Magazine Discussion Topic

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addicts in AA

Many addicts, such as myself (I am also an alcoholic) attend AA because it works. NA has a different atmosphere, in my experience. The majority of people at the AA meetings I go to are also addicts. The big book talks about drugs and they are also part of Bill's story. If I am coming to AA for help and it is working for me, then what is the problem? Who is anyone to exclude someone from a program that is improving their lives and keeping them sober. AA is not exclusive to ANYONE. Alcohol and drugs generally go hand in hand, and drugs such as opiates are become the top abused drug among up and coming generations. The program helps people stay SOBER. Alcoholism and addiction are a set of behaviors and a mindset. Whether you used alcohol or drugs is negligible. I identify myself as an alcoholic in meetings because I am not unique and don't need to separate myself by saying alcoholic/addict. I can identify with the feelings or emotions from alcohol or drugs. Why? Because we go through the SAME stuff. The only difference is the actual drug we used.

Joined: 2011-05-01
addicts in aa

The meeting I attend and it was decided by A Group Conscience that the meeting and any aa speakers or those sharing keep their talk or share to alcohol or recovery from alcoholism. This request is read at the start of each meeting.
Although I was a drug addict I try to honor the group's request when I share, but I do try to mention that I have used drugs or was a drug addict just in case there is someone who has some ??? or needs help with that addiction.
Listening to some early AA speakers talk about going to their 1st AA meeting back in the 50's 60' 70's and how the AA meetings seemed to be attended by mostly old men. Some of the AA speakers said at that point they decided AA wasn't for them or they were TOO YOUNG to be an alcoholic and continued to drink.
So Identifcation seems to be an important to some who decide to check out AA. Too bad there isn't some kind of notation in the local AA meeting listings which would describe if a meeting is Alcohol Only or Drugs & Alcohol.
To the those looking for some NA or Other Addiction help. has speakers for Cocaine and Marijuana addicts.

addicts in aa

I guess I can start identifying myself as an alcoholic and a Capricorn. I'm sure there are others who can identify with the frustration of having a birthday so close to Christmas and getting shortchanged on gifts. It's enough to drive any sensitive person to mood altering substances.
A drug is a drug, right? As someone posted before in this forum, a truck is a truck, so when your house in on fire call AAA to send a tow truck.
Apples and tomatoes are both fruit, though many people thinki a tomato is a vegetable. Both are usually round, usually red, juicy and used in many ways. But if you run out of apples when baking pies I wouldn't recommend substituting a tomato or two.
Has it ever occurred to you that there might be one or more compulsive gambler in an AA meeting? Over eaters? Ask yourself how often you have heard someone share at length on his/her gambling or eating disorder. Then ask yourself why it's only addicts who insist that AA change its traditions to accommodate them.

Joined: 2013-06-27
Addicts in AA

I agree. As I understand it, our Fellowship ought to be as inclusive as possible--never turning away anyone who has, (or thinks he might have), a drinking problem. To me, this means that a person can have an addiction to everything out there and still be a member of AA if he wants to address the drinking problem - EXCLUSIVELY. I attend group meetings that adhere to this principle, asking people to leave other issues outside the door, and they can pick them back up when they leave.

I will qualify myself as a cross-addicted person but I cannot imagine myself mixing my nicotine addiction with my alcohol addiction at an A.A. meeting, nor can I believe it would have been tolerated for long anyway. Anyway, I quit smoking without having to announce at A.A. meetings that I had a problem other than alcohol.


I totally agree. We have the disease of addiction. the chemical we used to try and block our feelings is just a symptom of the disease. Alcohol is just as much a drug as any opiate I ever used.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Reply to comment

Anonymou wrote, "I totally agree. We have the disease of addiction. the chemical we used to try and block our feelings is just a symptom of the disease. Alcohol is just as much a drug as any opiate I ever used."
Unless you also believe that AA who uses tobacco in any form must change his/her sobriety date your statement doesn't hold water. Tobacco is one of the most addictive drugs on the market today, far more addictive than alcohol or marijuana.
It's kind of hypocritical for someone to state that he's 'clean and sober' and then light up a cigarette right after the meeting. Or during the meeting, in some localities.

the same?

