. Look at all of the behaviors we all had when we were in active addiction. Now with the help of sub, those addiction behaviors are gone. So yes, I consider being on suboxone "clean" (although i hate that word).

If you really feel that you would benefit from a 12-step program, you could always find a different meeting and just keep your sub use private. The medications you take are simply none of their business.

Good luck and again, welcome.

_________________
-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:20 pm 
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Thank you for the kind words. Yes! Thank You! My question was, do we say we are clean?
Is it not right to say to someone in NA I am clean but I am also on Suboxone? I feel that
We are clean.

I had a buddy I went to school with come over who is a recovering alcoholic. He started asking
How I was. We hadn't seen each other in years. I am tell him the sub has changed my life.
He then proceded to tell me that I was still a slave. I wasn't free. I still need to take something.

45 minutes before things started to get heated he was offering me that fake weed stuff you get
From the gas stations. He was always smoking weed in school, but the bottle is really what took
hold of him.

I never was a pot smoker. It made me really really paranoid and made me shake and really
cold. It could be 60 outside and I would he freezing. Anyway he's lecturing me that he was
In rehab, and heroin addicts were kicking it in 3 days. I said man your crazy. He said no
I'm serious. He preached to me that it's not a disease. I told him I have a disease and
He said that I was being brain washed. I don't have a disease he doesn't have a disease.

Anyway I finally had to tell him man your pissing me off, chill out. We about came to
Throwing blows. He then apologized. Religion was in the mix of this heated debate
He swears up and down that the earth is 10,000 years old. And god is what has healed him.

Now I love science space and the universe, I can go on and on about space the universe and
My take on life and well the why are we here question. Anyway I said sub keeps my ideas in
Remission. Some people just don't understand. I thought if anybody would it would be a best
Friend I had not seen in years and a fellow addict. I figured he would defiantly understand
But he's been in and out of treatment centers for alcohol and they might take a different route.

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Opportunity may only knock once but temptation leans on the doorbell...


Snake


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 2:38 pm 
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IMHO, one's sobriety date is between them and their HP....no one else really knows. NA espouses "total abstinence from all drugs", but they all have different definitions of what a "drug" is. If you were to ask one of them, listen to their definition, then ask how tobacco fits in, you'd really hear the bullshit fly!

They can lecture and take your inventory, and often people simply leave never to return. Some claim that folks on ORT are "welcome", but they cannot lead meetings, share, do service work, or claim "clean time"....yet the only requirement for membership is a desire o stop using. Still, the program can save your life.....just keep your medical info to yourself. I simply go to AA!


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 Post subject: Not a fan of NA
PostPosted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:50 pm 
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god_from_the_snake,
I have been there man. I know how it feels to be snubbed by the holy and pure NA crowd. Remeber this though, NA has an extermely large percent of it's followers relapse back to their drug of choice as opposed to us who are on Suboxone. Also, I do not understand why we have to define our selfs as an addict at all times in the NA program. I mean we used to be addicts but not anymore. We are clean now and do not have to define ourselves as addicts. We are ex addicts. I never liked NA because they always start off every converstaion with Hi am am so and so and I am an addict. We do not need to think of ourselves anymore. That era is gone and is only a small part of who we are. Not our defining attribute NA claims.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:17 pm 
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i struggled with this issue a little bit when i first started taking sub. I know sub has saved my life along with alot of hard work from my end. The way my therapist told me to look at this issue was to say that if i am not buying drugs off the street or getting high or mis using drugs prescribed to me and i am taking the pills as noted by the dr then i am sober. I am not living in active addiction i.e., searching the streets for drugs, lying to dr's, sick and waiting for the next fix and making up excuses for why i am using....then this means that i am clean (in my opinion). i dont do any of the things i used to do and my mind doesnt function the way it did in active addiction which leads me to beleive that i am clean and sober.

I would recommend trying AA meetings if you are dead set on the meetings. most AA meetings are for people who abuse alcohol but alot of the people there are poly substance abusers. You have to sub in alcohol for the drugs if you take the floor and talk but its the same disease different substance and the AA meetings can be helpful .


