12-Step Coercion - page 7

the following presentation was given at the may 21, 2004 open forum of the north carolina board of nursing meeting:... Read More

  1. by   Big Bab's
    Quote from vwgirl
    If you believe in "God" why don't you use him/it as your Hiigher Power? But then you say in your most recent post that you like RR and they are secularly based. I have never seen false dieties, or any dieties, pushed in NA. I just can't help but wonder if it is radically different depending on what section of the country you are in, cause the program you describe doesn't sound a whole lot like the one I'm in in Jersey. But I am genuinely sorry that you have to go through all this; why did they have such a problem with you taking pain meds, was it affecting your work preformance, or did someone just get a bug up their a**?

    OK, we may have a misunderstanding here....I DO use "God" as my higher power, but that is my choice.....There are those out there that DO NOT believe in "a higher power" of ANY kind, and they shouldn't be forced to consult with a group, a door knob...etc. if it goes against their beliefs, for some their beliefs are soo strong that they can't even be around it, they CAN'T "take the good and leave the bad"....RR to my knowledge, teaches self reliance not that a "God" has to do all for you, its all about your honesty with yourself and acting accordingly.....The other issue is the "disease theory" of addiction, which I personally, think is false, its never been proven, its a theory and thats ALL it is! If I believed I had a terminal illness and was "powerless" as the 12 steps say, then that would be a self-fulfilling prophecy....and I will NOT risk the health and well-being of my family or me by going down that road....As for my situation, it got to the point that I was requiring more and more stadol, and began to take on occasions that it probably wasn't necesary, my Dr., who was also my boss bacame concerned and wanted me to get help, being the great guy that he is he called our states "alternative program" who did any intervention and sent me to treatment, and then informed that I had to sign a 5 year contract before I could go back to work, of course neither he or I were told about this before hand, so now I'm stuck in it and he feels really bad about it.....Granted, if he had not intervened there's no telling what would have happened so I am grateful that he did something.
  2. by   vwgirl
    Quote from Big Bab's
    OK, we may have a misunderstanding here....I DO use "God" as my higher power, but that is my choice.....There are those out there that DO NOT believe in "a higher power" of ANY kind, and they shouldn't be forced to consult with a group, a door knob...etc. if it goes against their beliefs, for some their beliefs are soo strong that they can't even be around it, they CAN'T "take the good and leave the bad"....RR to my knowledge, teaches self reliance not that a "God" has to do all for you, its all about your honesty with yourself and acting accordingly.....The other issue is the "disease theory" of addiction, which I personally, think is false, its never been proven, its a theory and thats ALL it is! If I believed I had a terminal illness and was "powerless" as the 12 steps say, then that would be a self-fulfilling prophecy....and I will NOT risk the health and well-being of my family or me by going down that road....As for my situation, it got to the point that I was requiring more and more stadol, and began to take on occasions that it probably wasn't necesary, my Dr., who was also my boss bacame concerned and wanted me to get help, being the great guy that he is he called our states "alternative program" who did any intervention and sent me to treatment, and then informed that I had to sign a 5 year contract before I could go back to work, of course neither he or I were told about this before hand, so now I'm stuck in it and he feels really bad about it.....Granted, if he had not intervened there's no telling what would have happened so I am grateful that he did something.

    Thanks for your patience in explaining what you were trying to explain! I always a little biased, but try to stay open minded where anything concerning drug addiction (or potential drug addiction) is concerned. I was lucky enough to get clean before I got my liscense; I had just started using heroin when I found out I was pregnant with my son- for a while my baby was my Higher Power. When I did first get my license and had to dispense narcotics, it really freaked me out for a while; I leaned a lot on my sponsor who is also a nurse. Today I rarely think about those narcs, but sometimes I do, which is why I know my addiction is a disease that is progressing along under the surface, even though I haven't used in almost a decade. What I sincerely wish for anyone trying to get clean is that they are relieved of the obsession to use and can live a grateful, spiritual life. Who cares what path we use to get there?
  3. by   Big Bab's
    Quote from vwgirl
    Thanks for your patience in explaining what you were trying to explain! I always a little biased, but try to stay open minded where anything concerning drug addiction (or potential drug addiction) is concerned. I was lucky enough to get clean before I got my liscense; I had just started using heroin when I found out I was pregnant with my son- for a while my baby was my Higher Power. When I did first get my license and had to dispense narcotics, it really freaked me out for a while; I leaned a lot on my sponsor who is also a nurse. Today I rarely think about those narcs, but sometimes I do, which is why I know my addiction is a disease that is progressing along under the surface, even though I haven't used in almost a decade. What I sincerely wish for anyone trying to get clean is that they are relieved of the obsession to use and can live a grateful, spiritual life. Who cares what path we use to get there?

