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 idea at the time. Sometimes we convinced ourselves that no one needed to know what we had done and that we could handle it on our own. There were often many justifications for using other chemicals, reminding ourselves that we weren’t harming anyone. Little did we know that using other substances often opened the door to returning to heroin. Then we found ourselves saying, “Oh, I may as well use.” By this time we didn’t care. We were caught off guard. We were no longer spiritually fit. We didn’t have the power to say no. Afterwards, we were puzzled at what had occurred and tried to explain to ourselves what happened. We tried to figure it out with no avail. No explanation to us was satisfactory. We were once again filled with shame and disgust. Once more we had disappointed others and were convinced that our friends or family were judging us and once again we had failed. Sometimes we would recall the time we heard others speak of the danger of using other substances in meetings and we remember discounting what they shared. Little did we know that these members were speaking from their own experiences. They had already traveled the dubious path of destruction and learned that they too had been deluded with using other substances in sobriety. Unfortunately, some of our members aren’t here to inform us that using these other substances in sobriety does not work. It is easy to over look the fact that many heroin addicts do not maintain recovery because they have died. It became clear that we could not claim being sober when using other substances in sobriety. Once more, we were fooling ourselves that we had control over our lives when using alcohol or other drugs. Some of our members have a secondary illness, which requires outside help. If taking certain medications is medically warranted, it is suggested that one follow the instructions of their physician. Periodically, a member may give unsolicited medical advice and tell the newcomer that he or she is not sober as long as they are taking such medications. Such direction should be left up to those who are more qualified. When in doubt about such a situation, we suggest you ask yourself if your conduct is honest and to keep others in recovery aware of your circumstances. In Heroin Anonymous we have discovered a new way of living, peace, happiness, and a sense of direction in our lives. By applying the disciplines of the 12 Steps we now have purpose and meaning for life. We understand that each person must have their own experience in sobriety and no one can be forced to accept the principles of recovery that we freely offer. Our main objective is to provide the suffering heroin addict hope and a way out of the misery. To show you it is possible to live a drug free lifestyle that is indescribably rewarding. By sharing our experience with you on how we cope with our daily lives, we simply wish to pass this on to you as it was given to us from those who came before us.