One of the great opportunities of living the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is our ability to become “God-Conscious.” Because our alcoholism is a brain disease, our brains reset themselves every night in our sleep to “alcoholic”. I find that I need to set my brain back every morning to “sober”.
At The Retreat, I am talking with a lot of alcoholics who also are addicted to Adderall. They have had the impression that Adderall is either not addictive, or harmless, and are surprised to be having problems with it. Adderall is a mixture of two types of amphetamine and two types of dextroamphetamine, and so it is basically an amphetamine. It is an addictive drug. It is classified as a controlled dangerous substance on schedule II.
I grew up in Mtn. View, California and at the age of 17, I found myself at a crossroads. Once my addiction had reached the point of requiring professional help, my Mom and I went to see a doctor that specialized in chemical dependency. When the doctor came to greet us, he was not what I expected. He was an older gentleman that appeared as if he only knew medicine rather than being able to possibly comprehend what I was going through. He sat us down and said to my Mom…”You are basically putting Band-Aids on the problem…if your son does not stop what he’s doing…he’s going to die.” I could tell my Mom was fighting back the tears and doing her best to remain strong. The doctor went on to tell us about a treatment center in Minnesota that could help.
We all know that addiction, whether to alcohol or other drugs, is brutal. Not everyone is sure that, in recovery, we get better. I believe that we can all get better in recovery. Life gets better for the alcoholic and addict who embraces Twelve Step recovery. Life also gets better for those who leave behind the alcoholic and addict who chooses not to recover, and seeks their own recovery.
Our national drug policies are being set, and re-set recently on the basis of popular opinion, rather than on the basis of risk of addiction or risk of death. There is no national drug policy, just a confusing and contradictory set of policies that are constantly changing, as those who want to cut the death rate are in conflict with those who want to make addictive drugs more available. There is very little science, and lots of politics.
Back in the early 1970’s, I had the opportunity to be summer pastor at a small church in Struble, Iowa, just north of LeMars. There was little to no night life and I quickly became the gathering place for the adolescents of the town. Night after night, as July gave way to August, they would appear, telling their tales of “walking the beans” or “walking the corn” that day. As a city boy, I had no idea what they were talking about until they actually took me out to a field and invited me to “walk the beans’ with them. I was amazed at the number and variety of weeds that were growing up with the crops. I was also surprised at how quickly the work became tedious and taxing, necessary as it was.
The 12 step program is a framework for confronting problems that involve addiction, alcoholism, and pressure. Sometimes referred to as spiritual methods, the Alcoholics Anonymous(AA) program was originally started due to a text that was published in 1939. The text, Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism, created the foundation that paved the way for the 12 step program of AA. Today this method is regarded as the most successful practice of abstinence.