Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
32.1k Members
Avatar universal

Question about non 12 step programs.

I am praying nobody takes offence to this post. I have heard many good and bad to the 12-steps. I am on my 6th day from vicoden withdrawal and know that I need support so that the mental cravings don't allow me to go slip again.l also need support for the anxiety and depression. I like the spiritual aspect of the 12 steps but I don't feel that a one type program fits all. I never had a drug abuse problem in the past and I am 40. I feel I just got into a bad situation and yes I am addicted now but I will not admit to a saying of I will alway be powerless over drugs. That is just depressing. There are people who have successfully kicked this habit many ways which shows, yes deep withing with gods grace we are not powerless forever and I will NOT be classified as an addict forever. I was told aa would be better than na for me even though I am addicted to vics, not alcohal. I also feel most comfortable with women only. Does anyone have any suggestions for any type of groups they can be spiritual or whatever but alternatives to 12-step. Then again I can go to 12 step and I don't have to agree with every single thing they say because that kind of makes it dogmatic. Anyway, any success stories with any programs would be greatly apprecited. This is so very very hard but I don't want to go back after 6 days clean and I just want the depression and anxiety to end. I can't wait to see my acupuncturist because just a note to all of you, that did really help me in the past. It really helps to get your body back in balance. But find one who actually has a specialty in addiction detox. The national certification commission for acupunctureis NCCAOM if anyone is interested. Ideally this along with a psychiastrist, a nutritiionist would be so great for everyone, but who has that kinda money for all that wholistic healthy help???
10 Responses
401095 tn?1351391770
agree..money is an issue for most...meetings r free...here the steps are not emphasized in the meetings..i go to a lady's group...and most have worked the steps i guess..i have not techinically worked them ..not on purpose...i guess if i read them again i may have reached some of them as they seem to me to basically be like self help books emphasize as far as getting "okay" with yourself...probably would be a good idea for me to work the steps but just go for the support...we talk and take turns...if someone had a bad week they talk about it and people comment..there is a lways a "thought" for the day at the beginning..and the routine ending where u hold hands and say the chant thing...no one has ever pressured me about the steps or anything and the only way i know about them is from reading the book...i go to an AA meeting cos i like the people there..sometimes u gotta look around and try a few meetings to find the right one i think
498385 tn?1362449404
I personally work the steps. I have found anybody with any length of sobriety and happiness who goes to 12 step programs does the work of the program .It is up to you if you want to try a different way to live. I tell you I'll try anything if it relates to my sobriety.When I first cleaned up if somebody told me to stand on my head I would of lol. Take care and the best to you.
Avatar universal
no offense taken........

reformers anonymous is a christian recovery program
s.m.a.r.t......is a non-spiritaul program

now that i have answered your question, have you taken the time to read any of the na liturature?
is not, i suggest you take the time to read, atleast the first chapter of the basic text
na basic text online, try to read "who is an addict and why we are here"
if you cannot relate to any of that, then you are right
you do not belong in na
but thinking that you do not belong because you are 40 or just did pain pills, is your disease talking, i know several women in na who became addicted later in life due to injury or illness
addicts range from the street junkie, to the little old lady begging her doctor for more pills

there are 200 12 step programs out there, i believe that they do help people, and when the program fails its usually because the person did not work the steps with a sponsor
i have worked the steps on anger, smoking, drugs, parenting, right now i am doing them on my over-all health, and i continue to read the alonon book .....courage to change

educate yourself, read the basic text, if you do not relate, then try the other programs i mentioned


Avatar universal
thans so much. No, I do realize that I have an addiction problem right now. I just don't like the saying of I am a recovering addict for the rest of my life, or that I am powerless. I do believe I am powerless right now but I know that my true self , this is not who I am and I can eventually beat it.(well, i hope) Any advise on AA or NA I have had several people tell me to go to aa instead of na even though I have a problem with narcotics. Plus I am more comfortable with a women only group. I know that this sound so bad and predjudice, and I know that all walks of life out there can get into trouble and need help. I am just afraid I will end up in a na group that everyone is shooting up herion or whatever and I have a problem with about 25-30 vics a day(5mg each) Are they going to make me feel as though I don't fit in?? To me, I realize I am out of control even on that amount because I am on day 6 of none and I am very very depressed and feel nothing for anyone. Yet the anxiety keeps me from laying in bed all day depressed. No win situation. Any idea how long before this goes away?? Depression is such a mental torture and you just want to not be here anymore. But deep in my soul I know time will help to heal this. I want to go out so badly and find some pills for one more euphoric feeling but I just can't because I will end up back at square one!!!!!! Please give me encouragement, my mind is racing so much that can't even decide on a psychologist or social worker to pick cause I am so afraid they won't be good for me and I will have to keep spending money to look for one who can magically fix me!! This is the best forum I have found so far by the way. I haven't had any other help and all of you are so supportive.
599071 tn?1300068702
Your brain chemistry has just had a big shock, it's very common in opiate withdrawal to feel that every single decision is worrying and hard.