We hear all the time that drugs and alcohol are the same, if that is indeed true, why would you or anyone want to use drugs and all the legal problems associated? Alcohol is legal, fairly cheap and easy to get and socially acceptable for the most part. There must be vast fundimental differences. Please; this is an honest question that is never ansewered. We must cleave to our singleness of purpose or we will not have a purpose. With A. A. Love Mike

the same?

I can only say one thing with any certainty. When my husband drank or when he relapsed on heroin...the way it affected me and our children was the same. No difference. And, when he attended AA meetings, it helped him and in turn, it helped our entire family. Please think about that the next time someone reveals in a meeting that they are addicted to more than one drug.

When people talk about drugs and alcohol being "the same"

I believe what they are referring to or meaning by "same" is that the "manifestation of the disease" is the same. The lack of control is the same. The inability to control or stop is the same. This has nothing to do with the legalities of using one drug or another. Alcohol is a drug too, legal or not. My "drug of choice" is alcohol, however, I will use whatever you got. All for the same reasons. I use any mind altering substance to change the way I feel and to escape and runaway from my "problems". I am a member in good standing of AA, meaning I am sober, and I use AA because it works. In meetings I identify as an alcoholic because I am, I have a problem with alcohol and working the 12 steps and practicing the program of AA helps to alleviate the pain associated with active use. The bonus is that as long as I work on and practice the AA program it also helps to alleviate the pain of the drug addiction issues I have as well. So for me anyway, that is what "same" means.

Joined: 2012-05-30
re anonymous

I have always felt that if alcohol and drug addiction was really the same, why doesn't everyone stick with alcohol? It's legal, readily available, and usually socially acceptable.

Joined: 2011-12-20
"Drug of Choice"

I had no choice, I am an alcoholic.

actual drug

You attend A.A. because it works. Does that mean that
you do not attend N.A. because that program does not
work? I personally believe that N.A. ought to work
for you as well as A.A. does. The name of the fellowship
ought not make any difference. I do appreciate that you
identify yourself as an alcoholic at my A.A. meetings.
And I hope that you limit your discussion as it relates
to alcohol. So far so good.
But what about the person who is addicted to drugs
other than alcohol? If N.A. does not work, where is that
person supposed to go. My son is trying his third re-hab.
He doesn't seems to fit in A.A. and sees N.A. for what
it really is, a sort of strange cult with religious
rituals. I have been to N.A meetings and find them
almost a waste of time, doing more harm than good.
I challenge you to enlist your drug addict friends
and develop an N.A. meeting, using the same format
as the A.A. meetings you find so helpful. I am convinced
that it can be done. I attempted this but I am not a drug
addict and did not succeed. I envision a fellowship
where my son, and others like him could fit in. You
know there are millions suffering.
I believe that A.A. and N.A. can both be effective
working side by side, parallel. Combine them, and the
ingredient of identification is lost. Everyone loses.
A.A. is weakened and the addict dies.
You can just relax and enjoy this wonderful life that
Alcoholics Anonymous has given you. Or you can get in
the trenches and make such a life available to addicts
as well as alcoholics. Are you up to the challenge?

Joined: 2012-01-18
RE: addicts in AA

I have several friends in Alcoholics Anonymous who are also members of Gamblers Anonymous. Also quite a few who are members of Overeaters Anonymous. They don't find it necessary to change AA meetings int GA or OA, they respect all twelve of AA's Traditions, including our singleness of purpose.
You don't get recovery from NA in your locality? Then why not find some recovered addicts and start a meeting with the focus on recovery?
I have yet to find a so-called 'pure' alcoholic. Yet most of us with other problems follow the example of the addict cited in the 12&12, pages 141 and 142. We don't 'trouble others with our other difficulty.'
Attending AA instead of NA is a rational way to deny one's addiction, and focusing on drugs in AA meetings is a rational way to deny one's alcoholism. And as the author of "Freedom From Bondage" says on page 550, "Rationalization is giving a socially acceptable reason for socially unacceptable behavior, and socially unacceptable behavior is a form of insanity."
Insisting that AA change to suit me rather than changing to fit AA is no more that extreme selfish, self-centered arrogance.

