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Hi folks,

Just a quick note in regards to the moderation of the group. Sometimes if I am a bit short on time or if we get a lot of posts at once I may have to just skim the overall gist of the posts rather than reading them word for word before I approve them, also we all have a different perspective as to what is acceptable and thus there may sometimes be the odd post that gets through that you may feel is inappropriate. And while this doesn’t seem to happen very often if there is anything that anybody reads and feels is inappropriate then please feel free to either shoot me a PM or use the contact form to let me know and I will always be happy to take another look at it.

Please keep in mind however that a post does have to be quite bad or harmful to the group as a whole for us to delete it, I don’t like to be too heavy handed with that kind of moderation and try to reserve it for only when it is absolutely necessarily as generally I like people to be able to have their say and most things can be ironed out with dialogue and often we can all learn from it, that said if you feel something is inappropriate like I say please feel free to let me know and I will be happy to take another look.

All the best,

Cannabis Rehab Admin

If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 15 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!
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12 step programs and pot addiction

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  • 12 step programs and pot addiction

    marijuana withdrawal symptoms relief
    I'm a pot addict and have been since I first started smoking 30 years ago. About 4 years ago I realized that my inability to detox after several attempts with disastrous results was not just a problem but a serious and problem that was threatening my basic sanity. I couldn't go more than 48 hours without pot without flying into rage, despair, free floating anxiety and craving my "best friend", herb.
    It was then, October of 2005, that I sought help from the AA people (Alcoholics Anonymous). I did not tell them the exact truth because they were not interested in drugs other than alcohol so I introduced myself as an "alcoholic" and began the process of quitting the drug with group support. The worst part was my new friends, the dry agnostic alcoholic type. My old friends were hippies, Hindus, Buddhists, philosophically savvy seekers of the subtle and unseen. Most in my circles are very selective drug users, typically my folk are exclusively pot users and typically anti-alcohol. I learned some things that I still value from my 12 step experiences and one of those lessons was that no one calls me an addict but me. I'll pass that back to you. My friends may or may not be addicts but they are primarily non alcoholic, non-atheist and not nearly so antisocial, dishonest, and violent as these recovering booze hounds told of their past. The AA's and NA's were not "my people" despite our similar drug problems.
    I switched to NA [Narcotics Anonymous] when I got tired of little white lies such as " Hi, I'm Charlie, and I'm an alcoholic". I've had just one drink so many times and eschew drunkenness so routinely that I suppose it was not just a little white lie. It was bold faced bullshit, I hate alcohol and have never gotten high off of it, rather it makes me sick.

    NA is more tolerant of pot heads but then who out there has attended 100 meetings or more and can relate? At NA pot is often refered to as "just pot" and the question is raised in meetings as well as their literature and the question is, "Can I just drink and smoke a little pot and still be in NA?" The answer is always no. An other observation is that NA groups tend to make AA groups look like a bunch of amateurs. As one friend put it, "AA rooms are filled with misdemeanors where as NA is populated by felons". I now have a lot of recovering junkies, felons, and speed freaks I call friends. Interesting for sure but I have a pot problem not a social pathology or a need to meet new people. I do that stoned or not I am people friendly and basically a decent guy with a pot habit not a jail habit or a violence habit or a problem isolation from community. Without pot I do much better but even with I am not a criminal type.There is more I wan to say about the pros and cons of 12 stepping but I'll hold off until the next post.

    Here's how this has worked for me. After 4 years of spinning in and out of AA, NA and a few therapies I decided that I'd rather keep my sensitive hippie friends and smoke pot than learn to "turn my life over to a "Higher Power" that is spoken of by 12 steppers as if it is offensive to most to even entertain the idea of any God. They also tend to romanticize the negative and disturbing as the most real and conversely they decry community, hugs, interfaith discussions on the new age of religion, eye contact, and generally just opening on up, to be foreign to the "personality of those with the disease". Basically I found the support group more intolerable than my habit. I also found corner stones in their philosophy offensive (ie I am not a human with typical human problems, rather I have a special disease that only 12 step can help). This is not a cult by expert definition of the word but it strongly resembles a fundamentalist religion in every way right down to their having the only and best way.
    But there are a couple of other corner stones in their philosophy I have adopted into my life. Beginning with once one crosses the line of addiction their is no chance at normal drug usage (boy have I tried that) or simply that 100% abstinence is the only way to succeed. These statements are a truth in my life.
    I have never gone more than 3 months without the drug and those periods of abstinence have been numerous in the last 4 years. I find I like myself better in every way when I do not smoke pot at all. Unfortunately, I tried once more to smoke like a "normal" person this January and now find I am stuck in a dead end habit that is hurting me in every way. I can't get really high despite the excellent local weed, I can't imagine a half a day without and I can't stop spending all my money. So I am quitting (again) and while I want to open a discussion on 12 step models and alternatives to those models a central personal truth remains: do not attempt to detox any addiction alone.
    We blog because we want to change our lives as a community and quite possibly we recognize that group process is power for better or worse.
    Is anyone out there who can relate? I'm looking for a few determined recovering pot heads who have not sold out to any fundamentalist creed such as the 12 steps and yet I am also curious if anyone out there can agree to disagree and wants to defend any positive experience they have had with pot abstinence inside of AA or NA. Getting clean is real the point wherever you lay your faith in God or lack thereof.

