Heroin addict gets clean without 12 steps

by Bills Friend


Lets call me a friend of Bill. I’m 25 now, and drug addiction caused me to drop out of college, lose a golf and hockey career, and obviously cause major problems in my life and families lives.

I was a daily weed smoker from 17 to 23, but my real problems started when I injured my knee and shoulder playing sports, and my opiate addiction took off.

From ages 20-24 my addiction ran my life. 5 expensive rehabs, 5 heroin overdoses, and brief stints of homelessness. Ive been in AA and NA since 19, with a couple stints of active “recovery”, or working steps.

My comments are in no way intended to bash 12 step programs because I’ve seen first hand many peoples “lifestyles” change for their betterment. Now, I’ve been involved in 12steps for a while, worked with sponsors and got deeply into the literature for AA and NA.

In my opinion they are great books with very useful info to depressed and angry addicts, but the “general” philosophy that ONLY A BELIEF IN A HIGHER POWER, active fellowship, and abstinence from all drugs (alcohol included) is the only way for an ADDICT to change his/her LIFESTYLE. This is not true in my case. Tommorrow morning will be Jan 1, 2012, which will give me around 14 months clean from heroin and all hard drugs.

I still drink socially, and smoked weed a handful of times during this 14 months. The standard response I get from people in the program is, “tell me how that works for you”. And honestly, when I was deeply involved in the literature and fellowship, I said the same thing to many people who proposed alternate ideas of staying clean.

In my opinion, this is what’s wrong with the PROGRAM, this one size fits all for recovery just did not work for me. The constant thoughts, slogans, and meetings wore me down, and after years of involvement I seriously thought my bottom was death.

Good luck, good fortune, 5 years of near death experience and the lifestyle of addiction, I finally had enough of it. Bouncing from halfway house to rehab, stealing from loved ones, hospital visits, and the lose of purpose in my life was finally enough for me to just say no.

NA and AA say I’m a dry drunk, or my relapse is around the corner. BS. My history with opiates is not good, and taking a couple pills just doesn’t work for me.

I KNOW I HAVE TO STAY ABSTINENT FROM OPIATES, and my social drinking has not affected this train of thought at all. I don’t want to do it anymore. So to those out there that have struggled and tried to get better with 12 steps and haven’t had success, hope is not lost, and this is just my experience.

Many people have had addictions and RECOVERED without 12 steps Ex: Robert Downy Jr, Oprah Winfrey, Charlie Sheen, Angelina Jolie…

I did it w/o the 12 steps also!

by: Brooke. T

I have a story on this site..You can find it under recovering heroin addict mother. I tried so hard to get clean with AA and the steps but I don’t know what it was about them I just couldn’t get clean that way.

I used heroin throughout 2 pregnancies and I somehow got so lucky that both of my babies came out completely healthy. And it took that to make me realize that I needed to stop. Those babies are not healthy because of what I did while I was pregnant. The only explanation there could be is that God was taking care of them while I was using.

I snorted heroin when I was pregnant with my 2 1/2 year old son and I shot it when I was pregnant with my almost 1 year old daughter. I still to this day don’t know how I got so lucky but I did and everyday I look at my kids and feel so blessed to have them in my lives and they are perfect and beautiful.

It’s sad that I had to use through 2 pregnancies to realize that I HAD to stop but I finally did it. It is January 8, 2012 and I’ve been sober since March, 2011 with a few brief relapses but nothing to where I was back to the point of stealing from family again.

I used once or twice and something popped into my brain and said I needed to stop before it got out of control again!

Well..Good luck with everything! My email is [email protected] You should email me sometime since we have a lil bit in common. Take care.

If it Works, Work It

by: Ned Wicker

Whether you are a “friend of Bill W” or you’ re doing something entirely different, you have managed to stay clean of opiates for 14 months. That’s the important point for people to remember. In treatment, there is no “one size fits all” approach and we need to find something that works and work it. Congratulations on your progress!

Treatment and recovery can fail for a variety of different reasons, so that is why people need to keep trying and keep searching for the program that gets the desired results. I am often asked, “How many times do I need to go through treatment?” The answer is as many times as it takes.

Regardless of the methodology, a program will fail when the addict/alcoholic gets in the way and refuses to allow the process to move forward. So often there are stories about people who say they went into treatment, but only lasted a few days.

We can blame the treatment center, or simply claim that it didn’t work, but the real underlying truth is we share the blame for the failure.

The 12 Steps are very difficult and they require a brutally open, honest and objective self-examination. It isn’t pretty and many people shut the process down.

If you’re in a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program, proven to be very effective with many patients, can likewise stall if a person isn’t willing to honestly assess their thoughts or cannot, for whatever reason, look at their thoughts in a different light.

Human nature doesn’t necessarily allow us to trust someone else, or surrender to a process. We have our own ideas and we believe we know what is best for us. We know what we are doing. We can handle it.

Even someone who is in jeopardy of dying from their drug addiction will likely tell you they have everything under control.

If it works, work it. We are all different and there are different approaches to treating and managing the disease. Keep trying

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