Addicts in AA

We may never actually meet but I am a pure alcoholic [age 70] and when folks start sharing experience with substances other than alcohol at an AA meeting I'm in, they may as well be speaking Chinese. I have not the first clue what a Cocaine/Heroin/Meth/Crack high feels like, what the withdrawal is like or anything else about drug use. I can drive all over town with a case of beer on my passenger seat and the police don't care as long as none of the cans are open.

Violence in AA rooms

Leave it open for women to respond. I know I have been hit 6 times and now have been barred from the Welcome group for 1 year because I complained. How is that for AA unity? Please answer or will you just ignore as AA does with most criticism valid or not.

Joined: 2012-03-04
Re: Violence in AA rooms

There is never an excuse for violence. If someone commits an act of violence then the police should be called, by the victim or by those who are witnessing the violence. Meetings have to be a safe place. Perpetrators of violence should be stopped. If they are not, then this sort of group gives AA as a whole a bad name. No alcoholic's ego should ever be allowed to take the law into their own hands. Nor should they be above the law. I'm a male by the way,it is up to men to respond in such instances as well as women. It seems to me that there's a lot of boys and girls in AA at the moment, hiding in grown up bodies unwilling to take on grown up responsibilities.

Joined: 2012-02-25
Drug addicts in AA

Thanks Pat G. for your article (14 Nov 2012) on addicts and drugs in AA. I disagree with your logic and suggestion that perhaps AA members need to be more tolerant, encouraging and accepting of drugs and addicts in our meetings. I have no problem with addicts attending closed AA meetings providing they have a desire to stop drinking, identify themselves as alcoholics and share only on alcoholism. They can attend open meetings but should do so only as observers.

I believe there are few newcomers today who are pure alcoholics. Many, especially younger members, arrive at our doors on everything but roller skates. Does that mean that AA meetings should be open for discussion of any drug by addicts? I think not! Alcohol is the reason why our society formed and was named Alcoholics Anonymous. It is our sole reason for being. If we are open to discussion of every addiction (other drugs, smoking, food, work, sex, etc.) we should perhaps consider renaming our society; Everything Anonymous.

We have a common solution to our common problem to which all alcoholics can identify. Our message must be kept simple in order that all members might want what we have, keep coming back and have a reasonable chance of recovery.

Quoting BB stories (i.e. P 171 and p 407) to rationalize acceptable AA meeting practices is as folly as believing everything we hear at AA meetings. The personal opinions of the authors of BB stories don’t always reflect AA principals any more than some of the personal stories found in the Grapevine. AA meeting guidelines are better served when informed group conscience is based on the AA’s steps, traditions, Blue Card and our Preamble. Failure to adhere to traditional meeting guidelines can adversely affect other groups and AA as a whole. Outside issues (i.e. drugs) can destroy AA’s singleness of purpose, unity, growth, recovery rates and survival.

I do not detect raging resentments towards addicts attending our meetings but feel they should adhere to our traditions when doing so. Addicts should seek help in other 12 step programs or professional counselling outside AA meetings. Addicts should attend only open AA meetings and should not be asked to share. When we share on drugs or other outside issues we run the risk of members leaving AA because they can’t identify with what they hear. Where else can alcoholics go for help besides AA?

An AA group has only one purpose; to carry the message of recovery to the still suffering alcoholic through the teaching and practice of our steps and traditions. Let’s keep it that way!

Thanks for the part you play in my sobriety.

Mike B.
Oliver, BC.


I have been hit 4 times by one man and tired to be thrown to the ground by 2 others in the Welcome Group in Winnipeg. When I complained I was barred from the rooms for 1 year. When I attended a meeting they actually shut the meeting down. I challenge AA to publish these facts and justify them. But I will probably bet that they will be ignored.


Violence in the Welcome Group

This violence actually happened in the AA Welcome Group?
Call the police or 911 the minute something like this happens, would be my response.