    We are definitely in agreement on what the outcome should be , we just differ on how to get there, and I for one can deal with that......That's what its all about.....Now the hard part is getting the BON's to understand it. ...I keep hoping it will happen, and so far my state is the closest to gettin' there that I've seen.....Someday it'll happen if we just keep talkin' and trying to open their minds little by little!........Thanks for listening and taking an interest
  4. by   tommyperkins
    Quote from lemonhead
    yes, a judge, and in some cases, some state nursing boards, have ordered a sexual predator to 12 step meetings...aa meetings! the same meetings that a 17 year old young lady may be forced by the court to attend, following a first time offense. if you want to argue that point, i will post several links to support it. these meetings that nurses are forced to, are not limited to drug or alcohol problems..the 12 steps tout itself as useful to any type of addiction and the courts and boards feed on that..therefore, you could be exposed to some very dangerous situations, again, in an unmonitored environment.
    here are a couple of recent examples of the types of people you might meet at an aa meeting:

    http://athensreview.com/articles/2004/06/11/news/news08.txt



    [font='times new roman']http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...8903907.htm?1c
  5. by   Tweety
    Quote from tommyperkins
    here are a couple of recent examples of the types of people you might meet at an aa meeting:

    http://athensreview.com/articles/2004/06/11/news/news08.txt



    [font='times new roman']http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...8903907.htm?1c

    i wouldn't think to pass judgement on millions of aa members on this article.
    that's not being fair. that's one of the nice things about 12 step programs though, the only requirement is to stop drinking, doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, if you're there to get clean (even if under court order) your past is your past.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 13, '04
  6. by   vwgirl
    Quote from tommyperkins
    here are a couple of recent examples of the types of people you might meet at an aa meeting:

    http://athensreview.com/articles/2004/06/11/news/news08.txt



    [font='times new roman']http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansas...8903907.htm?1c
    as tweety so aptly stated in the next post, in na/aa, it's not where you come from that counts, it's where you are going. prior to na, i stole, lied, prostituted myself and violated every moral belief i was raised with. today i no longer have to do these things, and i no longer has to used drugs to get thru life. i have two wonderful healthy kids, i own a home, have a great job, and have been married to the same guy for 13 years. i could meet sick, messed up people at the grocery store, for cryin' out loud; the only difference is that if i meet them in a meeting i get to find out about the wreckage of their pasts if they choose to share that info with me. and i be t dimes to donuts that more of those people with questionable pasts that are found in meetings will be changing for the better than those you meet at he laundry mat, or where ever. we get the point: you don't like 12 step programs.
  7. by   tommyperkins
    Quote from vwgirl
    We get the point: you don't like 12 step programs.
    My point was that Lemonhead made an excellent point. Furthermore, AA's cooperation with coercion has turned AA into a penal colony, thus they cooperate with this coercion at their own peril. There is a BIG difference between someone who does illegal drugs and someone who murders. Unfortunately the criminal justice system obviously does not see it that way and is willing to use AA to as a dumping ground for its failed system. AA has become the sewer into which the criminal justice system discharges its seemingly insoluble social problems. As sewers pollute the waters into which they empty so AA now pollutes the helping professions. The last two things a person who is trying to quite a bad habit needs are to be indoctrinated into a belief system of powerlessness (learned helplessness) and to be stigmatized with a lifelong label of alcoholic or addict.



