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Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:43 am
by tearj3rker
One's definition of what's clean and what's not clean changes over the course of their recovery I think.

I will say though that NA as a fellowship doesn't seem to have an opinion on Suboxone. Rather it's the groups and the individuals who each have their own practices and opinions. At some groups, they read a preamble saying that people on "drug replacement" should ID as such, and should not share. Other groups do not differentiate at all, and consider it as being "between you and your doctor".

Considering people on Suboxone to not be clean can be quite dangerous. I've fallen into this trap of shame in NA too many times, and it usually ended up in me jumping off a high dose of Suboxone to feel "part of". I remember when I'd first ID as "clean today" after being on Suboxone the group would cheer. Eventually I relapsed of course, as doing an impulsive jump off Suboxone isn't a mature way to get into abstinence.

Also, this line of thought can be pushed further. Are people on anti-depressants clean? Are people on anti-psychotics clean? Such dangerous questions have led people to stopping their medication, and ending their own lives. It's a shame that there are still people in NA who feel that such medications are abusable, or a part of one's addiction, and people on such medications aren't clean. My last sponsor told me that I would only know the full miracle of the program once I worked the steps and didn't "need my medications anymore". I asked him if he didn't need his HIV anti-virals after working the steps. He said that wasn't completely different. It was at that point I realised how dangerous some opinions can be. And this guy was a respected, older cleaner member.

IMO you're clean as long as your recovery is moving in the right direction. A person who goes from addiction to a stable life on Suboxone is thus clean. If they choose to taper, and are mature and ready, then it's a step towards their new "clean". It's when a person stays on Suboxone when they're ready to taper (stagnates), or starts "moving backward" (we all know what this entails), that they should question whether they're clean.

I think that's the only way to get a straight answer to a complex question.

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:15 pm
by Ironic
tearj3rker wrote:One's definition of what's clean and what's not clean changes over the course of their recovery I think.

I will say though that NA as a fellowship doesn't seem to have an opinion on Suboxone. Rather it's the groups and the individuals who each have their own practices and opinions. At some groups, they read a preamble saying that people on "drug replacement" should ID as such, and should not share. Other groups do not differentiate at all, and consider it as being "between you and your doctor".

Considering people on Suboxone to not be clean can be quite dangerous. I've fallen into this trap of shame in NA too many times, and it usually ended up in me jumping off a high dose of Suboxone to feel "part of". I remember when I'd first ID as "clean today" after being on Suboxone the group would cheer. Eventually I relapsed of course, as doing an impulsive jump off Suboxone isn't a mature way to get into abstinence.

Also, this line of thought can be pushed further. Are people on anti-depressants clean? Are people on anti-psychotics clean? Such dangerous questions have led people to stopping their medication, and ending their own lives. It's a shame that there are still people in NA who feel that such medications are abusable, or a part of one's addiction, and people on such medications aren't clean. My last sponsor told me that I would only know the full miracle of the program once I worked the steps and didn't "need my medications anymore". I asked him if he didn't need his HIV anti-virals after working the steps. He said that wasn't completely different. It was at that point I realised how dangerous some opinions can be. And this guy was a respected, older cleaner member.

IMO you're clean as long as your recovery is moving in the right direction. A person who goes from addiction to a stable life on Suboxone is thus clean. If they choose to taper, and are mature and ready, then it's a step towards their new "clean". It's when a person stays on Suboxone when they're ready to taper (stagnates), or starts "moving backward" (we all know what this entails), that they should question whether they're clean.

I think that's the only way to get a straight answer to a complex question.
I agree with you, except for the fact that NA as a fellowship definitely DOES have an opinion on Suboxone. I posted this earlier in the thread.

"But, this raises the question: "Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so. While some groups choose to allow such members to share, it is also a common practice for NA groups to encourage these members (or any other addict who is still using), to participate only by listening and by talking with members after the meeting or during the break. This is not meant to alienate or embarrass; this is meant only to preserve an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings."
"When an individual under the influence of a drug attempts to speak on recovery in Narcotics Anonymous, it is our experience that a mixed, or confused message may be given to a newcomer (or any member, for that matter) For this reason, many groups believe it is inappropriate for these members to share at meetings of Narcotics Anonymous."

You can find Bulletin #29 in its entirety at the NA website.
http://www.na.org/?ID=bulletins-bull29

They say people on maintenance drugs can't share or take service positions in order "to preserve an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings." They call us "under the influence of a drug."

Sounds like they DEFINITELY have an opinion, and it is clear.

EDIT: I am gonna add that we probably are not "clean." I say this because the term "clean" is a very NA word. We are all sober. Look up sober in the dictionary, and you will see how AA/NA has corrupted that word and changed the definition to fit their own insanity. There is no such thing as a "dry drunk." That doesn't make sense; one is either sober, or they aren't.