Joined: 2012-03-04
Re Tolerance

If you are assaulted with physical violence then you should call the police. If any AA member witnesses an act of violence against another, then they have a moral duty to both AA and society at large to protect the victim by calling the police. There is never an excuse for physical violence. AA meetings have to be a safe place.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Tolerance

A) Why were you hit and thrown down?
We have your side of the story, how about a little more info?
B) You will probably be ignored because you you don't give enough info for anyone to give you feedback.
C) If you took the attitude to the meeting that you're taking here I can almost sympathize with the group.

Joined: 2012-03-04
Re: Tolerance ADO10416

Your comment is irresponsible. I am shocked at your response. There is never an excuse for violence. With an attitude like yours no wonder new alcoholics are finding other ways to recover instead of coming to AA. If an alcoholic is disruptive in a meeting then an immediate group conscience can be called, the disruptive person can be asked to leave and to come back again when they've calmed down. If they wont leave when being disruptive and asked to leave, then the police should be called. There is never an excuse for someone to take the law into their own hands through violence. Nor should any alcoholic's ego be above the law.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Re: Tolerance ADO10416

"Your comment is irresponsible."
Making a judgement after hearing only one side of a story is irresponsible. How do we know that the writer wasn't violent him/herself and was thrown down to prevent further violence?
We alcoholics are always the innocent victims, aren't we?

Joined: 2012-11-15

I am subcribe but I can not get the stories. It tells me I have to subscribe. What is the problem?

Joined: 2012-01-06
Re: Grapevine

Have you logged in? I find that sometimes, I have to log in twice. It seems to forget when I click on the Magazine image :-)

july 2012 hope in the yard

I am a member of AA for 23 yrs I'm going to court jan. 2013 I may go to prison for awhile. The grapevines topic gave me hope.

drug addicts in AA

I suggest all of you who are raging in resentment over "drug addicts" being in AA re-read "Dr. Bob's Nightmare" in the Big Book, as he used drugs. (page 171) If it weren't for Dr. Bob, there would be no AA!! And who among you, would ask him to leave?? After that, perhaps you should read "Acceptance Was the Answer" in the Big Book. (page 407) He used drugs as well, and his contribution to AA was also invaluable. In all my years of working with "addicts", I have never met one who did NOT also have a problem with alcohol, just a problem with denial about their alcoholism. Alcohol is a drug, pure and simple. I am grateful that in my area of rural Pennsylvania, people embrace the "O" in the HOW of the program!!

Remember, "Love and tolerance of others is our code." (BB, page 84) Though it's hard to tell by most of these comments...

A grateful recovering alcoholic, Pat G.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: drug addicts in AA

"Alcohol is a drug, pure and simple."
That's a widespread idea that has absolutely no bearing on AA's singleness of purpose.
Everyone is familiar with the apple. It is a fruit, fairly round in shape, usually red in color, juicy, and used in many different ways.
Though most people think of a tomato as a vegetable and use it as a vegetable, it is actually a fruit. Like apples, tomatoes are fairly round in shape, usually red in color, juicy, and used in many different ways.
If you are baking apple pies and run short of apples it is not a good idea to substitute a tomato or two. A fruit is a fruit, right?
How would you react to this at an AA meeting?
"My name is Jim and I'm an alcoholic and an adulterer. I realize this is AA but cheating on my wife is part of my story and maybe perhaps by chance there might possibly be another adulterer who can identify."
Or to steal one from a friend,
"My name is Jim and I'm an alcoholic and a Capricorn. I know this is AA but (notice how druggies always start their drugalogs with that phrase?) being a Capricorn is part of my story. And maybe, perhaps, by chance possibly another Capricorn can identify with the frustration of having a birthday so close to Christmas and missing out on the good presents."
I would be willing to bet that at any given AA meeting there are others who were born in late December/early January and a scattering of those who were unfaithful to their spouses. Shouldn't we allow them to feel special, too?
One final question, which has been asked countless times but never answered. Why do addicts insist on attending AA and refuse to attend NA?

hitting a brick wall

I attend AA. It's the first place I came for help when getting out of rehab and surrendering to life on life's terms. What sent me to rehab was alcoholic binging, popping Xanax like candy, and frequenting the emergency rooms to complain of whatever pain would get me IV Demerol. I see my story reflected in several of the BB stories, and my story includes abusing any kind of substance that would temporarily relieve the fear and emotional pain.

