AA and meds

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?

Re: AA and meds

Postby clouds » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:05 am

Patsy© wrote:
clouds wrote:I think the prospective sponsor just said she didn't sponsor people on psychiatric meds. She wasn't asking anyone to go off meds. She made it clearshe isn't able to sponsor people on medications for psychiatric disorders. I think thats fair enough.


A sponsor's whole job is to be of service and take a newcomer or any AA member through the 12 steps, one step at a time, that is it and THAT IS FAIR. When we begin to make judgements on whether we will take another alcoholic through the 12 steps based on someone being on meds, or who has done jail time, or who doesn't like blondes, or who doesn't like a particular side of town or ..... then they ought not be sponsoring anyone, due to their own program being off.

I believe that the famous old question needs to be asked......"What Would The Master Do?" Yes, WE know the answer to that question and if we don't, then we need to find a good sponsor and be taken through the 12 steps of Recovery for our own well being.

There are alcoholics who NEED to take their medication because if they don't, they are not able to understand, work, or apply the 12 steps in their own life, never mind passing them on!

When we as alcoholics begin to determine who we will help or not help based on our own prejudice, its our own sobriety and recovery that we put in danger.

Tradition 3 says it the best .... "Who dared to be judge, jury and executioner of his own sick brother!"


Hi Patsy, good for you reading the traditions! The third tradition is about there being no requirements for membership in AA except for a desire to stop drinking. Anyone who has that desire is free to be in AA. Nobody will turn away anyone who wants to get sober in AA because of meds. No worries.

Sponsorship depends on the agreement between 2 people of which both are free to decide about the sponsorship or not.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: AA and meds

Postby clouds » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:19 am

Noels wrote::D Love you Clouds :D I agree with your post as well. Personally I stopped taking bipolar meds last year January 2015. I just decided I no longer want to experience bipolar or the meds and I'll be honest, I don't know whether it was withdrawals as apparently after 12 years one should be " weened" off the stuff and I just stopped dead but last year I was constantly sick but only had 1 " attack " where I knew it was bipolar. This year absolutely nothing and I feel better than ever. So by the time I walked in at AA I was med-free :D But ... not everyone is me so I get hectically upset when anyone - (not you as you didn't say anything) suggest someone must go off their meds. I agree with you. The sponsor did do the right thing theoretically. It just makes a person who is on meds feel so " judged" or I don't know if this is the right word - discriminated against as it feels like that person wont help you cause you have a medical condition.
In any event, I always suggest people stay on their meds. Eventually when the time is right they themselves will know if they can stop the meds but best not take chances.
So nice to see you posting regularly now. At one time I was wondering where Clouds was hiding :D
Have a lovely evening. Its my meeting night so I better run and get dinner going for my 2 monsters (hehehehe hubby and son :lol: )
Mwah xxx
Noels


I moved house three weeks ago and immedately came down with a cold type virus, coughing etc. I rest easier off the screens and machines, so just getting back on these last few days. Thanks.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: AA and meds

Postby Patsy© » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:53 pm


Hi Patsy, good for you reading the traditions! The third tradition is about there being no requirements for membership in AA except for a desire to stop drinking. Anyone who has that desire is free to be in AA. Nobody will turn away anyone who wants to get sober in AA because of meds. No worries.

Sponsorship depends on the agreement between 2 people of which both are free to decide about the sponsorship or not.


Hi Clouds, it is really good whenever anyone reads those 12 Traditions, and what is even better, is when those 12 Traditions are put into Action!



Page 140 In the 12 & 12:
"We were resolved to admit nobody to A.A.. but that hypothetical class of people we termed 'pure alcoholics.' Except for their guzzling, and the unfortunate results thereof, they could have no other complications. So beggars, tramps, asylum inmates, prisoners, queers, plain crackpots, and fallen women were definitely out. Yes sir, we'd cater only to pure and respectable alcoholics! Any others would surely destroy us. Besides, if we took in those odd ones, what would decent people say about us?"


So clouds, as long as one has a desire to stop drinking they are an AA member when they say so!
Its just that they don't have the right to recover unless they answer intrusive questions about their medical history??

What goes on in a Medical office is between an alcoholic and their doctor ONLY! It isn't anyone's business in AA and that includes their sponsor.
Again, taking an AA member through the 12 steps of recovery, doesn't hinge on what goes on in ones doctors office, regardless of what you think! lol

I just don't have anything to offer people who are prescribed meds. I have nothing to share, or experience with taking meds and sobering up. I culdn't sponsor people who have psychiatric disorders and or clinical depression, I have no experience at all with that and I'm not a psychologist or docto or psychiatrist. I would be afraid to sponsor someone with these disorders who was on meds. I have noticed that many members now are taking meds and I have no opinion on that at all. I believe they are under doctors supervision and that their illness, as was said above, requires medication. I really think members who have had the experience of sobering up in AA while they were taking psychiatric medication would be better sponsors for newcomers with prescribed medications than those AA members who don't have that experience.