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 Post subject: Way To Go!!
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 2:30 am 
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Congrats on your sobriety :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:30 pm 
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When I first started in recovery, I had the same issue with NA that you are having now. There are pro's and con's to this 12-step program, esspecially for those of us on Suboxone. The big PRO for me was the flexibility of the meeting schedule and locations. Im a busy mom of three, so the option to attend a meeting anywhere anytime was appealing. I did, however, have to ask around and "shop" meetings for a couple months until I found one I was happy with. Some times you are lucky enough to find a NA meeting that is specifically for opiate addicts. I found one like this, and a large percentage of us are on Subs, or methadone, and we talk openly about our med's and It is very non-judgemental and laid back. We don't debate about the meds, we don't voice our opinion on how "clean" we are if we take meds. It's very cool and laid back. I know that groups like this are hard to find, but they do exist, so don't give up just yet. Get an AA or NA meeting book and try to find something that caters to Opiate Addicts, this may help you find a meeting more suited to your needs. I wish you the best of luck. I have been clean for two years, and I attribute a good part of that sucess to meetings. While they are not for everyone, they are a great resource for those of us new to recovery. Don't let the negative words of one group of people send you running for the hills! I wish you the best of luck and hope you can find the support you need!!!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:27 am 
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I am so glad to hear that I am not alone. I agree. It is no ones business.
My story was haphazardly thrown together in as short of a way that I could
explain but keep the main details in. Actually I had one coots light sitting in my
Fridge for about 2 months from a while back that he drank so obviously that

Is what got things so heated because he was calling the kettle black so of speak.
I have found a few addicts on sub that have the same views as I do and talking
With these friends helps. My doctor last month put me on generic subutex for
Financial reasons. It's $385 for 45 tablets for sub. She said I should have done this
A long time ago. I never was a needle user so she had no problem. I didn't even ask her
She said this is what I am going to do, because we were talking about price. My point

I guess is that my doctor is great she does everything she can to help my needs and
I feel that is very important to have a great relationship. So now I get 45 for $186
But at least I can fill a months worth and not 10 at a time. Thanks guys for you support
And comments. Ps... How has everyone been doing?

_________________
Opportunity may only knock once but temptation leans on the doorbell...


Snake


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:05 am 
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Nice topic, God/Snake. The way I see buprenorphine and methadone is just a medicine for any other chronic illness. Plus, despite NA literature stating that no one can take any drug in the program.....but most people in 12-step programs take antidepressants and other psych meds. To say that one is right and one is wrong is to lie.

If I'm supposedly dirty by using Sub/Methadone, then I wouldn't want to be clean. Sub saved my life. Before Sub: Jails, institutions, and near death. After Sub: responsible citizen, non-criminal lifestyle, and a new ability to feel happy some days.

Nuff said

J

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"Never tease a weasel/The weasel will not like it/ And teasing isn’t nice!”


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:53 pm 
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Good topic. I did the NA/AA thing heavily for three months and than slowed back and eventually stopped (I go to one meeting a week, but just listen). I never shared that I was on Sub, because its nobody's business. I did tell my sponsor (my second one, "sponsorship" made me really uncomfortable) that I took other meds (Seroquel) and his response was "wow those are really powerful" and told me to reconsider. I eventually realized that it wasn't for me. The 12 Steps didn't make much sense to me personally, and I didn't feel like I had a spiritual issue as the cause of my addiction.

However, the people that it has worked often believe very very strongly in it. Which makes sense, especially considering all the additional elements. It has to be a pretty powerful feeling to have had some type of higher power become active in your life. Often, many feel that it has totally relieved their cravings. Also, the 12th step instructs them to basically spread the word. The 12 Step program takes a certain type of person, but I am all for whatever works. They feel that their sobriety hinges on the program, meetings and all the other things involved.

The view on medication varies. I do find that many are okay with anti-ds as long as you plan on trying to get off (which isn't always an option). Suboxone is a much trickier issue. I have never admitted to a 12 stepper that I use it. My family and friends know, my counselor and after care group knows and that is all for me.

As for the disease concept, I don't argue that with people. I personally do not believe it is a disease, but it doesn't matter. What I do know is that my use was interfering with my life and was getting worse. I had myself so wrapped up in a cycle of self-medicating that I was totally unable to see life without. It took me time+medication to realize that I could.

Now, I very rarely have cravings (hardly ever for opiates) and when I do I tell myself "well I cannot do that (ex: have a beer) right now, maybe some day, but not now." That works for me, because I know if I have that beer I will be upset with myself, have broken some personal goals and that nothing good could come of it. I realized this myself and it is very solid with me. I no longer have the desire to try to fix my anxiety and depression with using.


The only people IMO that should influence what medication you take is your doctor, therapist, counselor and yourself. People in 12 step programs are not qualified to make that judgement. 12 step programs can often be very rigid in the beliefs, especially when it comes too "what works". However, what works for someone might not work for you. We are all very different.

I would suggest people check out SMART Recovery. Its totally fine to use Suboxone in that program. They won't judge. I also recommend that people try to attend some meetings, maybe you will find a fit. I have only attended meetings in a few different places, so it could be a local thing.


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