    I quit cigarettes successfully 4 plus years ago without a single relapse, not even a puff off of a mixed joint and yet quitting pot is the more difficult thing. In AA and NA cigarettes are accepted even encouraged and pot is seen as small side issue a "gateway" drug to be sure and as such prohibited in 12 step rehabilitation but all the same in and of itself pot is forever "just pot" in those circles.

    Today I quit again and I need to do this with others, with those who understand, not a bunch a God fearing fundamentalists. someone respond or wait for my next post and respond to that. I'm going to be looking for you glorious ex-smokers on for a while to come so if no one out there is interested in analyzing the failure (or success) of NA/AA to help pot heads just wait and I'll develop anther thread, such as "notes from a Chronic relapser: why my next quit should be my last".

    One parting shot. In 12 step, especially NA, they say that the "disease of addiction" does not let us safely have a drink, a toke, a Valium, or even a pain killer. I had a sponsor in NA who told me that nighttime cough sryup can set off the whole cycle again whether the addict has a favorite drug of choice or not. As one who has experimented with most every drug in the books I have found only pot really works for me and to a lesser extent when I was young I enjoyed psychedelics. These are drugs that today I do not have to quit; I simply do not take acid, mushrooms or peyote at all, ever, they have lost their appeal for me and make me sick now if I swallow them. A drink once a month is a fun novelty and normal in my little booze free life. These 12 step people may know themselves very clearly but they don't have THE final word on addiction mapped out. This is why I am here to say we can't do it alone but look, we have our hearts and minds and we can use them to get real as we get clean.

  • #2
    Hi Charlie 108,

    You raised some valid gave me pause for thought. I have never been to an n/a meeting..we don't have them where I live, so I use this forum. I'm about to start a 6 week group therapy workshop through my local drug place, targetting relapse prevention...looking forward to it cos I don't know anyone else in this place who is going through the same struggles as me. Like you, my pothead friends are hippies, idealists and philosophers...just like me. I miss them, but I'm not strong enough within myself to associate with them, so atm its how it must be.

    My ex is a raging alcoholic and it always amazed me when he was critical of my pot addiction..typically he would run me down with a large tumbler of scotch or rum in his hand, telling me how awful I was for allowing pot to run my life...I'm a hippy..I love helping people...have never committed any crimes (except for smoking pot!) not violent...and never went into a pot-induced rage and did the things he often did. He is your typical violent drunk and now that I'm away from him it disgusts me that I ever listened to a word he said...he lies, steals, hits women and children..hits old men..says deliberately hurtful things to everybody in his life, buys alcohol instead of paying bills..I could go on, but I know you understand where I'm coming from.

    I want to thank you for your has helped me understand something which previously was totally beyond me...was eating away at me, in fact..
    I had a friend, a hippychick like me..we were each others family. For 12 years we were always there for each other..I loved her more than I have loved any other woman..except my grandma but thats another story...and she accepted me..I accepted her..but something changed. We both had a problem with pot..she also had an alcohol dependency and started to go back to things she'd turned her back on years previously...speed, eccys, mushrooms, heroin..She quit before me...quit everything (or so she led me to believe at the time). She attended both AA and NA meetings and was doing well, but something in her changed. She went from being a free spirited, non judgemental, accepting and loving person to someone I didn't recoginise..someone who preached at me, derided me, who closed herself off to the things she was open to before (philisophically speaking). Before she would hug me and tell me she loved me and that I was still a good person despite not being able to conquer my addiction...afterwards she was emotionally closed off, very condemning and started preaching to me about her way of tackling the whole addiction thing...she became a different being...and I never understood it. Now I at least have some idea why. In the end I made the decision to walk away from her...I found out that in fact she was still using with her boyfriend..and her hypocricy and the fact that she wasn't the woman I once knew made it clear to me that it had turned into a destructive relationship...I felt the same around her as I did around my parents..who are fundamentalist christians (don't get me started on that one)'re so right about the one-sided, "my way is the only way" "my god is the only true god" has caused me grief all my life especially cos it has never been my way of thinking...and who is anyone to condemn another for their system of beliefs..its a personal thing..a sacred thing.

