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ARE YOU DUAL ADDICTED

      I'm in my twenty fifth year of recovery I had to become as desperate as a dying person could be in order to accept and surrender to my disease, my attitude, and my concept of life as I knew it. trying to build greater self-confidence and self-esteem, in revovery, I have been given the confidence, trust and unconditional love, that has helped me thru my pain, fear, anger, loneliness, hopelessness, and confusion of the past, thru the apprehension of the holidays, and other special events, in times of distress or agitation, thru turmoil, and physical craving ot the allergy of alcohol, accepting God's love and hope for a prosperous future, to follow the A.A. principles, and traditions, with consistency in my actions making me, honest, trustworthy, and responsible today.

1 "Dr. Bob didn't think we could do anything well unless we practice it. including A.A. He said to do a good job in A.A. We should practice, acquiring the spirit of service. We should attempt to acquire some faith, which isn't easily done, But he thought faith can be acquired; it can be acquired slowly; it has to be cultivated. this is not easy. That's one reason why to some people our spiritual teaching is difficult. They don't want to find out to much about it, for various personal reasons.

      Another thing that is difficult is tolerance. We are all inclined to have closed minds, pretty tightly closed.

      But it's quite important that we do acquire tolerance towards the other fellow's ideas. also we need a lot of humility."

      It's only thru God's grace, and a lot of leg work, that we get sober, we should be very greatful that we have been given the privileged to stay sober. our strength and hope comes from Him, We all should have a very humble attitude for what He has given us we should never cease to be grateful for whatever blessings come our way.

      When it comes to living life on lifes terms it doesn't make any difference whether we're drunk or whether we're sober. either way, we're all after the same things in life, love, happiness, security, peace of mind. The trouble was the as addicts we demanded more and more than we deserved. If we had taking time for God's way, we would have been given peace and happiness, that we could enjoy, anyone can get peace, happiness, and forgiveness, if they just trust in Him, this is the message of hope we can give to all who seek our help.

      I guess in 63 year's, we haven't learned to much about humility, or tolerance, and especially about fear, primarily fear of changing what is considered different from the standards we hold dear to us, even if we could possibly be wrong, we must take a good look at these fears.

      Our fellowship is made up more and more by people who are dual addicted, therefore drugs are a big part of the newcomers stories, if they are not made to feel welcome, and allowed to share their complete experience, strength, and hope, then who is going to help them recover from their alcoholism. Remember when most of us got here, we didn't know what was really wrong with us, it was only by sharing all of our stories, with others, that we were able to receive help in our recovery.

2       Suppose,thou, that we are approched by a drug addict who nevertheless has had a genuine alcoholic history .There was a time when such a person would have been rejected. many       A.A.'s had the almost comical notion that they were pure alcoholics-guzzlers       only, no other serious problems at all, when alcoholic ex-cons and drug users first turned up there was much pious indignation ." what will people think?" chanted the pure alcoholic. Happily this foolishness has long since past..."       (or has it ?)

      It's just as foolish to think that there are very many pure drug addicts floating around in 1998) Alcohol is a drug (CNH2N+1OH) it has been a drug since the beginning of time nothing in this world will change this fact, changing our literature will not change our membership for the good of all. It is more conceivable to start a controversy that could be the beginning of the demise of our fellowship as a whole, we must set our fear's aside and let the changes happen, the issue of singleness of purpose, in this ever changing world, could very well destroy us as a viable part of today's society in the treatment of our disease. Lets stick to our primary purpose, which is to reach out to help anyone

I am responsible...

When anyone, anywhere, reaches out for help,

I want the hand of A.A. always to be there.

And for that: I am responsible

 

      If you want to know why your group is becoming stagnant just check the way your group treats the dual addicted newcomers. Its time we took our heads out of the sand and face the fact that alcohol is just as much a drug as any other drug. Let's stop making this the biggest issue in A.A. Lets stop fighting each other accepting change is the very same principle we use to stay clean and sober. It's time we all unite so we can all recover and help those who come after us.

      Going into the twenty first century it is absurd to think we are any better than the average addict of that other kind some have been fighting to keep out because of our closed minds. It's ironic because we are just plain average addicts in sheep's clothing, the battle will be lost by them simply by attrition,since the drug explosion of the sixty's our fellowship has been growing in the number of dual addicted people.

      Do people who don't have a problem with the drug alcohol belong in A.A. probably not but they are welcome to attend our open meeting, besides that we probably would not find a great many who are not dual addicted in these times

      We must change with the tide, and show the newcomers of today, their experiences must be shared in their own way, dual addiction has always been with us and dual addiction is here to stay, we in the fellowship must give these people the same kind of unconditional love, forgiveness, understanding and most importantly tolerance, the same things we received, when we arrived at the doors of this God given fellowship.

      Change is an absolute, growth is optional, but we must continue to grow or we will all parish, in a sea of drug addiction, Yes ! addiction from the drug alcohol, as well as street drugs, or prescription drugs, we can not hide behind a screen and only look at part of the problem of today's world, after all we are not purist !

