WHAT IS HEROIN ANONYMOUS
Heroin Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship of men and women who have found a solution to heroin addiction. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. We are recovered heroin addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay sober.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop suffering from heroin addiction. There are no dues or fees for H.A. membership; we are self supporting through our own contributions. H.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other heroin addicts achieve sobriety.
Heroin Anonymous is concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of heroin addicts who turn to ~Read More~
WHO IS A HEROIN ADDICT
We are men and women of all walks of life. At one time in our life we may have been curious about using heroin. For some of us, we instantly fell in love with this drug and for others its attraction was gradual. Whatever the case may be, we began to think more and more about how we could get more. Sometimes we convinced ourselves that certain bills didn’t need to be paid. We began to plot ways to steal money and other items so we could use again. At some point it was no longer recreational but rather an absolute necessity. “I only use on weekends” or “I can stop anytime I want to” or “I just need to try harder to not use” or “At least I don’t slam it, I only snort or smoke it” or “With this baby inside of me I promised I would stop but found I couldn’t.” At times we mixed heroin with alcohol or other drugs and found that the relief was minimal. We became determined to get the same high we did in the beginning. ~Read More~
SINGLENESS OF PURPOSE
When other addicts are asked to not share in our meetings, we are not excluding them. It is our way of saying we have limitations in our effectiveness with their addiction, and there are others who are better qualified than us to help them. By maintaining our singleness of purpose we establish realistic expectations with whom we can help and it promotes humility, which is essential in our recovery.
The reality is we cannot help everyone. When claiming we can help other types of addictions, we dilute our fellowship and we lose sight of the needs of the heroin addict.
Tradition One: Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends on H.A. unity. This tradition reminds us that the common welfare of our fellowship comes before our personal agendas.~Read More~
“We admitted we were powerless over heroin –
that our lives had become unmanageable.”
Admitting we were powerless over heroin or anything else for that matter was a difficult task for many of us. We did not want to admit we could not control our heroin usage and that we could not manage our life. Most of us wished to be in control of our using and convinced ourselves we could stop anytime we wanted.
We discovered that we had lost the power to choose whether we would use or not. If we truly had the power to do that, we would have exercised that power a long time ago. There were times we deluded ourselves into thinking “Well at least 1 stopped for a short period of time, therefore I can stop anytime I want to.” If that were true, we would have stopped all together. ~Read More~
FOR THE NEWCOMER
As newcomers, we often feel lost and don’t know how to live sober and are uncertain with what we should or should not do in order to recover. We are confused, scared, and typically have doubt about being able to stay sober. All of us who have recovered have experienced what you are going through at this time. Fortunately, there are others in Heroin Anonymous who can relate to your experience and are eager to help you find a new way of living. What we found that was most helpful, was to be guided by someone who is grounded in the 12 Steps. This person can offer guidance, support, and direction so that you can learn how to cope with daily life and assist you in developing a life of freedom from heroin addiction. There is no right way to recover, we cannot do it wrong, yet there are several suggestions we have found to be ~Read More~
WHAT ABOUT OTHER DRUGS?
As members of Heroin Anonymous, we promote a lifestyle that is abstinent from all drugs and alcohol. No one in this fellowship can tell you how you should be living your life or whether you are or are not powerless over other substances. It has been our experience that heroin addicts who use other substances while abstaining from heroin generally return to using. When this occurs, we end up where we were before and often worse. Many of us at one time have told ourselves, “As long as I’m not using heroin, I’ll be ok.” We were deluded into thinking that it would be ok to drink, to use some pot, smoke some crack, snort some cocaine, or maybe take some pain pills to help us through a difficult time. At other times we did not need an excuse or a reason to use another substance, it seemed like a good ~Read More~
