Methadone Is Recovery

Have you ever attended a 12-step meeting and were not allowed to "share" because you are a methadone patient? Have you ever gone to one of these meetings and felt like you could not be honest about being a methadone patient because there were things you needed to talk about? If so, Methadone Is Recovery (Methadone Anonymous) may be for you. Why not start a meeting of your own?

See how below!

NAMA chapters have started from people becoming involved in recovery. If you would like to become a member of the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates and join your voices with methadone patients across the United States and other countries to return Methadone Maintenance Treatment to treatment with dignity, contact NAMA. They will send you literature and materials for you to become a chapter.

If you have found anything at this site that has helped you or someone else, please let us know:

Stan Novik's Letter

Getting Started

Questions & Answers on Methadone is Recovery

Methadone is Recovery Preamble

12 Steps of Methadone is Recovery

The Promises

From the Methadone Is Recovery* group may spring advocacy groups for methadone patients. If you would like to know more about patient advocacy and how you can contribute to the concept of "treatment with dignity" for all methadone patients, contact NAMA. Ask for the membership packet, and you will be well on your way.

Stan Novick's Letter

. . .NAMA is not against 12 step groups, or for that matter Methadone Anonymous. In fact we have facilitated a 12 step group here in New York called, Methadone Is Recovery. The reason that we worked so hard to set up a 12 step group is because methadone patients are excluded from other 12 step groups, such as Narcotics Anonymous. And while we are aware that some NA groups allow the full participation of methadone patients, the national policy of Narcotics Anonymous considers methadone patients on a substance and therefore excludes them. Alcoholics Anonymous is quite different; their national policy states that "members should not play doctor" and therefore do not exclude methadone patients from participating. Unfortunately, many local AA groups do not follow national policy and exclude methadone patients. How ironic this is when it was AA, the father of all these groups that fought so hard for the disease concept of alcoholism.

. . .NAMA applauds the work of people who have set up 12 step programs for methadone patients. it is only the name that we believe adds to the confusion and discrimination of all methadone patients, especially those patients who are functioning, paying their taxes and supporting their family like anyone else but must live every day in fear of being found out. Many methadone patients can not even tell their families, or the person that they live with that they are on methadone.

. . .This is why we believe that the name, and it's only the name, "Methadone Anonymous" is confusing and only adds to the misconceptions and myths about methadone. In fact, when we first heard about Methadone Anonymous NAMA conducted a "man in the street" survey, interviewing about 100 people from all walks of life. We asked people: "What do you think Methadone Anonymous is?"

Most of the answers were, "It's a detox group" or "for people wanting to get off methadone", or a group "for people who have detoxed from methadone." Very few answered correctly, less than 18%, that Methadone Anonymous is a 12-step group for methadone patients. In other words, no one understood what Methadone Anonymous was for!

We then explained what Methadone Anonymous was, and asked them if they thought the name was a misnomer. Everyone said yes! (100%)

This made it clear to NAMA--as we had suspected--that the name Methadone Anonymous was confusing to people. I am certain you understand the myths, misconceptions and confusions that abound regarding methadone maintenance treatment. So why add to it! And in fact, isn't the name Methadone Anonymous an oxymoron!

Would not "Heroin Anonymous" be more correct? Are not all the anonymous groups struggling against the preceding word, and are not methadone patients struggling against heroin, not methadone!

May we suggest that you do the same thing with people "who have not heard about Methadone Anonymous,". . .especially ask those patients who are functioning and stabilized and whom the name Methadone anonymous may effect (sic) negatively.

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Getting Started
Help with Setting up Methadone Is Recovery* (Methadone Anonymous*) Groups
*These two terms can be substituted for each other according to group conscience.

#1 - Generate Interest. The first thing that needs to be done is to generate interest on the part of staff (if the meetings will be held at the clinic) and patients. It is suggested that you make some fliers that say, "Methadone Is Recovery meetings are coming to (place). See (person[s]) for information."

After you have generated some interest within the patient group, it is suggested that you collect the names of those patients who appear interested enough to assist in starting the meeting.