    I'm glad you found this site..I agree that support is just so is the acceptance of who you are...and here I have found support and encouragement for who I am, right now, rather than who others want me to become. These people would respect me, whether I told them I'd made it to six weeks or I told them I went on a condemnations, no judgements and no "this is the only way to fix yourself"...they revel in your success and sympathise in your failures.

    You're obviously a very intelligent person...and insightful to boot. I wish you luck with your efforts....I know you can do it, have the strength, the information and the support. And now you have a whole bunch of cyber friends who are here with you and for you whenever you need us...welcome! We've all been there and it makes the difference to know that these people really get the struggle...get the fact that for some pot is the enemy, not a soft drug..pot is their downfall...well, it has to me anyway. All the best in this journey, friend. I wish I could contribute to this discussion....but as I'm clueless about what goes on in the meetings, and am only now becoming familiar with the 12 step programs, I'll leave it to those who really do know. Peace.


    • #3
      Hi guys

      Ok the whole 12 step program whatever the addiction anonymous thing. I think groups like these are a generally a good thing, because they offer exactly the kind of support that people need to help them conquer addiction, it’s invaluable and something that really does work. However and in my opinion this is a very big problem that they have, they are too rigidly orientated around aspects of a religious nature, which is fine for people of faith but where does that leave those poor old atheists who need help too, it’s not very inclusive and is undoubtedly going to alienate certain people.

      Now for people who believe faith can be a great thing and really help them deal with addiction, but in my opinion it’s an optional extra and should not be the main focus of a group designed to help people deal with addiction. Besides the main focus when dealing with addiction should be personal responsibility, the way I see it, it’s up to ourselves to keep ourselves clean, it’s not Gods responsibility it’s ours, staying clean doesn’t have to be about adopting any religious beliefs or philosophy, if that’s something that helps you then great, but it’s not going to be for everyone and does not have to be and that’s the mistake that I think that AA, NA, MA make.

      Now if you can put that to one side then groups like that are still going to offer you some really great support and I bet a lot of their members may not totally believe in their religious approach, but still go because the support and having a place to express their feelings keeps them clean. However if you find their religious approach a problem, then maybe these groups are not for you and I bet there are an awful lot of people who feel that way, it’s a shame because they are letting these people down and not been fully inclusive to people of secular beliefs. If these groups are for you then I would recommend that you go, but due to the nature of their approach they are not going to be for everyone.

      Anyway when I set this place up I decided it was going to be a place for everyone whatever their religious beliefs and that it was not going to be orientated around any dogmatic approach or philosophy, just whatever works for you. The only stipulation I think we ought to have for those who are here is that they want to quit, that’s it, if faith and religion help then great feel free to talk about it, but we want to be just as much as place for those who don’t have religious beliefs, as for those who do.

      Take care
      Cannabis Rehab Admin

      If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

      My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 15 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!


      • #4
        And that is why BFB, u have our unerring respect, admiration and gratitude!


        • #5
          Thanks your too kind.
          Cannabis Rehab Admin

          If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

          My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 15 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!


          • #6
            rage and peace

            i like the with or without God approach. I was very happy to read from Hippie Chick that you have never been to a 12 step meeting. I don't want to disturb the Blog rehab group Guy but my favorite people have had serious God ideas without any religion to lead them. I think God and being clean come from the common sense of sanity and do not belong to religions or 12 steps but to everyone. I believe in God it's just that she is not Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, or Jew, rather it is Love. So yea a bunch of recovering pot heads who don't depend on the almighty 12 steps or anything more than good old fashioned urges-to-be-free are the folk I've been seeking to help me stay off weed. Thanks for the conversation- I love it!

            As for the raging alcoholic who hates the habit of the other, this is what I see all around me and what I do myself when I am honest about my anger. When I "attack" I am forgetting my self disgust in a distraction called "your problem" and when I am angry I typically think your problem started my problem. Rage is usually ironic.

            As for peace I am of the philosophy that love is natural and need not be taught only performed, (opened to) and that opening is a function of losing all the distractions. Rage is complex. This is my non-religious view of Love or what some call God, that it is simple to behold once the window is clean but the alternative is complex to the point that the others are to blame and so hate and rage are like drug dependence. I realized I had problem first when I found myself privately raging at pot dealers for not being reliable and professional enough. They were ruining my week.

