Not an alcoholic

New to AA? Got questions? Here's the place to ask. Note that no one person speaks "officially" for AA. AA meetings in your local area are always the best source of information. Note that anyone may post and reply to messages in this forum.

Re: Not an alcoholic

Postby curtis s » Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:57 am

Hi Brandon,


AA is for people who have a desire to stop drinking. If you have a desire to stop drinking we may be of help to you. Not to mention that the forums are pretty much open to all as far as I know. However it is likely that you need support that we are unable to offer.

I personally in addition to being an alcoholic abused other drugs. (this is true of many of us) As a result I also attend Narcotics Anonymous meetings. I would suggest that you check us out although I do not have any online information about NA. In a city the size of Spokane I am sure that we have NA meetings-look it up in the phone book. When NA meetings are in short supply some addicts also attend open AA meetings, or if remaining alcohol free is an issue for them, closed meetings.

Many folks have an image of NA as filled with low life dope fiends and although we certainly have members who had extensive criminal lifestyles to support expensive addiction, there are many members who do not fit that profile at all. You will be entirely welcome at NA and most likely will fit right in.

You have stumbled unwittingly into a bit of a controversy within AA. It is not unusual for people addicted to chemical substances other than alcohol to come to AA looking for recovery. While at a deeper level addiction is addiction and the 12 steps remain the pretty much the same in any 12 step fellowship many in AA find that there is concern that we may be ineffective in helping you. This is one of the reasons that NA was formed-that drug addicts felt that they might be better off with their own fellowship. Although it is called Narcotics Anonymous (and oxies are a narcotic) the NA group consience and literature is adamant that the type of drug is far, far less important than the addiction itself. So there are potheads, crackheads, dope fiends, sweet little old ladies with too many prescriptions, oxycotin addicts, and folks whose drug of choice was alcohol.

I am also going to make the same suggestion to you that I do to all newcomers. Although I think that online things are helpful I think that in the beginning they are no substitue for f2f meetings. So pick up the phone today and go to a meeting tonight!

I hope this is helpful to you. I realize that it can be difficult ask for help only to have something else suggested and please understand that this is not any sort of a rejection. Please come back and let us know what your experience in all this is

"What a long strange trip it's been."
curtis s
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Re: Not an alcoholic

Postby dennis » Fri Mar 04, 2005 6:57 am

Hey Brandon,

It's very likely they encouraged you at treatment to go to face to face meetings? I'd encourage you to do the same.

Some on line NA resources for you:

The main NA page is here and it has a very good and handy meeting locater function:

Hope that helps some.

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Re: Not an alcoholic

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Mar 04, 2005 8:16 am

Hi Brandon,

I've never smoked pot, so if I walked into a MJ Anonymous meeting I would fail to find one of the key ingredients for me to get something out of such a meeting, which is "identification". If I cannot identify with their problem, I cannot really hope to identify with their solution.

"Open" meetings of AA are open to all with an interest in the topic of alcoholism. As such, I've attended open meetings with interested members of the medical profession and al-anons (basically, people who have a problem with someone else's drinking). Even in their own fields, they could still gain some identification with what's being discussed at the meeting.

I have heard some say that "the only requirement for AA membership is a 'desire' to stop drinking" and thus qualify almost everyone for AA membership. In my opinion, that is a dangerous suggestion because it not only asks people to ignore what AA is about, but more significantly if the person can't identify with a problem they'll feel that the solution isn't for them.

Others have mentioned NA. I know of people in NA, and understand that they're not just about "street" drugs but about any drugs.

In some cases, in areas where NA is more of a fledgling society, I've known addicts go to NA for identification and then migrate to open AA meetings to seek a solution. And, at times, I've known younger alcoholics go to AA for identification and then seek out open NA meetings to seek a solution. But in all such cases, they need to find the identification first.

So for your own chances of recovery from whatever ails you, unless AA is the only show in town I'd go for whatever organisation is best structured to discuss and help with your problem.
Ian S
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