Cross Addicted

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Cross Addicted

Postby Willd » Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:24 pm

I heard a circuit speaker I liked recently, talking about drug users in AA maybe needing a different fellowship and it worried me. I drank for 25 years, often adding drugs: pot, cocaine, pills, alcohol always being primary. I discovered heroin and within a year that was where all my money went. It eclipsed my drinking, I don't crave or think of alcohol anymore but have Ben relapsing in and out of the rooms with opiates and speed (to stay awake). The speaker said that only an alcoholic can share a common experience with another alcoholic. A drunk cannot relate to a drug user. It worried me because while I've tried NA, I prefer this fellowship. I like the big book, I like the availability of meetings and the people in the rooms of aa. My last sponsor was a drunk and dope fiend in AA. Sometimes when I hear someone I respect say that drugs aren't our common experience, regardless of the amount of drug addicted alcoholics I have met, I get worried that I'm where I don't belong. I drank for 25 years like the type of drunk described in the doctor's opinion, so I figured I qualify as an alcoholic. Am I worried for no reason?
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:26 am

There is a group that identify themselves as CA group, but they have there own preamble where they talk about the spiritual malady that leads us back to a "hit or a drink" and yes they follow the big book. These people have founded a group of their liking. They attract about 100-125 young people every Thursday. Perhaps you could find a group that is similar to this. If you could ping me your contact info, I could hook you up with one of the founders. The solution is the same but identification is real important. Also an alcoholic may endure lot of pain and be in the fellowship spouting those one liners but a pill-popper and crack addict may need relief immediately, namely find that power the book talks about by working the steps quickly and figuring out what he is blocked from that power.
Last edited by avaneesh912 on Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby Brock » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:35 am

Welcome to e-AA Wild.

This is a subject that comes up here from time to time. From my experience both here and in the rooms, I believe that pretty well all members of AA don't mind cross addicted folks attending, many of us have had brushes with other drugs as well. The main thing to my mind was that booze was our primary problem, I for example never did coke or really thought about it until I had some drinks in me, that habit got so expensive I turned my back on it, but no way could my will power work on drink.

When a new person might visit AA often in bad shape and dying for a drink, we want those who have recovered to demonstrate that they were once in the same boat, then the new person might relate and take seriously the steps we say we took for recovery. If you gave your story the way you wrote it here and say things like - “I don't crave or think of alcohol anymore but have Been relapsing in and out of the rooms with opiates and speed (to stay awake).” - then the new person will feel they are in the wrong place. I don't expect you would do that, so it means that in giving your experience you will have to leave most of the drug talk out, many folks I know don't even like hearing the words clean and sober, and some drug addicts come to the rooms and just say clean, which is not 'AA language.'

I really appreciate your honesty in saying why you prefer AA, but the tradition says the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking, once you try to stick to your experience with drink I am sure you will be welcome anywhere, and best of luck in doing that.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby Roberth » Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:54 am

Hello Willd and welcome to E-AA, my name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. Although our primary purpose is

“Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.”

Our 3rd tradition says “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking”

The book tell us we have a solution to all of our problems, so it sound like you are more the welcomed to AA.

We only ask that to keep your discussions to alcoholism.

My story is that I abuse many things, for example drugs , friends, wives and the list can go on and on I wasn’t addict to them I am just an alcoholic. The program and the fellowship is helping me overcome my alcoholism. Applying the principles I as taught in AA help me solve many others
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:02 am

I know there are many "alcoholic addicts" in the rooms. I was never an addict; so some of the stories, I can't relate to.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby Layne » Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:20 am

The speaker said that only an alcoholic can share a common experience with another alcoholic. A drunk cannot relate to a drug user.
That is an opinion, not a universal truth. Experiences vary depending upon the individuals.

My sobriety didn't hinge upon whether anyone ( be they an alcoholic, or a drunk, or a junkie, or an overweight person, or a combo, or a normie, or whatever) could relate to me. It did hinge on whether or not I could relate. I didn't make any progress until "I" could relate...relate to the people in the big book and the rooms of AA. It had nothing to do with whether they could relate to me or not. But that makes sense because it was my recovery, not theirs.

Welcome Wild. I am glad you are here.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby clouds » Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:41 am

I think there are a lot of alcoholics in AA who suffer from other addictions. I came to AA because I was alcoholic and powerless over alcohol. Later I used the 12 steps to stop smoking. I'm not bothered by the alcoholics who also have been drug addicted who attend AA meetings.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby tomsteve » Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:37 am

it is impossible to relate to every alcoholic in the rooms just as its impossible to relate to every addict at an AA meeting.
but the speaker says they "MAYBE" needing a different fellowship. he could be right- there could be members in AA that would benefit better from other fellowships.
IF i keep my mind open, i can relate to a gambling addict, drunk, herion addict, sex addict,food addict.........
but not all of them.