            Pot sharing circles and smoking a pleasant, mildly bitter herb seemed so natural to chase after once I believed that this will bring some peace happiness. And is that not the heart of what is attractive about pot, to mellow out and relax, to be a high and happy freaky smiley head? But upon closer inspection my pot-provided "peace" was complex and not so natural: it was always running out, i was always smoking too much, not having enough, money is low, garden got mites and the law is coming but then wait... I just got a few minutes of relief and wow.. I'm inspired to get back to the game of have and lose; seek and cough.

            What if peace only comes when we turn primarily to our basic most selves; meals and family and long walks to mellow out and when we stop being so full of things out there we can't control and then blame for controlling us.
            Peace takes less and rage needs more.
            As one friend said, "it's easier not to smoke".
            As the mystics say, you don't have to find Love, just remove the anger and fear.
            I think these things take lots of practice. Another day without smoke is another day of practice.


            • #7
              Sorry Charlie 108 I forgot to welcome you to the forum, welcome to the forum.

              I am not disturbed by anything you say, I too am not really one for rigid dogma, I have studied many faiths in my time particularly eastern spiritually (maybe my avatar gives it away) and think they all potentially have something to offer, but take your pick whatever works for the individual, it’s all fine by me as long as it is practiced with love and compassion. Personally I don’t really feel the need to call myself an anything, although I do consider myself a person of faith. But anyway I don’t think religious beliefs should be a requirement of any addiction support group, I don’t think that’s what they should be about.

              With or without god come one come all, everybody welcome.

              Take care
              Cannabis Rehab Admin

              If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

              My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 15 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!


              • #8
                Ok, I have been in AA meetings for a couple years now because someone close to me is a recovering alcoholic. I have been the drug free for almost 6 months, and have also attended some NA meetings. I would say I have pretty good knowledge about the workings of the program and the wide array of people who attend them. I have had issues about being a the drug user and being in NA, some of which have resulted because of a skewed perception.

                I am going to write here about NA, because it is most applicable to marijuana. Marijuana Anonymous does exist, although is much smaller and primarily in larger cities.

                First off: semantics. NA tries to avoid them. Yes, they group marijuana with alcohol in the first pages of the basic text. I believe this is primarily because many do not think about them as "drugs", in the sense of narcotics use. Bear in mind, it is called Narcotics Anonymous, but NA does not consider "clean" as narcotics-free with active alcohol and marijuana use.

                The program is not concerned with drug of choice, and takes the same approach to rehabilitation regardless of which drug you used, how much you used, and what you have done in the past altogether. Rather, it focuses on change within the person. It sees addiction not as the primary problem, but rather a main symptom of a larger problem. In this sense, it is very inclusive as a program.

                NA is also not about just being clean. Regarding the program, being clean is merely a prerequisite for greater life change that does not create fertile ground for drug use to take root again.

                The concept of a "higher power", or "God", is probably the most misunderstood aspect of NA. Drug addicts typically do not accept life on life's terms. If they did, they probably would not have the drug problem they have. With addiction, it is about not accepting reality as is, rather wanting to redefine it or escape it altogether. When attending meetings and hearing people's stories, common themes and similarities can be heard between people.

                It is about accepting a higher power than yourself. Being an atheist, I found this peculiar at first glance. But really, we are not the highest power in our own lives. We just aren't. If merely one thing doesn't go the way we want in life, that disproves we are the highest power in or lives. We may be a higher power than other people in our own lives, but not the highest power. "What is" is the highest power.

                This works hand in hand with recurring addict issues in life. The worrying about things that exist in reality, the things one cannot change, the need to control things or escape them, the guilt and shame, self esteem issues, the obsessions- these things have everything to do with the reasons for addiction in the eyes of NA, and many recovering addicts. They are all intertwined. So the acceptance of "what is", or "higher power" comes into play. The letting go of what one cannot control, what they obsess about, what they worry about, what they feel attached to.

                In this sense, it can be seen as spiritual, but it is what it is. Many tend to associate "spiritual" with religion automatically, when the two are very different. "Spiritual", as in the human spirit. About letting go.

                The meat of the program is in the 12 steps, which address many issues. I won't get into them specifically, but anyone online can access them.

                Before every meeting, the chairperson reads something that includes every person addicted to a mind altering substance, and reads something along the lines of "no matter what or how much we used". I think that really speaks volumes.

