12-Step Coercion - page 8

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

  1. by   vwgirl
    [quote=tommyperkins]
    Quote from vwgirl the coercion of the criminal justice system is what you have a problem with.[/quote
    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

    i'm glad you were able to get a response from wso regarding outside issues an na, which is what i had brought up in my earlier post. jeff gershoff said it all.
  2. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from Lemonhead
    ... an unqualified sponsor...
    Gotta agree it's a bit troubling that AA (and perhaps the other alternate programs, as well) doesn't have a professional, healthcare-trained-and-certified human running the show.

    Think it could be a potential legal liability / insurance issue. Surprised someone hasn't brought this up.
  3. by   tommyperkins
    Quote from vwgirl
    i'm glad you were able to get a response from wso regarding outside issues an na, which is what i had brought up in my earlier post. jeff gershoff said it all.
    so na claims coercion is an outside issue, yet they publish guidelines for cooperating with coercion:



    http://www.na.org/bulletins/bull31.htm



    just as does aa:



    http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.com/english/fellowshipsvcs/e_guides/mg-05.html
  4. by   loerith
    Quote from tommyperkins
    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
    i think tommy perkins's point here was the no reply to his last question. i'll bet ya money he never gets one.



    love and peace,
    loerith
  5. by   Tweety
    [quote=tommyperkins]so na claims coercion is an outside issue, yet they publish guidelines for cooperating with coercion:



    http://www.na.org/bulletins/bull31.htm



    just as does aa:


    i still don't get it tommyperkins. perhaps, i seriously don't know what coercion means. lol

    they say "our responsibility is to make the seed of a.a. freely available. what the sufferer does with it is not our responsibility. only one "statistic" interests us in a.a.--the next person who may need our help."


    that law enforcement wants to take advantage of a free service that has been proven effective in maintaining sobriety for millions of people does not mean aa is being forced to do anything. they are simply carrying the message to the alcholic.

    i think as someone pointed out, your issues is probably with state and federal agencies using aa, when they should be providing these services themselves. but that costs money, and we as a society don't want to was a lot of money of alcoholic drug addict criminals. especially when the rate of relapse is so high.
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from LarryG
    Gotta agree it's a bit troubling that AA (and perhaps the other alternate programs, as well) doesn't have a professional, healthcare-trained-and-certified human running the show.

    It is. But are you willing to increase your tax dollars by millions of dollars for treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts? I agree, the criminal justice system, and the invention projects for nurses have no business using AA and NA the way they do, but it's free and cheap for them. Insurance companies that use to pay for treatment programs have all but quit doing that as well.

    AA was meant for one alcholic helping another alcholic. Not to be a profressional counseling service or a criminal justice program.
  7. by   vwgirl
    Quote from loerith
    I think Tommy Perkins's point here was the no reply to his last question. I'll bet ya money he never gets one.



    Love and Peace,
    loerith
    Did you mean he didn't get a response from NA's World Service Office, or from the people on the bulletin board?
  8. by   vwgirl
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    It is. But are you willing to increase your tax dollars by millions of dollars for treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts? I agree, the criminal justice system, and the invention projects for nurses have no business using AA and NA the way they do, but it's free and cheap for them. Insurance companies that use to pay for treatment programs have all but quit doing that as well.

    AA was meant for one alcholic helping another alcholic. Not to be a profressional counseling service or a criminal justice program.
    You are so right on this one. The courts use AA/NA because it is free; think how impossible it would be for them to mandate professional (costly- especially with no insurance) counseling for all those deemed in need of substance abuse treatment. Especially when a large proportion of those people mandated to attend have just gotten out of jail and are unemployable due to society's inability to give anyone the chance to redeem themselves (a job tends to be fundamental in this aspect!).
    NA meetings in my area have never claimed to be the answer to all a recovering person's problems. If we have legal problems, we need to consult a lawyer, medical problems, a doctor. And serious mental health issues require professional help too. I can only speak for myself, but I saw a LOT of professionally trained mental health specialist prior to coming to NA, and none of them could tell me how to get clean. Today, I still see a psychiatrist for my mental illness, but NA is what shows me how to stay clean.
    I just can't believe that anyone seriously believes that there is an organized effort between AA/NA and the government to recruit new members. How would the 12 Step programs profit from this anyhow? Certainly not financially, unless someone is kicking some serious bucks into the 7th Tradition!
  9. by   loerith
    Quote from tommyperkins
    so na claims coercion is an outside issue, yet they publish guidelines for cooperating with coercion:



    http://www.na.org/bulletins/bull31.htm



    just as does aa:



    http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.com/...des/mg-05.html

    hmmmmmmm......

    this doesnt seem the least bit odd to you all?

    yes the alternatives might be more expensive. but are they desperately needed?.....

    yes.

    how far are you willing to go in this argument that uses as it's main point {for coercion to aa/na} that expense to taxpayers is the thing of utmost importance here?


    love and peace,
    loerith
  10. by   mattsmom81
    Society and individuals both will always utilize a cheap/free service rather than take responsibility themselves. Look at how the public and the healthcare system uses nurses. We won't be respected, compensated or taken seriously until we make it happen. We have been taken for granted too long. also look at the welfare system and see how it is abused as a 'free ' service...easier than working for a living, too many think.

    I think AA and NA both are great organizations with their hearts in the right place. What petty criminals and addicts may have in common is a giant void of spirituality in their lives, (unless they're socio or psychopaths, which are truly evil personalities). Any organization that tries to provide a sense of spirituality to a lost human being has my respect.

    I would like to think however that the criminal justice system takes its job a bit more seriously than to refer a psychopath or manipulative sociopath sex offender to an open meeting where they could take advantage of naive first time offenders. I'd sure support some limits on just which criminals are allowed to participate in AA/NA.

    But then again I'm for more prisons and less releases of violent criminals, personally. Too many of them running around now out there amongst the general public, IMO, and too many are let out way too soon for my tastes.. I'd rather my tax dollars go for more prisons to keep them away from decent citizens, rather than pay for expensive social programs for violent criminals. JMHO.
  11. by   Havin' A Party!
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    ... are you willing to increase your tax dollars by millions of dollars for treatment of alcoholics and drug addicts?...
    Definitely get the point, Tweets. But a bit dismayed some attorney somewhere hasn't sued for negligent advice and consequences resulting from actions taken by an AA member after a meeting or consult.

    Maybe the government protects against this by granting AA (and the acting sponsor) immunity from such claims.

    Anyone hear of a lawsuit alleging negligence based on improper recommendations or failure to reasonably monitor a member? Curious.
  12. by   tommyperkins
    Quote from loerith
    I think Tommy Perkins's point here was the no reply to his last question. I'll bet ya money he never gets one.



    Love and Peace,
    loerith
    Which question?
  13. by   Big Bab's
    Quote from 3rdShiftGuy
    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.

    Its refreshing to see somebody actually admit that there is more than one way to conquer drugs and alcohol.....and that we shouldn't be forced to any one "program", I agree that we (the addicts) need to be doing something BUT there should be CHOICES!!...There are many "programs" out there and no one will work for everyone.....but give us a choice and use body fluid testing to confirm our abstinence.....Sounds like a decent plan to me!!.....Thanks for listening Tweety!!

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