I am no chemist or psychiatrist, but I think the ongoing debate of whether alcohol is a drug makes AA sound like they are arguing that the earth is flat. Alcohol is a drug by every definition. Instead of arguing whether or not it IS a drug, perhaps our focus should be on the fact that it is a very unique drug that requires a fellowship of those who can relate to the specifics of alcohol addiction.

Quite a few people in my AA meetings get so visibly irritated when the words "drug" or "addiction" are used. The Big Book makes it very clear that the steps are a path for finding relief from all our character defects, but if one of putt character defects is drug addiction, then we need to walk out and go find an NA meeting?

I would like to see AAs stop freaking out over the words "drug" and "addiction" and start living the responsibility declaration, which speaks for itself, "I am responsible when ANYONE, ANYWHERE, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that I am responsible."

May I humbly propose that singleness of purpose doesn't mean we focus only on problems having to do with alcohol, it means keeping our focus on the solution.

our single purpose

One more thought Pat, Our third tradition in it's long form reads: "Our Membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought AA membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an AA group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation." Just more food for thought. Mike

our single purpose

Your points are well taken but that is not the issue, if we continue to look at our fellowship as "Addictions Anonymous" AA will cease to exist. Please read Bill W's thoughts on the matter in the pamphlet "Problems Other Than Alcoholism", his words ring true today after all these years. I have a friend in the NA program who states very emphatically the reason NA struggles somewhat is that we in AA keep their newcomers! My experience has been in watching non-alcoholics trying to recover in AA is that eventually they exhaust their recovery energy trying to "compare" their particular addiction with our alcoholism.One must relate not compare. True there are similarities between drugs and alcohol but in reality there are VAST differences. So my question to you is when AA is no longer AA where are the drunks like me supposed to go? AA Love Mike

re pat

I havn’t read any posts from alcoholics with “raging resentments over drug additcts”, mostly honest discussion of customs and AA traditions.
You are right, Dr Bob did use drugs. If you read Bill’s story you will find he used drugs also. The part you are missing is that both Dr Bob and Bill W where alcoholics. To be a member of AA you have to at least have a desire to stop drinking.
If you would be so kind as to read the AA conference approved pamphlet “problems other than alcohol”, you will find AA’s stand on nonalcoholic addicts being members of AA. Non alcoholics cannot be members of AA. Of course you are a member if you say you are. No one can decide for another if they have a desire to stop drinking.
The real problem with nonalcoholics in AA is that when an alcoholic newcomer comes to Alcoholics Anonymous, they will be greeted by nonalcoholics. The backbone of AA is identification. If the newcomer cannot identify with the group, they will not recover.
The other issue is that nonalcoholics cannot give straight AA talks about alcoholism from personal experience and also cannot carry out AA’s 12 step to newcomers. How can you carry the message of AA if you are not an alcoholic?
Again to make it clear, if you read tradition 3 long form, it says AA ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism.(not other addictions)
Remember to apply to yourself what you wrote about page 84.
God bless you,
Corey in Mn

RE: Drug addicts in A.A

Identification is the backbone of recovery from
addiction, whether alcohol, drugs or food. Bill W.
explains that on page 70 in our history book, Alcoholics
Anonymous Comes of Age. I simply do not identify with
the drug addict. And she/he probably will not identify
with me.
A drug is a drug is a drug. That statement is true.
It is equally true that a duck is a duck is a duck.
Both statements are just nonsense.
We fail both the alcoholic and the drug addict by
allowing the drug addict to become an A.A. member.
In meetings I attend, we are tolerant of members
who state that they are addicts. By saying My name Joe
and I am an addict, and continuing to share at an
A.A. meeting, the requirement tradition is violated.
If those A.A. members who are also drug addicts,
and there are many, would get involved in N/A or
similar fellowship, addicts would have a chance at
recovery through identification. Combining the two
fellowships harms almost everyone. ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Drug Addicts in AA