                I have had these same issues with pot being my drug of choice. I simply have felt "god, I'm only a pot addict". But getting past that fear, rational thinking tells me one who is addicted to pot has much in common, and can get the same benefits as other recovering addicts.

                I actually see similarities with Buddhism within the principles of the program.

                One who preaches about the program and coaxes people into attending is not working the program. It is for those who want it. Attraction, not promotion, is another common theme. And I agree-- an addict can only change if they want it bad enough.


                • #9
                  the way i see it

                  i'v never been to any of those kind of meetings-i wasnt aware that there would have been a spiritual side-i thought it woulda been addiction-cause addiction is addiction-example-my da's been addicted to gambling for 40 years plus-he genuinely believes that so long as i dont have a gambling problem i'm okay-its not that serious-having battled with drink in the past and pot now i know that deep down that need is the same-

                  i hear a lot of pot people demeaning people who drink-our thing is more superior to theirs-we get more from it-its a spiritual thing-a different kind of person takes pot and goes that road-one, more in tune with the environment and their inner selves etc etc-i dont aggree-i take drink or leave it now-it doesnt float my boat the way drugs did-there was a man drank a beer in my local pub-he was 79-his family had grown up or died or watever-his social thing was to go to the bar each evening and have a couple of beers-not a brain altering amount-just a bit-i looked at him and said to me-maybe in the years to come i'll go back to having a beer-cause wats the big deal-loads of people do it right-and loads of people do it wrong-like pot-i'v met many scumbags who smoke pot-i'm sure we all have-people are people irrespective of their bad habits-be they good or bad-our brains as we all know connect with substances-we dont really know why-if i could take a smoke of pot and leave it i know i'd still be smoking it-i cant -i'm an addict-i use it rather than enjoy it-it didnt compliment my life-it was my life-

                  one of the things i'v found hard about stoppin smokin is a hate strain its left-i'm not a hateful person-to give u an example-wen an alcoholic's lying in peoples' way i'm the person who'll try and help them up even tho they might be covered in pish and the moral majority will cross the street-thats the kind of hate i'm talking about-the i'm better than u hate-the why cant u be a decent human being instead of a wa'nker hate-i hope it goes-i mean the negativity that dependence can leave-the inner unsettled reality that can be left behind-

                  for me there is no god-i dont despise others who believe-it helps people get thro-my religion is inside me-and i wrestle with it-i question it-i'm a godless person who treats others with respect-and worry within myself wen i dont-for me-cause my higher power is me-my concscience-and i know its a good conscience-if there's an afterlife (which i genuinely dont believe there is) then i'll be in the decent atheist non believing corner-wer people like me'll be-i like difference -i respect others' views-i accept them-maybe some day i'll find god-but i really think he'll have to find me-

                  my problem with pot was it took over my life and sapped all the hope out of me-being lost and being fu'cked up can be a lonely place-it sorta destroyed a bit a of me that i need to rebuild-

                  today's lucky day 13 pot free-i still dont feel great-and worry all the time-and feel sick in my stomach but i never have to throw up-it'll pass-i just gotta try not to hate the world too much-my worth is within and wen i get over this i might be able to understand me a bit more-cause thats my thing-learning about me-who i am-men women-inside we'r the same-with the same chemicals and connections-if we rewire the house wrong the washing machine'll come on wen we want to turn on the stereo-i'm a bit like that right now-it'll pass-with time-with making the right choices-with acceptin things about me-with me knowing that i'm a good person-

                  irrespective of wat society says-i play life by my rules-irrespective of how the oppsition go about it-i'd rather lose fairly than win dishonestly-and i know many people respect me for that-

                  dont get tied down with wat people think or are supposed to think about life round them-live for u-by ur rules-and so long as ur not a total maniac u'll be fine dude-


                  • #10
                    Cross addiction is an important thing to understand, especially to understand what the nature of addiction is. It is indicative of a larger problem, that transcends "drug of choice", or even "activity of choice", like gambling or sex.

                    We could have a room full of people, a mixed bag, with addictions to gambling, cocaine, sex, marijuana, pornography, pills and food. If we asked these people how they deal with life, we would find a lot of similarities, regardless of what specific thing they are addicted to.

                    Society at large does not seem to understand this. Society seems to put too much weight into the substance and not the person using it. Thus, the general public's knowledge on addiction is very poor.


                    • #11
                      marijuana withdrawal symptoms relief
                      I think that is an excellent point!
                      Cannabis Rehab Admin

                      If you wish to Use then Use, Your Body Your Choice, You're NOT a Criminal and I wish you well!

                      My Choice is to be Drug Rehabilitated for 15 years because I Chose to be free from its Control on me!


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