So who cares if we are "clean?" That is a subjective NA term and it means NOTHING to anyone in the real world.

agree

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:22 pm
by meltalk
I'm clean by my term clean. I know the live of my addict self and now a clean person. That is what matters to me. I have chronic pain so this is probably the cleanest I'll be and if I can taper then great I'll be cleaner HUH??? I refuse to let this be an issue with my life. I choose to be the best I can be for me and at this time in life it includes sub. I like the new me and I will enjoy it as long as I can and really hope you all do too... I'm proud of me and I thank sub.

So does my family and friends they are thankful I choose to get clean on sub!!! :wink:

Re: agree

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:44 pm
by stephent
meltalk wrote: I choose to be the best I can be for me and at this time in life it includes sub. I like the new me and I will enjoy it as long as I can and really hope you all do too... I'm proud of me and I thank sub.

So does my family and friends they are thankful I choose to get clean on sub!!! :wink:
:D Great Outlook!

Re: agree

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:00 pm
by Breezy_Ann
stephent wrote:
meltalk wrote: I choose to be the best I can be for me and at this time in life it includes sub. I like the new me and I will enjoy it as long as I can and really hope you all do too... I'm proud of me and I thank sub.

So does my family and friends they are thankful I choose to get clean on sub!!! :wink:
:D Great Outlook!
Agreed!

Posted: Sun Nov 06, 2011 7:11 am
by tearj3rker
Ironic wrote:"But, this raises the question: "Does NA have the right to limit members participation in meetings?" We believe so. While some groups choose to allow such members to share, it is also a common practice for NA groups to encourage these members (or any other addict who is still using), to participate only by listening and by talking with members after the meeting or during the break. This is not meant to alienate or embarrass; this is meant only to preserve an atmosphere of recovery in our meetings."
You will notice that it says "While some groups choose to allow such members to share."
Ironic wrote:EDIT: I am gonna add that we probably are not "clean." I say this because the term "clean" is a very NA word. We are all sober. Look up sober in the dictionary, and you will see how AA/NA has corrupted that word and changed the definition to fit their own insanity. There is no such thing as a "dry drunk." That doesn't make sense; one is either sober, or they aren't.

So who cares if we are "clean?" That is a subjective NA term and it means NOTHING to anyone in the real world.
I just need to clarify something here. By your definition, you believe people on Suboxone aren't clean. So you don't see yourself as being clean.

By my definition, I believe I am clean, and that anyone who doesn't abuse drugs is clean. As far as I know, by my definition, you are clean too! We each have our own personal definitions of what is clean, and what is not. When you say "we probably are not clean", that is by your definition, and ultimately only applies to your personal recovery, and your view of yourself.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:07 am
by Matt2
I've gone back and forth so many times about whether or not I'm clean and if I should stop HDB treatment. A few conclusions I've come to over the last almost 5 years I haven't "used".I'm still alive and I haven't relapsed. I am still enjoying the things I've worked so hard to recover since I stopped using like my friends and family, a great job, and a bachelors degree (a double major even!). I'm recently married and disgustingly happy with how things are going in my life. I'm not very concerned about possibly having to continue to take HDB for the rest of my life as long as I'm still above ground and enjoying life. Lots of other people are likely to be required to take medication for the rest of their lives too for various diseases. Medication assisted treatment is the best possible solution for recovering opiate addicts in terms of how many people test negative for illicit opiates or other drugs at the end of 1 year. The number of people who haven't relapsed after one year of traditional "abstinence" based 12 step programs is disgustinly low and those who haven't relapsed within 5 years are virtually non-existent. I can now provide for my family and contribute to society at large now and however much longer I can stay clean. Finally I realized that I want to be around for others that may need my help in the future and the best chance of achieving that goal statistically is to stay on HDB and to me "clean" means being able to return to my life again, the life that existed before I became an opiate addict.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:15 am
by stp747
I agree Matt2, the use of "clean" and " dirty" are actually perpetuating the stigma of addiction. I like to use addiction remission, and active addiction in lieu of those other terms. Addiction is actually the behaviors, and changes to one's brain, not a drug or medication. I am also doing very well with my recovery and don't even think about coming off of sub. After 25 years in active addiction, I also graduated from college and working as a Substance Abuse Counselor/Registered Addiction Specialist. Congratulations on your success.

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:21 pm
by tearj3rker
stp747 wrote:I agree Matt2, the use of "clean" and " dirty" are actually perpetuating the stigma of addiction.
Very true.

It made me think of this girl I knew interstate who would inject cocaine, get down on her hands and knees and start digging holes in the ground with her fingers like a maniac for half an hour. Then do it all again.

Some people's addictions are dirty, literally :lol:

Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 6:41 pm
by DurhamDoc
I see that a lot of people have said some variation of this, but I feel it is worth repeating. One of the primary components of addiction is the nearly psychotic thinking that goes along with it. In fact, I think it is THE primary component. Regardless of the substance or behavior, once someone crosses into active addiction, they begin to think only in terms of satisfying the thing that their brain tells them they need to survive. It is because of this that people end-up divorced, in jail, beat-up, and dead. Bup, when used correctly allows a return to a non-addicted mind. Imagine if chemically it wasn't an opiate, would we still care about clean or dirty? I think that if someone is able to reengage with their humanity and their life in an authentic way, which is not possible during active addiction, that person is clean.