"I suggest all of you who are raging in resentment over "drug addicts" being in AA re-read "Dr. Bob's Nightmare" in the Big Book, as he used drugs. (page 171)"
A) the first mention of drugs (sedatives) in "Dr. Bob's nightmare" is on page 176, not 171. It is mentioned again on page 177.
B) There is no documentation that Dr. Bob or Bill W. were ever addicted to drugs (except nicotine), nor did they ever identify themselves as addicts. On the contrary, They seem to have had no trouble at all in giving up any drug use.
C) There is a world of difference between mentioning (one or two sentences) drug use and sharing about drug use at length in print or a live meeting.
C) Insisting that AA abandon the Traditions, that AA change to suit the addict, is the ultimate in selfishness, which our Big Book calls "...the root of our problem.
D) With all the twelve step programs available, why are addicts the only ones who refuse to attend the ones that address their problem and insist on joining AA? Denial, Perhaps?


the first mention of drugs is the first line of the 2nd letter of the dr.s opinion...nice your homework.

I totally agree with ADO1046

I am coming up on thirty years and have heard almost every reason why an addict believes he/she has a right to belong to .AA.

I believe this (A Drug is A Drug) came out of spin dry units.

One of the founders of N A wrote a letter to A A thanking us first for allowing them to use OUR PROGRAM and went further in thanking the AA Membership for asking addicts not dually addicted persons to go to N A meetings.

As he said in the letter, if they had not been asked leave their NA program would not have grown.

The letter can be found in the Grapevine archives by searching = (letter from N A) I highly suggest reading that letter.

Joined: 2012-10-31
alcoholic / addict

when i hear you say i am an alcoholic and an addict, I can't identify with you. It tells me you are different than me. I believe the one word we cannot do without is identification. could you not be an alcoholic at an AA meeting and an addict at a NA meeting ? We have a singleness of purpose from our 5th Tradition that states we carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic.

Joined: 2012-10-19
Addicts in AA

Oh me... Whatever happened to Tradition 3? The only requirement for AA membership is a desire to stop drinking? Where in the Traditions does it say we have to identify ourselves as alcoholics in closed meetings? I came into AA "through the drug door", and was well into my 5th step before I realized I was also an alcoholic. I was 6-1/2 months sober before I could use the word "alcoholic" to identify myself. Thank GOD my AA group only required me to say I had a desire to stop drinking in order to attend their closed meetings. They told me if I had a drug problem then I better have a desire to stop drinking. One of our old timers makes the statement at least once a week, "When I first entered the fellowship, I didn't think I had a problem with alcohol." Somebody was patient with him way back then. Thank God.

Joined: 2012-01-18
Re: Addicts in AA

From the time I took my first drink (drunk) I felt different. I never felt like I belonged until I had a few drinks. At my first AA meeting, which I attended so I could say I tried AA and it didn't work, I identified with the alcoholics present and felt at home. For the first time in 20+ years I didn't feel different. Identifying as something other than an alcoholic in an AA meeting is nothing more than a way to show I'm different from the rest.
I too often hear the statement "I didn't think I had a problem with alcohol" And I often ask, "Then why did you come to AA?"
People don't schedule appointments with ophthalmologists unless they have vision problems.
Many alcoholics, myself included, cheat on their spouses while drinking. I have yet to hear one identify as an 'alcoholic and and adulterer' and go into a detailed account of their affairs. In my forty-one years of AA membership I don't recall hearing anyone identify as an alcoholic and compulsive gambler and recite a list of crap games and horse races.
Addicts who love to use Tradition Three as justification for avoiding NA invariably ignore the final sentence in that anecdote in the essay on the tradition in the 12 & 12: "Never did he trouble anyone with his other difficulty."
and they avoid the pamphlet, "Problems Other Than Alcohol" like the plague.

Again I have to agree

H u g h
London Ontario

re addicts in aa

Tradition 3 longform(you can find it in the back of the big book) states "our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism"

You are a member of AA if you say you are. At my homegroup we have in the format read at each meeting as follows: in keeping with our 3rd and 12th tradition we ask that when introducing yourself, please use your name if you so choose and that you are alcoholic or have a desire to stop drinking, nothing more. This helps us protect our newcomers from outsiders attending our meetings and protects our tradition of being as anonymous as each member so chooses.