SELF TEST FOR HEROIN ADDICTION
1. Do you isolate when using heroin?
2. Have you ever used more heroin than you planned?
3. Has your heroin usage interfered with your job or school?
4. Do you find yourself concealing your heroin usage from others?
5. Are you experiencing financial difficulties due to your heroin usage?
6. Has your heroin usage caused problems with your partner/spouse or family?
7. Do you wish you could stop using heroin and find that you are unable to quit?
8. Have you experienced legal difficulties from your heroin usage and yet you continue to use?
9. Do you consume the entire amount of heroin you have ~Read More~
GUIDE TO THE TWELVE STEPS
Taking the 12 Steps is what enables us to be free from the compulsion to use. We take the Steps as outlined in the book “Alcoholics Anonymous.” Often referred to as the “Big Book”, it contains specific, step-by-step instructions on how to practice the Steps in our daily lives. When reading this book, we found it helpful to substitute the word “heroin” for “alcohol”, and substitute the word “drinking” with “using.” The Steps show us how to live on a different basis. Our experience shows us that we cannot thoroughly nor honestly take the Steps on our own. This is where a sponsor comes in. A sponsor, grounded in the Steps themselves, can share their experience with the Steps and guide us to a way of living that is free from heroin addiction. ~Read More~
WHAT IS A SPONSOR
We of Heroin Anonymous find it essential to have a sponsor. A sponsor is a person who has completed the 12 Steps and is living a sober life. He or she is a person who can offer guidance and support in recovery. With their experience in living the 12 Steps, a sponsor can offer many suggestions in how to approach daily life situations and how to address those instances where one’s sobriety is at risk. A sponsor’s responsibility is to take you through the 12 Steps and to provide support when needed. This support does not include providing you with a job, lending money, or giving you a place to live. Some sponsors have been known to provide assistance in these areas; however, it is not their job. When ~Read More~
If we were able to stay sober and manage our lives on our own will power, it would not be necessary to have a Higher Power. Our experience clearly shows that we have failed utterly in both cases. Many of us tried to respond to the pleas of others to stay sober. We attempted to be better spouses, better employees, a better partner, and better children to our parents. At times we convinced ourselves that if we truly loved someone we should be able to stay sober. Each time we were relying on our will power. As a result of failing, we concluded we needed to seek power from some source other than human power. Here resistance tends to surface. ~Read More~
WHAT IS A HOMEGROUP
As heroin addicts, we tend to isolate and feel like we don’t fit in anywhere. We have difficulty relating to others. When using, it gave us a sense of belonging to something. That feeling generally disappears when we stopped using and we end up feeling empty.
By going to meetings on a regular basis, we find others who understand what we are going through. Seeing other heroin addicts who have recovered that we can relate to, can be a fresh start for us.
As we continue to go to meetings we discover that we are most comfortable in a particular meeting. Feeling at home there, we can join that group and commit to attending it on a regular basis. The term “home group” comes from this experience. This enables us to get to know others and for them to get to know us.
By joining a home group, we can get support and guidance when we are ~Read More~
BEING OF SERVICE AT THE HOME GROUP LEVEL
Maintaining a service position in our home group helps us stay sober and promotes unity within the group. By participating in one of these positions, it enables us to get out of ourselves and be helpful to others. Members who are active in service work seem to have more stability in recovery compared to those who don’t participate. It also helps us to get to know other members and allows them to know us. Being of service gives us a sense of connection and belonging. Most heroin addicts do not have a sense of belonging because of our lifestyle when using. It is common to hear members comment on how they have experienced purpose and meaning by being useful to the fellowship. One of the purposes of service positions is to get as many people as possible involved in the group. By getting involved we are part of a team effort to help the suffering heroin addict when they walk ~Read More~
BEING A SPONSOR
“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to heroin addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.” Step Twelve suggests we are in a position to sponsor others once we have completed all 12 Steps. Here, many questions arise. Am I qualified to be a sponsor? How do I go about being a sponsor? What is expected of me as a sponsor? How will I know if I’m being an effective sponsor? The main objective of this pamphlet is to answer such questions. Am I qualified to be a sponsor? If we have completed all Twelve Steps, we are in a position to guide others through the Steps. It does not matter how long we have been ~Read More~
HOSPITALS AND INSTITUTIONS
Chairing Hospital and Institution meetings is one of the most effective ways of reaching heroin addicts who do not have access to our fellowship and our meetings.
Many of our members are sober today because they received the message of Heroin Anonymous in a treatment facility, hospital or institution.
When chairing these meetings, it is essential that we give a positive impression of Heroin Anonymous. We want these facilities and their staff to think highly of our fellowship. By being responsible and respectful in the way we conduct ourselves, we have the opportunity to reach more heroin addicts.
All of us in our fellowship are a reflection of H.A. when we are in public. It is important we be mindful of how we conduct ourselves.
When chairing these meetings, not only are we reaching more heroin ~Read More~