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Thread: Not a "real" addict?

  1. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #1

    Not a "real" addict?

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    We were talking about quitting smoking today, and apparently there is a program called NA (Nicotine Anonymous) that adopts the 12 steps from AA to use for helping people to quit smoking. I didn't know it existed, but that's pretty cool that there's support groups for smokers too.

    So I said I quit on my own cold turkey, but I knew it was hard to do and I'd quit and failed a couple of times, so I was glad NA was an option. But then I was told that if I was able to quit on my own without "working a program," that that meant I wasn't actually addicted to cigarettes. Now I don't think I was addicted as badly as some people, but I smoked pretty regularly for 10+ years so it still sucked to quit ...

    The same people also said the same thing about alcohol, that if someone quit drinking without working a program, it meant they weren't really addicted to alcohol in the first place.

    I guess I've never thought of it that way before. It does make sense that there's a difference between a social drinker just deciding it isn't for them anymore, and a hit-rock-bottom alcoholic making a commitment to stop drinking. But I wonder where people draw the line between when someone is a "real" addict or when they're not.

    So it's not necessarily a debate but I was wondering other people's thoughts on this.
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    #2
    I thought NA was narcotics anonymous? Lol. Anyways while I do think a social drinker or smoker deciding to give it up is different than an addict quitting. But at the same time, I don't think you need to need a program to be considered an addict. Generally if you have withdrawal symptoms and/or drinking (or what have you) has negatively and meaningfully impacted your life you are an addict. Does that make sense?
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    #3
    i call bs on being able to quit without a program meaning your not addicted...its a will power thing and a personality thing. personally i wouldn't do well in a group situation like that, i don't like talking publicly about stuff like that, however i believe i would have the will power to quit something like smoking or drinking with the help of my friends and family.
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    #4
    That's a bunch of bs IMO. I smoked for 14 years before I quit cold turkey, no program at all. I'd smack someone for telling me I'm not an addict. I was, and still am in moments of weakness (see: NJ trip fiasco in January), a slave to nicotine. 12 step program or not. I've seriously never heard that POV before, it's blowing my mind.

    FTR I've been through NA (narcotics anonymous) for cocaine maaaaaany moons ago. I 100% see both experiences as the conquering of addictions.
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    #5
    Smoking is absolutely an addiction. And I don't agree with the idea that if you don't go the 12 step route then you're not an addict.

    Addictions are hard to beat and I don't think it matters how you beat it, by 12 step, nicotine gum/patches, Cold turkey.
  6. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Andie View Post
    I thought NA was narcotics anonymous? Lol. Anyways while I do think a social drinker or smoker deciding to give it up is different than an addict quitting. But at the same time, I don't think you need to need a program to be considered an addict. Generally if you have withdrawal symptoms and/or drinking (or what have you) has negatively and meaningfully impacted your life you are an addict. Does that make sense?
    THat's what I always thought too! But then I googled it and I guess there is a Nicotine Anonymous too.
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    #7
    A 12 step program is not for everyone anyways. Not to mention the success rate is like 5 to 10%. The people I know who are part of a 12 step program who were successful simply changed one addiction for another. Grandpa, Uncle and friend's dad have all been clean and/or sober for going 20 years but all they do is go to meetings and BBQs and events hosted by a 12 step program. All their social activities are AA or NA related and instead of using/drinking or whatever they talk about it.

    And smoking is an addiction. No matter how you kick it. Dad was at 2 packs a day and stopped cold turkey and said it was the hardest thing he had to do. DH switched to electric and was weaning himself off before basic. I was a heavy hookah smoker for a few years (think one to four bowls a day) then one day decided I was done, sold my hookah and spent the next two months climbing walls and talking myself out of buying a new one. Even now I think hmm I want to smoke some hookah but I know if I do I'll be right back to smoking everyday.

    DH nor I are people persons. Stick us in a room with lots of people and you will find us both edging for the door. I think we would both fail a 12 step program because it isn't right for us.
  8. Pour a little salt, we were never here
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    #8
    That is a ridiculous notion. You can absolutely be an addict and quit (or not) without having gone to any formal treatment.
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    #9
    Its bullshit and its a way for these treatment programs to stay in business.
    Yes, an addict can quit on his or her own.
    However, not everyone who does is an addict. Nor is everyone who quits using a program an addict. Especially because there is physical addiction and mental (correct phrase?) addiction.
    I also think the 12 step program is a load of crap based on the "I am powerless..." line, but that is another debate.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Tojai View Post
    THat's what I always thought too! But then I googled it and I guess there is a Nicotine Anonymous too.
    Huh. Very cool.
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