Are we?

      If you don't like what is being said at the podium, take your comments to your business meeting for a group conscience discussion, make a group statement reflecting the groups opinion, not your own, To tell someone, especially a newcomer, in an open forum like on the floor of a speaker meeting, or in an open discussion meeting, they don't belong can only add to their bewilderment frustration and self-esteem. To me as a member of A.A. for the past twenty four years, it is embarrassing and humiliating to have someone being ostracized because they are a little different than me.

      When I hear these comments at meetings "you don't belong here " or "I don't want to here about your drug addiction, find another program for that problem" or "were here to talk about alcohol not drugs" I can't even imagine how hopeless and despairing this could be if I was that person, suffering from the dual addiction of alcohol and drugs, thinking I was to be cast out, before I could even get to know who or what I was.

      Tradition one states "this we owe to A.A's future: To place our common welfare first; To keep our fellowship united,. for upon A.A. unity depend our lives, and the lives of all those who will come after us"

      Tradition two states "The ultimate authority" is the spiritual concept of the "group conscience" It;s voice is heard when a well-informed group gathers to arrive at a group decision. Minority ideas should get thoughtful attention, remember, the first and second tradition go along with the group conscience, the presence we newcomers felt in those rooms, was the same as the group conscience, and it was real when they welcomed us in, setting absolutely no barriers, rules or conditions...." this should hold true today, let's let everyone know it does.

      Tradition three shows us that we've thrown away all membership rules and regulations, that might keep you out. We want you to have the same chance for sobriety, that we had. "We aren't a bit afraid you'll harm us, never mind how twisted or violent you my be" we have decided to be " inclusive....never exclusive"

      Who determines whether or not newcomers qualify, whether they do want to stop drinking? Obviously, nobody except the newcomers themselves; everybody else simply has to take his word for it, in fact, .they don't even have to say it aloud. We are alive because the road to A.A. stayed open to us. How will the dual addicted newcomer ever know? If they can't share their stories at meetings, like we were able to share, all our related experiences. To hear is to identify, let's give the dual addict, alcoholic the same chance we were given

      Give them the prospective to help build character and spiritual values, Some people have been conditioned to believe the horrors of life instead of the wonders of life, they have been given a despicable value system given to them, in early childhood and are now being ostracized, because they have tried on their own to change their lives in the past, and have failed, should we also ostracize them?

      Please give them a chance to prove how good a person they really are, help them to heal the past and work on the future. It's time to stop punishing and to start with the healing. Help guiding them thru our twelve steps, to build greater self-confidence and self-esteem, to look for solutions to their problems, instead of living in the problems.

      A group may make a group conscience statement such as: "We in this group have decided, because of the increasing number of dual addicted members, we will talk about alcohol and other related drugs at this meeting" or " to give everyone a chance to speak, we will ask that you speak only once at this meeting" Statements such as these define the feeling of the group, some people may consider this a special interest group, but in reality tradition four tells us" it's just the conscience of that group, because the local group is free to work out it's own customs".

      Tradition five reminds us that " Groups should remember their "one primary purpose" No matter how different our own personal concerns, we are all bound together by one common responsibility, to carry the message to the suffering alcoholic" even if he is dual addicted the message is the same.

      Tradition nine asks us to "Remember those who take part in service work are assuming responsibility to represent their group or A.A.not taken authority to express their own opinion, in behalf of their group, or position in the service structure.

Our General Service Office is just a clearinghouse for A.A. information, offering suggestion's based on experiences reported to it by the groups thru their General Service Representative.

2       Now then what can be done ? Very effective answers to problems other than freedom from alcohol have always been found thru special purpose groups, some of them operating within A.A. and some on the outside. ( tradition six, never endorse or lend our name, out side groups can't be considered A.A. groups ) in conclusion, I want to say that throughout A.A.'s history, most of our special purpose groups have accomplished very wonderful things There is great reason to believe that those A.A.'s who are now working in the grim regions of narcotics addiction will achieve equal success In A.A. ,, the group has strict limitations, (tradition three, what limitations ? we have no membership rules ) but the individual has scarcely any.'' (tradition three again non conformity to anything)

1       The four absolutes, as we called them, were the only yardsticks we had in the early days, before the steps. I think the absolutes still hold god and scan be extremely helpful. I have found at times that a question arises, and I want to do the right thing, but the answer is not obvious. Almost always, if I measure my decision carefully by the yardstick of absolute honesty, absolute unselfishness, absolute purity, and absolute love, and it checks up pretty well with those four, then my answer can't be very far out of the way. If, however, I do that and I'm still not to satisfied with the answer, I usually consult with some friend whose judgment, in this particular case, would be very much better than mine. But usually the absolutes can help you to reach your own personal decision

1 dr. Bob co-founders pamphlet                   2 bill w. Problems other than alcohol pamphlet

6-20-98                      written by LT                     design by LT