"Am I worried for no reason?"
do you relate to what the big book says? do you relate to what others in the rooms share?
if yes, then stop worrying. youre where you belong. welcome home.

there are people who feel addicts should go elsewhere. its my opinion that people that say that have a few stories from their big book to remove, mainly bill and bob's.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby Willd » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:14 pm

I do always respect the tradition and identify myself as alcoholic when at an aa meeting. I picked up a pamphlet at a recent meeting called: 'Problems Other Than Alcohol' I gained some good insight on my dilemma. The contents was penned by Bill W and he mentions someone he knew in the rooms 'One of the best AA's I know..." as having been a drunk, like me, who turned to 'the needle'. Because of his history with alcohol, Bill considered him a qualifying member who sponsored successfully as well. Dr. Bob talks a lot about barbituates in his story as well so it looks like I'm in good company here. I guess the speaker just had me second guessing. Listening to a couple more of his talks I discovered he's also a member of CA in addition to AA.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby avaneesh912 » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:31 am

Willd,
I will be more focused on finding a sponsor who is cross-addicted and see the insanity behind every relapse. That mental state that precedes each relapse. The true powerlessness. Not the powerless after we take that first drink/hit. Also see what we are trying to escape from like Eckhart puts it about addiction. Thats where the inventory comes in. And the competent sponsor can point out the self-fishness and self-centeredness around each resentment.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby D'oh » Mon Apr 10, 2017 5:31 am

Hi Wild, and Welcome.

I am always confused when this topic comes up. For I have read "Alcohol was but a Symptom" nd of course the 3rd Tradition, The only requirement for Membership is a desire to stop DRINKING.

The Group Conscience is where it is left in My Program. If there is no problem in the Group, I don't need to have one. I do have to respect their views though.

That being said, if any Group shunned a Fellow Sufferer, I would no longer attend that meeting. For "I am Responsible" says for "Help" and nothing about Alcohol.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby positrac » Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:42 am

Wild, I am both on the addiction side of the house and Alcohol and Drugs are but a symptom of my issues in life. I never felt comfortable with NA folks because IMHO they go to a much lower and deeper low than I think us drunks do and they can be more mentally something I can't identify with. I won't say needy although I will call it shifty on not always being trust-worthy Drunks as well). But we all suffer from addiction and for me AA has met my needs for over 27 plus years and in this time the world has drastically changed and people are doing all kinds of crazy stuff with alcohol and drugs and honestly and I thought I'd never say this: But I have no clue and nor can I relate. So I think what happened to toking on a J and or doing boiler makers for a buzz? I don't need that for my security and or to have fun and I am so glad of this because I'd be dead had I not surrendered to my powerlessness of these things.

So I wouldn't worry on semantics as long as you are getting what you need when it is necessary to cross meetings.

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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby SoberInMI » Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:32 pm

Layne wrote:
The speaker said that only an alcoholic can share a common experience with another alcoholic. A drunk cannot relate to a drug user.
That is an opinion, not a universal truth. Experiences vary depending upon the individuals.


The speaker is right. I, as a pure alcoholic, cannot identify or relate to someone that has to steal or prostitute themselves for their mood altering substance, go into a seedy neighborhood to score, and take a substance that may actually be toxic, breaking many laws along the way where alcohol is generally legal. Drug abuse requires a much higher level of criminality and dishonesty.

Even drug addicts admit there is a difference, even among drug use. That is why there is Cocaine, Heroin, Mariauna, and Crystal Meth Anonymous and others.

Some opine that a 12 step meeting is a 12 step meeting. So why don't drug addicts got to Gamblers, Sex, Neurotics, Emotions and Overeaters Anonymous and Adult Children of Alcoholics or even Al-Anon and Alateen? Because the type of addictive behavior makes a difference, the reason for AA's "singleness of purpose embodied in the 3rd, 5th, and 10th traditions.

There is a story in the Big Book that says to try to identify and not compare, find the commonality and not the differences.

Could Bill W. have stayed sober the night he met Dr. Bob if he met with a drug addict instead? Probably not. Put in simple terms, the reason an alcoholic understands and trusts another because metaphorically he/she has walked a mile in an alcoholic's shoes. Nobody understands an alcoholic like another, what I refer to is the "magic." Without it AA wouldn't work.

Bill W. wrote a 1958 article in the "Grapevine" detailing why AA has its singleness of purpose and talks about the inevitable "collapse" of AA without it. Think I could go to a GA meeting and get help with my alcohol problem?
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby Db1105 » Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:49 pm

I've never been a big fan of the circuit speaker thing. I'd much rather hear someone struggle through speaking from the heart rather than a well polished story. Our Traditions clearly state that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. That outweighs anyone's "opinion". I heard the same debate 40 years ago when I first came in. AA in my area continues to thrive and grow with the so called pure, and those who think are umpire alcoholics. Hell, Dr Bob was a drug addict.

Just remember that circuit speakers are just another AA member who has an opinion just like any other member of Alcoholics Anonymous.
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Re: Cross Addicted

Postby SoberInMI » Sat Apr 29, 2017 6:21 pm

Db1105 wrote: I'd much rather hear someone struggle through speaking from the heart rather than (from their head).


I agree.

Db1105 wrote:Our Traditions clearly state that the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.


True, but the long form is more instructive and specifies "alcoholics." You want to argue with conference approved language?

Db1105 wrote:That outweighs anyone's "opinion". I heard the same debate 40 years ago when I first came in. AA in my area continues to thrive and grow with the so called pure, and those who think are umpire alcoholics. Hell, Dr Bob was a drug addict.


I can neither confirm or deny the assertion about Dr. Bob. But, did Dr. Bob talk about his drug addiction at meetings? You ignore Bill W.s 1958 "Grapevine" article which advocated including others who had other addictions as long as they stick to their alcoholism; that's the singleness of purpose and Bill W.s opinion. You would dismiss Bill W.s "opinion?"
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