It seems to me that the two main concerns you have about making the wrong choices are additional expense and backsliding or not recovering as quickly as possible.
On the expense side, you have nothing to lose by trying a range of meetings in your area; try some NA & AA meetings to see if you can find one where you feel at home. If an environment makes you feel you don't fit it, don't get discouraged, just  try a different meeting.  When you find the right meeting for you, there will be people who can recommend good local support resources such as psychologists so you won't have to start from scratch finding one.

On the recovery side, you know there is no magic wand, it will be hard at first but you will get through it.  Find the program that works for you; follow the Thomas Recipe, (see the link on the RHS of this page), which will help stabilise your brain chemistry.  You need to get your feel-good neurotransmitters going again, so get yourself some 5htp; L-theanine & DLPA & make sure you eat plenty of protein. As your brain returns to balance, you will find decision making easier & easier and you will have the strength to do the psychological work.

Cognitive behaviour therapy and self-hypnosis have both been proven effective for anxiety & depression and generally work more quickly than traditional psychotherapy.

There's also excellent support & knowledge on these forums.  We are all different ages  & from different backgrounds but everyone is motivated to be free of the shackles of addiction.

Please keep posting with your feelings & questions.

Avatar universal
I agree with what madtram was saying: supplements (I'm currently taking 5-HTP and a meletonin/valerian combo to help with insomnia), good nutrition is crucial and CBT therapy can be incredibly beneficial. I feel where you are coming from with the meetings. It seems a bit too rigid, dogmatic and simplified. I had a great therapist at one point who brought my attention to the fact that what works for me is not necessarily going to be what works for other people. She also pointed out that focusing on (in my case drinking, among many other things) by telling myself each day "I'm not going to drink today, I'm not going to drink today' is like trying not to focus on the pink elephant in the room. It can consume you. Therapy can help you on an individual level to find out what is is that got you addicted and kept you addicted and learn other ways to cope with life. It gave me incredible perspective and I am getting back into it in the next week or two. Check out local universities if $ is an issue as it is for me because they typically having sliding scale fees that make it very affordable. I've been to a few AA meetings and my first NA meeting today just to see for myself what it is all about. I also know people who are hardcore about the program and from what I see they NEED meetings, sometime 4 a day, like trading one addiction for another. It's interesting to see people go on about being in recovery from an addiction as they puff away on their cigarettes and sip their coffee. A friend who is a licensed therapist and former opiate addict is all about the program yet it the biggest chain smoker and advised me against quitting smoking because I was quitting alcohol and that would just be setting myself up for failure! It's been almost 8 weeks and I have not had a drink or smoke, and I quit smoking pot at the same time all after about 18-19 years of being a very functional addict. I used everything back in the day except heroin, ectasy and crack. I used meth, any pharmaceuticals (pain meds and whatnot) coke, hash, opium, shrooms, acid and so on for years and walked away from it all. Doctors have told me many times that is unheard of, not getting into treatment especially after using speed for over 6 years almost daily. But I knew in my heart I wanted a better life, I was better than that and when I was done that was all she wrote. Alcohol was my drug of choice but after a near death experience 8 weeks ago, everything changed.
I am into eastern philosophy so I was happy to hear you mention acupuncture. I'm going to see my chiropractor tomorrow (a friend who is also certified in acupuncture) and I want to look into that as well. I'm also going to get a professional massage Wednesday (thanks to my wonderful grandmother, we always trade gift certificates for Christmas!) I took a yoga class right after I got out of my hospital stay (ER, ICU, then a couple of days in the psych ward) and it was wonderful! The teacher told me at the end of the class that she had just lost both of her brothers, within the last 2 months, 1 within a week or so of that class but yet she exuded calm and serenity. I love the massage school that I go to for massages (also affordable with a student clinic!) I took classes there many years ago and had a full blown panic attack as I was being worked on one day. I was still into the drugs, but trying to get away from them. It was my first experience with meditation and the enlightening, calming atmosphere of a massage school. My teacher took me aside and admitted he smoked pot for 7 years and shot heroin for 14 years before he turned his life around. He could sense that I had something serious going on because it was manifesting itself physically, I mean how often do you hear about someone having a panic attack while getting a soothing massage? To my knowledge it was the holistic approach he took to get clean. I never would have guessed it in a million years because he had this glow, like an aura of positive energy about him. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to and you are your thoughts. I am attending meetings to try to meet sober individuals but I agree that there is a depressing element to the program. I am going to continue to pursue yoga and meditation, keep taking my supplements and putting healthy things into my body (I'm in love with herbal tea now and I really enjoyed a Chinese herbal detox tea the first few weeks of getting sober) and I'm going to pursue individual CBT therapy. From what I have been studying a lot of women especially have benefited from the yoga lifestyle after dealing with addiction and/or physical/mental/sexual abuse because it teaches you to become centered through the yoga itself, breathing, meditation and prayer and certainly getting in touch with your higher power. Eastern philosophy has been around for quite some time, AA and NA are relatively new comparatively speaking. Do whatever feels comfortable for you. Keep coming back here because there is always someone willing to lend an ear and chances are a lot or people can relate. I plan to check out a womans meeting as well, but I am going to follow the path that is best for me. Feel free to write me anytime and I wish you the best on the journey!
Avatar universal
I so agree with what lboogie said. There are so many things you can do to help you get over this addiction. It's true that NA meeting may really help you but you need to take care of the whole person that you are. Therapy, meditation, supplements, good nutrition and exercise. I wish you the best. You sound like your really ready to make that change, you've already started buy cutting down on the vicodin. Good for you! Please keep us up to date on how your doing and take care. Remar
214607 tn?1287677559
I am shocked that not one person here has disagreed with this person about her not being labeled an addict for life. And that she won't be powerless to her drug for the rest of her life. She indeed WILL be powerless forever. Regardless if she believes NA is right for her, she will always be an addict. Maybe not in active addiction, but if she cannot quit now and just stop, then she is an addict and the damage has been done. Do I think she could get clean now and stay clean forever, sure...it has happened. But if she gets clean now and stays clean then in say 10 years someone gives her a pill, there is no way she is going to take it and be ok and not start up again. I mean, there is a possibility, but odds are she would start up again. I pray that she won't. And I commend her for quitting. But don't be in denial about the disease portion of addiction. It has altered you and you are now and will be an addict, always. Just not in active addiction. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I can relate to your fears and i agree with worried878.  you may have to look around and find the right meeting to attend, go when you need to, ask for help when you need it, listen and take what you need and leave the rest.  I am struggling with the sponsor thing myself, but i do enjoy the meetings when i go.  i sometimes feel pressured by the dedicated members to do more and that is what my dilemma is right now.  i feel i am doing enough as i am the one who has to be honest with myself and recognize when my feelings are out of control so i can deal with them in a way that fits in with my other life--work, home, etc.  good luck to you and be strong!
Avatar universal
First of all U cant just say NO to a disease...It is a choice which everyone has some ppl just make bad ones...if addicts were powerless they wouldnt b able to live the so called "one day at a time" which they preach in 12 step programs...some ppl are die hard 12 step ppl n if it works for u great but it doesnt work for all...just a lil advice before u start giving it.. look up were ur so called "DISEASE" theory came from...the same person who came up with this also thought dishonesty and african americans were diseased also...sounds like a pretty smart individual to me huh? I wish everyone a full recovery... yes it will b hard but u can do it if u want to....don't listen to ppl who say u cant overcome it cause u can...many ppl do it everyday!!
Have an Answer?
Top Addiction Answerers
495284 tn?1333894042
City of Dominatrix, MN
Avatar universal
phoenix, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Is treating glaucoma with marijuana all hype, or can hemp actually help?
If you think marijuana has no ill effects on your health, this article from Missouri Medicine may make you think again.
Julia Aharonov, DO, reveals the quickest way to beat drug withdrawal.
Tricks to help you quit for good.
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.