#2 - Meeting of interested patients. Hold a meeting at a time and day convenient to the patients who have expressed interest in starting a group.

#3 - Staff presentation. If the meetings will be held at the clinic, schedule a time to meet with and to do a formal presentation for the program staff. It is important to have a patient who is in treatment at your facility and who has agreed to assist in starting your group to attend this meeting with you. Take along enough copies of the literature to give each staff person a copy and ask for their help and advice in getting the chapter started.

#4 - Meeting of patient officers. Have a meeting of all the patients who are going to serve in positions in the group meet with you. You will need a coffee maker, group secretary, group treasurer, literature person and greeter. Decide upon the best time and day to hold your meeting.

#5 - Put up signs. Advertise your meeting with signs that say: Methadone is Recovery Meeting, (Date), (Time), (Place). Please attend.

#6 - Get the meeting started. Remember to adhere to the policies that govern all MA meetings. Have your intergroup representative or someone in his/her place attend all of the monthly Board of Trustees meetings, so that your group's concerns can be raised and addressed by the board. Make sure your monthly chapter report gets recorded and passed on to the other chapters.


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Questions & Answers on Methadone Anonymous (Methadone Is Recovery)

Q. What is Methadone Anonymous?

A. Methadone Anonymous
is a fellowship of men and women who are current or past methadone patients and who together have formed a 12-step recovery organization to help them maintain their recovery.

Q. Who can attend?

A. Methadone Anonymous
chapter meetings are open (unless otherwise designated) to all those who wish to learn how to achieve and maintain sobriety over opiates and other drugs, including alcohol.

Q. Isn't Methadone a drug?

Methadone, of course, is a drug (medication). Methadone Anonymous, however, considers it to be a tool of recovery, not an issue of recovery.

Q. Who runs Methadone Anonymous?

A. Methadone Anonymous
is not aligned or affiliated with any outside agency. It does not endorse or sponsor any outside issues. It is run solely by elected members of each local chapter.

Q. What does it cost to attend Methadone Anonymous meetings?

There are no dues or fees required to attend meetings of Methadone Anonymous. However, we do have expenses (rent, coffee, supplies, etc.), and we ask for donations whenever possible.

Q. If I go to a Methadone Anonymous meeting, does that commit me to anything?

Your attendance at Methadone Anonymous meetings are entirely voluntary, and no records are kept.

Q. What is talked about in a Methadone Anonymous meeting?

Issues related to the recovery process, how to achieve and maintain sobriety over illicit drugs, how to avoid relapses, as well as overcoming the bias directed toward methadone patients.

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Methadone is Recovery (Methadone Anonymous) Preamble

We, of Methadone Is Recovery, believe that methadone is a therapeutic tool of recovery that may or may not be discontinued in time, dependent upon the needs of the individual.

We believe that continued abstinence from opiates and other chemicals, including alcohol, is the foremost goal of recovery. It is the purpose of this fellowship to learn to develop a positive lifestyle, live in harmony with ourselves and the rest of the world, and to help those of us who still suffer from chemical dependency of any kind to achieve and maintain sobriety.

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Methadone is Recovery Steps

1. We admitted that we were powerless over illicit drugs, including alcohol.

2. Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could help restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to change our lives with the help of a higher power.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to ourselves, our higher power, and another person the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to change ourselves through the use of a higher power.

7. Asked our higher power to help us to remove our shortcomings.

8. made a list of wrongs we have done and became willing to make amends where possible.

9. Made direct amends whenever possible except when to do so would injure ourselves or another.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with a power greater than ourselves.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we shall carry the message of recovery to those who still suffer and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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The Twelve Promises

1. We will attain and maintain sobriety.

2. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

3. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

4. We will comprehend the word "serenity", and we will know peace.

5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experiences can benefit others.

6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.

7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

8. Self-seeking will slip away.

9. Our whole attitude and outlook on life will change.

10. Fear of people and economic insecurity will leave us.

11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

12. We will suddenly realize that a power greater than ourselves is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled
around us--sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always
materialize if we work for them.

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