Really? Because AA as a whole, AA groups and AA members have one thing to offer any drunk and that is freedom from alcohol through the 12 steps.

“Sobriety—the freedom from alcohol—through the teaching and practicing of the twelve steps is the sole purpose of an AA group.” — Bill Wilson

Whether someone is on medication is truly none of anyone's business. And if all follow your example cloud, then those alkies who are taking diabetic medication, should only be taken through the 12 steps by other diabetics?? And those alkies who are taking cardiac medication, should only be taken through the 12 steps by those who have a cardiac condition?? And those alkies who are taking Cholesterol medication, should only be taken through the 12 steps by other alkies with elevated cholesterol or lipid issues?? And those alkies who are taking hypertension medication, should only be taken through the 12 steps by other AA members with Blood Pressure issues??

OR, is it just those psych medications that WE are allowed to be uncomfortable with and entitled to choose who we will pass on the 12 steps of Recovery to?

THAT is NOT what WE DO here in AA, because the simple truth is this, that whatever outside issue another AA member is dealing with medically, is simply none of our business, because its between the alcoholic and their medical doctor...is an OUTSIDE ISSUE.


Please, study those 12 Traditions, because they build on one another and ALL of those 12 Traditions keep AA as a whole, AA groups and AA members together in Unity, Service and Recovery!


Page 142 in the 12 & 12 below, says it pretty well:

At first the elders could look only at the objections. "We deal," they said, "with alcoholics only. Shouldn't we sacrifice this one for the sake of the many?" So went the discussion while the newcomer's fate hung in the balance. Then one of the three spoke in a very different voice. "What we are really afraid of," he said, "is our reputation. We are much more afraid of what people might say than the trouble this strange alcoholic might bring. As we've been talking, five short words have been running through my mind. Something keeps repeating to me, 'What would the Master do?'" Not another word was said. What more indeed could be said?
Overjoyed, the newcomer plunged into Twelfth Step work. Tirelessly he laid A.A.'s message before scores of people. Since this was a very early group, those scores have since multiplied themselves into thousands. Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty. A.A. had taken its first step in the formation of Tradition Three.
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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Re: AA and meds

Postby juliemahooley » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:00 am

This is a sensitive topic and one that is highly debated among the AA community. Some feel that you should not need meds if you truly believe in your higher power. I'm on the spectrum of I tried to go off my meds and things got worse and I had to go back on them. It was my goal in sobriety to get off of my meds for bipolar, anxiety, and depression, but facts are facts and I need them. Does this make me an AA flunkee? Some would say that it does, but I have to believe that I'm doing the right thing to keep me sober. I would be a little iffy going with someone who so strongly is against the medication you are on to the point they mention it right away. You're so early in your sobriety, that messing with your medication right now may not be the best idea, but that's just my opinion. You'll know when you find the right sponsor because it just feels right. I think if you are questioning it, then it doesn't feel all the way right. Good luck with your decision.
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Re: AA and meds

Postby whipping post » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:20 am

Doctor prescribed meds aren't even discussed or questioned around here. It must be a regional thing.
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Re: AA and meds

Postby IDontNeedASponsor » Sat May 21, 2016 4:13 pm

PaigeB wrote:Discuss the matter with your doctor. Take the Big Book with you and ask if they are familiar with it.

It DOES say in there that this program can help us with every problem. I know a gal who quit taking all meds after starting this program. I know a gal who continues without problems. I also know a gal like the kind that Tosh speaks of, who cannot seem to grasp this much while taking several medications. The Book also says that there are some who have mental disorders but can recover if they have the capacity to be honest.

Only you can say what is right for you. Now you know that meds may interfere, you can be self-aware and be honest with the doctors and your sponsor. Here is an AA pamphlet on Medications & Other Drugs
http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/aa-liter ... ther-drugs

No matter what, keep coming back.


Thanks for the link.

I was going to supplement it with a link to the appendix at the back of the Living Sober booklet, but I can't seem to find it online.

Anyway, my personal experience with medication for a mental disorder is such that I tried to go off of it multiple times, but found my mental issues got to be too much to handle, so I had to go back on my meds.

Unfortunately, the anti-psychotic meds caused weight gain, which in turn caused high blood pressure, and I ended up on several blood pressure medications -- a water pill at age 25, a beta-blocker at age 27, and an ACE inhibitor at age 29.

Also, I have had more than my fair share of relapses. This is the 14th time that I've been sober a month or longer in the 5 years that I've been coming to meetings. It's also the 9th time that I've been sober two months or longer.
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Re: AA and meds

Postby Lali » Sat May 21, 2016 7:23 pm

I went off of my bipolar and anti-depressant medications and QUICKLY found out why I was on them.
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