    [font='Times New Roman']I would be much less critical toward AA if AA would become honest and admit it is religious and also stop cooperating with coercion. Until that happens I will be very critical of AA and no, I do not like 12-step programs. Their dishonesty and their cooperation with coercion are major reasons I do not like them.
  8. by   Big Bab's
    Quote from vwgirl
    As Tweety so aptly stated in the next post, in NA/AA, it's not where you come from that counts, it's where you are going. Prior to NA, I stole, lied, prostituted myself and violated every moral belief I was raised with. Today I no longer have to do these things, and I no longer has to used drugs to get thru life. I have two wonderful healthy kids, I own a home, have a great job, and have been married to the same guy for 13 years. I could meet sick, messed up people at the grocery store, for cryin' out loud; the only difference is that if I meet them in a meeting I get to find out about the wreckage of their pasts if they choose to share that info with me. And I be t dimes to donuts that MORE of those people with questionable pasts that are found in meetings will be changing for the better than those you meet at he laundry mat, or where ever. We get the point: you don't like 12 step programs.

    OK, but can you guys not see how inappropriate it is for people like this to be "counseling" people like the "17 year old" or anyone for that matter?!?.....and the kicker is that MANY people not just nurses, are FORCED to make their life decisions thru these people, how safe is that???..ie. sponsors and group thought.....and if you really think it doesn't happen or that its just one or two specific instances, then you are truly naive. These "predators" seek out environments like this to find their prey, people that are VERY vulnerable and trusting....Its truly frightening. :stone
  9. by   Big Bab's
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    I wouldn't think to pass judgement on millions of AA members on this article.
    That's not being fair. That's one of the nice things about 12 step programs though, the only requirement is to stop drinking, doesn't matter who you are or where you come from, if you're there to get clean (even if under court order) your past is your past.

    Tweety, as far as the 12 steps are concerned, your past is NEVER your past, you're not allowed to let go of it, because you are to hash and rehash because if you don't you're gonna "relapse".....You're supposed to dredge up every ugly detail of everything you've EVER done during a fourth and fifth step....and once you've done that, its STILL not over, cuz you don't just do the steps once, you do them over and over and over again.....They do not allow you to heal and let go, and that's really frustrating for people like myself who feel like "I made a HUGE mistake I've paid dearly for it and yet gotten better, now I just want to move on in my life, cuz that chapter is CLOSED!".....Heaven forbid a person says something like this in a meeting, you would be told you are "heading for a relapse", your "disease is rearing its head again", you're "a dry drunk, go back out and use again til you're REALLY ready to submit", I have heard ALL of these said at meetings more than once, and in different meetings and different towns and its soooooooo wrong.
  10. by   Tweety
    AA is not a counseling program or a prison colony. They help people stop drinking and drugging regardless of their past. Babs, I wasn't suggesting they tell you to forget the past, but they don't care if your a murderer or a high society housewife if you are willing to quit drinking.

    Babs, I feel your pain, AA isn't for you. I'm not saying even I agree 100% with it, in fact I have a lot of problems with it myself, but I'm not going to close my mind entirely by calling them a prison colony, predators or a cult that brainwashes people, when I know countless families have been helped around the world.

    But forcing people against their will is wrong. It would be like forcing me to attend a Conservative Christian Church. I would be screaming at every turn "you are soooooo wrong".

    And your right a bunch of sicko drunks and alcoholics trying to counsel others can be scarey. It's not a perfect solution.

    But our society isn't willing to spend billions of dollars for the millions of alcholics we have in the country. For many people it's the only came in town.
    Last edit by Tweety on Jun 13, '04
  11. by   vwgirl
    [QUOTE=tommyperkins]My point was that Lemonhead made an excellent point. Furthermore, AA's cooperation with coercion has turned AA into a penal colony, thus they cooperate with this coercion at their own peril. There is a BIG difference between someone who does illegal drugs and someone who murders. Unfortunately the criminal justice system obviously does not see it that way and is willing to use AA to as a dumping ground for its failed system. AA has become the sewer into which the criminal justice system discharges its seemingly insoluble social problems. As sewers pollute the waters into which they empty so AA now pollutes the helping professions. The last two things a person who is trying to quite a bad habit needs are to be indoctrinated into a belief system of powerlessness (learned helplessness) and to be stigmatized with a lifelong label of alcoholic or addict.