So in closing, you have to at least suffer from alcoholism to be a member of aa. If you read our pamphlet the AA group it says nonalcoholics may attend "open" meetings as observers. so if you are new and not sure, please attend our open meetings. closed meetings are for alcoholics. In my opinion it's because newcomers that are only alcoholics won't identify with the addicts and have less of a chance to recover. addicts have many other fellowships to belong to. Alcoholics only have AA.

Thanks for reading,
Corey in Mn

Alcoholic and addict

I am a member of AA and i attend AA meetings every day. I have not had a drink since 2010 but i consider my sobriety date 2-14-2012 because that was the day i stopped using all mind altering substances. I am a addict in AA. I choose to call my self both. I know if i have a drink it will lead to other things that i abused in the past such as drugs. My AA meeting has been working for me the past 8 1/2 months, so that is what i choose to keep doing. I get no shame in saying that i am a addict at a AA meeting and i get no bad looks when i say i am a alcoholic; addict. If it works for you i say do it, and hold your head high!

Alcoholic and addict

I am a member of AA and i attend AA meetings every day. I have not had a drink since 2010 but i consider my sobriety date 2-14-2012 because that was the day i stopped using all mind altering substances. I am a addict in AA. I choose to call my self both. I know if i have a drink it will lead to other things that i abused in the past such as drugs. My AA meeting has been working for me the past 8 1/2 months, so that is what i choose to keep doing. I get no shame in saying that i am a addict at a AA meeting and i get no bad looks when i say i am a alcoholic; addict. If it works for you i say do it, and hold your head high!

Alcoholic and Addict

"If it works for you i say do it, and hold your head
high." I would have to search to find any humility here.
I feel it would be best to bow our heads and thank God
for his saving grace. Being an addict or alcoholic is
hardly reason to be proud. Humility, expressed by
anonymity, is the foundation of our fellowship.ANONYMOUS

Joined: 2011-06-27

What is the "freethinkers" group. I think for a long time AA itself became my Higher Power. My service work was cleaning ash trays & making coffee. Today I thank the God of my understanding.


I too am wondering about this "free thinkers group." I dont understand it and am confused. Trying to not judge, and to live and let live.Ive asked a few sober people in recovery that I respect and they have said that if its working for them then who are we to judge. Any one with a drinking problem is welcome. I guess my issue is, can anyone start an AA group and it be an approved AA meeting. Does it affect AA as a whole? Does it change what the Big Book says when they read from it and God is mentioned. A God of their own understanding, not mine or anyone elses. I guess if they read out of Big Book and do not take away or add anything it isnt affecting AA as whole. I feel if I was given a third option though when I walked into an AA approved meeting and found out I didnt have to change my View on this God thing it would have killed me. I read Tradition three and it brought a bit of clarity to me, but still a bit confused.


I am one of the dreaded drug addicts that all the fuss is about. I was ordered by the courts to attend AA meetings as part of a 3yr suspended sentence on a meth manufacturing charge. I didn't want to quit using & I knew positively I didn't belong in a room with a bunch of dirty homeless alkies for sure! I balked, refusing to attend & continuing to use for about 3 mos when my probation officer, after my 3rd or 4th dirty UA result, informed me I had only 1 last chance to avoid prison. Quit using & attend 3 AA meetings a week or serve out the remainder of my sentence in prison. I took her advice. By the second week I was attending multiple AA meetings daily. The town I was in had a huge AA community but their NA fellowship only had 1 member who had managed to maintain any long-term sobriety ( gained from the AA program). I knew if I'd attended the NA meetings the only thing I would've accomplished there is meeting new connections to supply the drug habit I was desperate become willing to be relieved of.
The members of Alcoholics Anonymous not only welcomed me in but took me in & loved me until I could love myself. They showed me a new way of life that I had never known before, I have experienced peace & true joy for the first time.
You see I started out drinking as a young child, but being the child of an alcoholic I knew I never wanted to be like my father, so as soon as I was introduced to cocaine I traded my addiction to alcohol, then when I couldn't live with the fact that I'd become a coke junkie shooting that crap in my arms, I discovered crank or meth. At least I didn't have to use a syringe to enjoy the full effect of the speed ~ I could snort it or put it in my coffee & drink it and it didn't carry the same stigma as injecting coke did.
Today I know I cannot drink alcohol either because eventually it will lead me back to my drug of choice.
I will be forever grateful for the acceptance & tolerance of those AA's In my first days of sobriety who patiently waited for me to find the willingness to get clean, then taking my outstretched hand they lead me on the scariest, most painful, healing, miraculous, beautiful journey up through the steps & into this awesome happy new life that I live today. I feel like the butterfly that's emerged from its cocoon. And in my heart I know its because the members of AA in New Mexico took seriously the responsibility declaration:
"I AM RESPONSIBLE. When ANYONE, anywhere, reaches out for help, I want the hand of AA always to be there. And for that I am responsible."
And for this I AM ALSO RESPONSIBLE! And very gratefully so!