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 6:02 am
by tearj3rker
DurhamDoc wrote:I see that a lot of people have said some variation of this, but I feel it is worth repeating. One of the primary components of addiction is the nearly psychotic thinking that goes along with it. In fact, I think it is THE primary component. Regardless of the substance or behavior, once someone crosses into active addiction, they begin to think only in terms of satisfying the thing that their brain tells them they need to survive.
It's definitely crazy thinking in some form. Psychosis is when people hallucinate, hear voices, suffer delusions, paranoia. It's associated with schizophrenia / schizoaffective, and sometimes bipolar disorder. While addiction is its own form of obsessive insanity, I think psychosis is a different thing completely. However, if we are hooked on marijuana / meth / cocaine / hallucinogens etc, those drugs can send some people into psychosis.

Posted: Thu Nov 10, 2011 8:55 am
by DurhamDoc
tearj3rker wrote:
DurhamDoc wrote:I see that a lot of people have said some variation of this, but I feel it is worth repeating. One of the primary components of addiction is the nearly psychotic thinking that goes along with it. In fact, I think it is THE primary component. Regardless of the substance or behavior, once someone crosses into active addiction, they begin to think only in terms of satisfying the thing that their brain tells them they need to survive.
It's definitely crazy thinking in some form. Psychosis is when people hallucinate, hear voices, suffer delusions, paranoia. It's associated with schizophrenia / schizoaffective, and sometimes bipolar disorder. While addiction is its own form of obsessive insanity, I think psychosis is a different thing completely. However, if we are hooked on marijuana / meth / cocaine / hallucinogens etc, those drugs can send some people into psychosis.
I totally agree that addiction is different from the DSM concept of psychosis. On the other hand, I do think that active addictive thinking is characteristized by a break from reality. While there may not be bizarre delusions, I think drug-seeking, sex-seeking, or whatever becomes a delusion in itself once the addictive pattern has taken hold. In fact, in my experience, an active addict can have just as much delusional thinking as someone with a classic psychotic disorder like the ones you described. Of course everyone's experiences are different, these are just my observations.

Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:30 am
by tearj3rker
I didn't see that these things are your profession actually.

I've had pretty extreme cases of both psychosis and addiction, so I can get defensive about them at times.

My psychosis involved paranoia, thinking I was a prophet, ripping phone / electrical wires out of the roof, seeing devil horns and halos. It was like the worst bad trip a person could have, but seemed to never end. While I wasn't as out of touch with reality in addiction, I was definitely out of touch with humanity. And my addiction was much more destructive, even though I appeared sicker in my psychosis. There are some huge parallels, but subjectively they felt very different.

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 3:16 am
by Matt2
I'm still blown away whenever I think about times before I was able to stop "using" and all the crazy things I had convinced myself into believing were true. I still remember wandering why so many negative things kept happening to me when I was still using. I was so out of touch I remember thinking that people were actually out to get me and all my legal and personal problems were all just due to bad luck and had nothing to do with my "using" lol I was obviously dealing with major denial. It was difficult learning to be both honest with myself and others. There were so many lies I was telling myself that I had literally lost all track of. Talk about

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 5:30 am
by hatmaker510
Tearj3rker - I hear what you're saying. Active addiction does do something to our "rational" brain, so to speak. But is it comparable to psychosis? Before I started suboxone I had a psychotic break from all the drugs I'd pumped into my body so I know first hand what a genuine psychotic break feels and looks like. And I don't see how one can possibly compare the "psychosis" of active addiction to an outright break with reality. I mean, I guess I can understand what he's trying to say, but I think they are two very different things. Just my take.

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:29 am
by Breezy_Ann
I get what he is saying. Now this is just my take on what he is trying to say and i could have misinterpreted it. I think he is saying that addicts have delusions about there use, what it is really doing to their lives, etc. I do think when in active addiction we do not live in reality. We become obsessed with our doc. I don't think he meant to imply that a true psychotic break and addiction are in the same league just that addicts in active addiction do have a break from reality. I know for me I was not living in the real world.

My take on his post is just that there are some similarities to an addicts way of thinking as someone suffering a true break from reality but not near as severe as a true psychotic break. Like I said I could have interpreted it wrong.

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:33 am
by hatmaker510
We should have a "Like" button, cuz I agree with you, Breezy.

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:36 am
by Breezy_Ann
I also wanted to add that the severity of an addicts delusional way of thinking can be in varying degrees depending on the person, their doc, length of use, severity of use, etc. Some drugs can cause delusions, take crystal meth for example. I have seen meth users that have extreme breaks from reality. Perhaps a better way to put it is that addicts can have a delusional way of thinking.

Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:35 pm
by tearj3rker
hatmaker510 wrote:We should have a "Like" button, cuz I agree with you, Breezy.
+3

Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 2:16 am
by Romeo
+.141592654 = Pi

MMmmm, me loves some pie!!!