    I do not know about AA, but I know that NA as a fellowship has no opinion on outside issues, this includes the what goes on or is mandated by the criminal justice system. And I agree with you that the criminal justice system really blows, but as I understand it 12 step meetings that are open meetings (as opposed to closed meetings which are only for those who think they have a problem with drugs/alcohol) can't have someone standing at the door turning away people who aren't there of their own free will. The coercion of the criminal justice system is what you have a problem with.
  12. by   tommyperkins
    Quote from vwgirl
    the coercion of the criminal justice system is what you have a problem with.
    well then, let's take a very close look:

    "-----original message-----from: steve sigmansent: friday, december 21, 2001 9:43 amto: jeff gershoffsubject: re: coercion: attn. mr. gershoffhi tommy. thank you for your email.the issue you asked about is an outside issue to na, and na has no opinionon any outside issue.how or why a person comes to na is not our concern. na groups have only onepurpose and that is to carry the message of recovery to addicts who stillsuffer. we are not medical experts, treatment professionals, or lawenforcement personnel. we have no professionals and are plainly and simplya fellowship of recovering drug addicts who follow the 12 steps of narcoticsanonymous, and meet regularly in order to help each other stay clean.please let me know if we can be of any further assistance.jeff gershoff, supervisorfellowship services teamna world services818.773.9999, ext. 131jeffg@na.orgfrom: tommy perkins [mailto:forcedaa@hotmail.com]sent: thursday, december 20, 2001 1:26 pmto: fsmail@na.orgsubject: coercion: attn. mr. gershoffdear mr. gershoff,i am the founder of 12-step coercion watch:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/12-step_coercion_watchwhat is the official position of narcotics anonymous on the issue ofgovernment coercing people into narcotics anonymous?sincerely,tommy perkins
    Last edit by tommyperkins on Jun 14, '04
  13. by   Tweety
    Quote from tommyperkins
    My point was that Lemonhead made an excellent point. Furthermore, AA's cooperation with coercion has turned AA into a penal colony, thus they cooperate with this coercion at their own peril. There is a BIG difference between someone who does illegal drugs and someone who murders. Unfortunately the criminal justice system obviously does not see it that way and is willing to use AA to as a dumping ground for its failed system. AA has become the sewer into which the criminal justice system discharges its seemingly insoluble social problems. As sewers pollute the waters into which they empty so AA now pollutes the helping professions. The last two things a person who is trying to quite a bad habit needs are to be indoctrinated into a belief system of powerlessness (learned helplessness) and to be stigmatized with a lifelong label of alcoholic or addict.



    [font='Times New Roman']I would be much less critical toward AA if AA would become honest and admit it is religious and also stop cooperating with coercion. Until that happens I will be very critical of AA and no, I do not like 12-step programs. Their dishonesty and their cooperation with coercion are major reasons I do not like them.

    I'm not going to get to overly defensive of AA. AA has long had controversy. As I said above, I have problems and am critical of it also. However, I'm not sure about the dishonesty you speak of and the cooperation and coercion. That they allow anyone in that wants to quit drinking doesn't mean they are coerced by anyone or coercing anyone either. I don't think they have meetings with the court system to recruit people either.

    Also imagine the desparate person. Someone whose hit rock bottom, has tried to quit over and over again, tried many things including the medical approach. I don't equate powerlessness over addiction/alcohol with lack of personal responsibility. The 12 steps require action every day, not just lying around being helpless. There's a difference between powerlessness over alcohol and helplessness. That they will always consider themselves and alchoholic or addict might not be a bad thing, because it reminds them if they pick up that first drink they will be right back in the gutter.

    I think there are many approaches. If it works for someone to quit drinking and not consider themselves powerless over alcohol, that they have the power, and call themselves cured then that's o.k. If someone wants to believe that they can't do it themselves, and that God can, and call themselves an alcoholic then so be it.

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