RE AA Saved

Your early problem with alcohol qualifies you to be a member of AA.
The following excerpts from AA Conference approved pamphlets, “The AA Group’ and “Problems other than Alcohol” Should clear the ground a bit on the subject of drug addicts in AA. Regardless of what my personal opinion on the matter is, the facts are as follows:
From page 13 of “The Group”, Closed meetings are for AA members only, or those who have a drinking problem and have a desire to stop drinking.
Open meetings are available to anyone interested in AA’s program of recovery from alcoholism. Non-alcoholics may attend open meetings as observers.
This tells me you have to at least be a problem drinker to be a member of AA and that non-alcoholics including drug addicts may attend open meetings as observers, not as a member or participant of the meeting.
There is also a lot of information in the AA pamphlet “Problems Other Than Alcohol”. To keep this short, I will only list a snippet, but please read this pamphlet to come to you own “informed” decision on this matter. It says, “Therefore, I see no way of making non-alcoholic addicts into AA members. Experience says loudly that we can admit no exceptions, even though drug users and alcoholics happen to be first cousins of a sort. If we persist in trying this, I’m afraid it will be hard on the drug user himself, as well as on AA. We must accept the fact that no nonalcoholic, whatever his affliction, can be converted into an alcoholic AA member”.
So there you have it. If a particular group wants to have meetings that people other than alcoholics participate in, go ahead. All you need to do is not call it an AA meeting or AA group.
If cocaine or meth is your problem, take what you have learned and start a CA or MA group where addicts can attend that identify with you. You will be more effective with the addicts and the AA group you have been attending will be more effective with helping alcoholics. I think that is why we have a singleness of purpose.

Thanks for reading

Joined: 2012-02-25
Re AA saved:

Re AA saved:

Thanks Corey for your astute comments on drugs and drug addicts in AA. I would like to add the 12 traditions do not support addicts being AA members or attending closed meetings. Unless they are alcoholics or have a desire to stop drinking (tradition 3) they should be restricted to visitor status only at open meetings. They do not have the membership right of sharing at AA meetings.

No doubt AA can help addicts but that is not the issue here. Drugs are outside issues (tradition 10) and dilute our singleness of purpose (tradition 5). AA groups allowing addicts to attend their meetings break with traditions 3 and 4. These practices adversely affect other groups and AA as a whole. Addicts and many AA members ask how that is so. The answer is simple. Outside issues destroy AA unity (tradition 1) the basic foundation of all our traditions. AA is meant only for alcoholics for good reasons. We have a common solution (12 steps and 12 traditions) for our common problem (alcoholism). Many alcoholics are unable to identify with drug addicts and drug-a-logs and have nowhere else to go for recovery from alcoholism. Addicts have many other 12 step programs to attend.

Tradition 1 states, “Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon AA unity.” Addicts sharing at AA meetings ignore or disrespect our traditions by their presence. They place their personal recovery ahead of the common welfare of AA. Addicts in AA are either ignorant of our traditions or have a bad case of terminal uniqueness.

Do I have issues/addictions other than alcoholism? Yes. Do I bring them into AA meetings? No. I introduce myself only as an alcoholic and restrict my sharing to recovery from alcoholism. That, I believe, is the power of attraction and hope for other alcoholics that they will want what we have and keep coming back.

Mike B.
Oliver, BC


Again taken from our text.
Hugh London Ontario

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