hummerbird

ADDERALLICS ANONYMOUS--NYC

4 posts in this topic

hello fellow speed freaks! So. The question of there being a need for a new 12-step fellowship (in my mind, called speed anonymous, as adderallics conflicts with the AA acronym, obvs) has been something I've been contemplating for a long time. I really think it's time we take action. I have been working the NA program for two years, and while it has done wonders, I'm just missing the identification so crucial for recovery.

 

I've made a few friends in a few fellowships who are on board with this. I'm including the letter I have sent to the General Service Office (Northeast) of AA. If you are in the area, please reply to this post (even if you're not in the area! any opinion is welcome!), and we'll get this recovery started f'real f'real! 

 

--Olivia 

 

 

 

To whom it may concern: my name is Olivia. I'm an addict. Specifically, I am a speed addict, although I've been in the program long enough to know that differentiation is of little value. Having said that, I am writing you today to address a persistent query I've had; one that I've seen and heard mirrored in my fellow sick and suffering speed addicts/adderallics. 

 

I walked into the doors of Narcotics Anonymous two years ago. I realize in the scheme of the recovery community (NA, AA, any 12-step fellowship) this is a relatively short time working the program. That "scheme", that frame of reference, that encompasses not only alcoholics and addicts alike, but humanity at large--that is a spiritual frame to contextualize recovery. 

 

I believe it is essential, as I'm sure you were also taught, to identify and not compare. So I have, or at least I have made every effort to find identification wherever I can. In the last two years, I have attended NA meetings, AA meetings, CA meetings, CMA meetings. In truth, I have made spiritual progress. But it is not enough. Inasmuch as I have identified with pieces of member's stories, the simple fact remains that after two years, I am still chasing my recovery; still lost in establishing my community. I am still struggling. 

 

And I am not alone. Many have dismissed this struggle as a symptom of the self-centeredness of this disease--an accusation that I find quite plausible, though untrue. Alcoholism, addiction do not discriminate. History shows us that the disease transcends cultures, socioeconomic stratifications, time periods, etc. However, while the disease--its origins, manifestations, tribulations--is not truly context-specific, I have come to understand the importance of context in recovery. Identification, for one. But there's more to the idea of identification--it chiefly arises, I believe, from a commonality in lifestyle that is doubtless historical in nature. At the risk of sounding reductive, let me say this: alcoholism existed long before prohibition, but I would argue the prohibition movement at least catalyzed the public awareness around the disease. Similarly, Nixon's "war on drugs", as well as Rockefeller laws, have perpetuated a similar process: people became aware of drug addiction as being an issue similar to, though not identical, to alcoholism. 

 

I have read every book there is to be read on amphetamine/stimulant/speed abuse. I really have. I can say that with confidence, because this particular addiction has been palpably swept under the proverbial rug--it's absence from the media, and from recovery literature, evidences that. It is a reality of our society that making a profit is of utmost importance. That, in tandem with the enormous stigma attached to addiction, has perpetuated the notion that prescription stimulants like adderall, ritalin, dexedrine and more, are: 1) legitimate, regardless of usage; 2) are justifiably prescribed for things like ADD (a diagnosis which, in my mind, is an invention of the pharmaceutical industry and not of biological origin). The reality is, I have been to a lot of meetings, and my HP has brought many many people to my attention who are silently struggling with violent speed addiction. Many AA members, for example, have privately confided in me that they can claim "sober time", but have developed an insidious addiction to prescription stimulants, which they ultimately rationalize on two grounds: 1) it was 'legitimately' prescribed by a doctor, and therefore not potentially lethal, and 2) they are alcoholic, not addicts, and therefore cannot be seized by the vicious grip addiction has clearly taken. 

 

Further, I have heard time and time again that the justification for prescription stimulants exists not only in the medical community, but in the recovery community! rehabs, treatment centers, etc often PRESCRIBE stimulants to alcoholics and addicts (namely, those formerly addicted to heroin and other opiates) to curb some of the withdrawal symptoms. so frequently, I have heard countless members share that they are clean and dry...with the help of adderall. now, I do not identify as an alcoholic, but consider this: if alcohol is what brought you to your knees, would hearing from your fellows that alcohol is a panacea for addiction recovery be conducive to YOUR recovery? i try to stay neutral on the matter, but I can only hear so many times that the very thing that nearly killed me has been an ACCEPTED part of recovery. it inevitably disqualifies an addict, no matter how much they practice spiritual principles. 

 

I have been to Pills Anonymous, and still, I feel the fellowship does not GET at the issues raised by this particular addiction. There is a specific community quietly suffering from this, and God knows I am exhausted by my own suffering in the wake of active addiction. There are many issues, I feel, that need to be uniquely addressed by a fellowship necessitated by the growing psychopharmocological revolution--children and adults alike are at it's peril.

 

I'm not sure what my initial steps might be, but I know I have a solid network of folks motivated to start this new fellowship. Obviously, AA is the pioneer of 12-step recovery, so I resolved to address this with the GSO first. 

 

Please, please let me know if there are steps I may take to proceed from here. I believe with my whole heart we can beat this thing--all it takes is identification.

 

Thank you very much.

 

In service,

 

Olivia S. T. 

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You make some really good points in this letter. Stimulant addicts are unique

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hummerbird, I like your letter and this topic. I wholeheartedly agree that adderall recovery is unique unto itself. I was in AA for a year before becoming addicted to adderall. While I can say that I have been sober from alcohol for nearly 14 years, it is tainted by 12 years of adderall use. As one person put it, so you went from one to the other. It is painfully true.

 

As you know, AA has members who are bipolar and members who suffer other mental issues, so psychiatric drugs have to be accepted at some level. But, that's where I got into trouble, as you describe in your letter. I agree with you that stimulant use is where to draw the line, but there are many who would disagree (see the discalimer on this site). I don't know how you will ever get around this argument. At the same time, I would love to join SA if it were ever offered in my area. Neither AA nor NA offers the identification that makes you feel at home. I believe that having a home group is a vital part of recovery. It rang so true for me in my recovery from alcohol. I guess that's why we come here. The in-person community experience would have so much more power, even a Higher Power.

 

With two years freedom from stimulants, I hope you stick around here to share your experience, strength and hope.

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GIven AA and its principles are only 80 years old. The ideas principles of the 12 step program are relatively new ideas in the world. I wonder what addicts did before?  The larger concept of recovery is evolving and becoming more sophisticated.  This evolution is a necessary because drugs are evolving. Amphetamines were only discovered in the late 1880's. Making our addiction a new one.  Groups like ours embrace  2 technology paradigms  internet technology and advancements in psychoactive drugs.   The basic tenants of a 12 step program are applied here but dare I say those principals evolved with the exponential technology of our times.  What we do here at QA works. Can it be improved upon ?   

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