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 .
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
& Answers on Methadone is Recovery
Methadone is Recovery
12 Steps of Methadone is Recovery
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
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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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."
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
#2 - Meeting of interested patients. Hold a meeting at
a time and day convenient to the patients who have expressed interest in starting
#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
#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.
THAT THESE ARE GUIDELINES. IF YOU NEED HELP OR SUGGESTIONS, CONTACT THE INTER-GROUP
OFFICE AT (301) 837-4292, MONDAY-FRIDAY FROM 9:30 A.M. UNTIL 5:30 P.M.
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& 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
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.
Isn't Methadone a drug?
A. 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
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?
A. 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
Q. If I go to a Methadone Anonymous meeting, does
that commit me to anything?
A. Your attendance at Methadone Anonymous
meetings are entirely voluntary, and no records are kept.
Q. What is talked
about in a Methadone Anonymous meeting?
A. 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)
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
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.
Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could help restore us to sanity.
Made a decision to change our lives with the help of a higher power.
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.
Were entirely ready to change ourselves through the use of a higher power.
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.
Made direct amends whenever possible except when to do so would injure ourselves
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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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.
That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
7. We will
lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
Self-seeking will slip away.
9. Our whole attitude and outlook on
life will change.
10. Fear of people and economic insecurity will
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
if we work for them.
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