The time has arrived to propose a new sort of community gathering (meeting) in which people with the history of the label “Addiction” can engage in the discussion of ideas. This new sort of meeting under the banner of AddictNoMore bars no one. Users, non-users, recovered, those contemplating abstinence, those using without duress….we need to move beyond barriers between us and realise that users and non-users alike can engage with each-other in supportive conversation so to advance ourselves in our concepts and notions of living well. We would only maintain the only requisite to attendance would be to not be disruptive, nor engage in any substance use during meetings, not to have any substances on person at any meeting (at least keep it to yourself). AddictNoMore does neither support drug use nor judge it as wrong, rather we understand there is nothing intrinsic in a substance that is bad in itself instead it is the context (the sort of relationship one engages with the substance) that is often problematic. That being said the shared social reality is that that drug dependence (especially abuse of harder drugs) will not really get anyone anywhere in the long run but a dead-end (but this is a realisation for the individual to make and if judged upon the individual can only be exacerbating of the problem). So all this being said lets begin.
Group meeting discussion points and general outline;
So basically spend about 10 to 15 minutes on each point, to speak you need to hold the speaking stone which gets handed to to the next person who wants to speak by the person just finishing, everyone sits in a circle facing each other, meeting convenes when at 75 minute point – speaker stone is any item that is useful or handy or if someone can bring some sort of small rock, or a feather, or small branch to pass around to signify it is there turn to speak.
- expressions of gratitude – members volunteer moments, events they feel gracious for – (example, a kid being born, having a place to meet and talk, finding an old lost friend who is doing well, …. and so on…
- is “addiction” a conformist way of using substances? Is addiction a sort of social construction (something that we learnt) that confines people? It it real? In what ways is it real? In what ways is it not real? can drugs be used without dependence? what are other dependencies besides substances? is dependence bad or good?
- narratives of recovery – members can volunteer to share their story of moving beyond drug dependence, either via abstinence and, or maintenance…include in your story your low points and high points of using – what changed, what maybe sparked the change, how you changed, what you are happy for and what you could change if you could.
- is using drugs the only way to get high? why is it we desire to get high? is this a response to a pain, or a void, or is this a natural inclination?
- to use of not use?
- what are concrete problems we are experiencing today how can we as a group work concretely to alleviate these problems starting today (this may be about the need for harm reduction for those using, this may be about employment problems – how to find job training and work, how to access continued education, what we can do to sleep better, eat better, pass time better, good books to read, good shows to watch, the need to organise further events such as hikes, picnics, group meditation, exchange of local information for accessing services such as detox, food programs, safe spots to chill, good parks to meditate in or toss a frisbee…)
The idea of AddictNoMore is that the term “addiction” is anachronistic – that the narrative around drugs and addiction has become over-saturated and that it must be abandoned. That rather we need to deal with ourselves as human beings unique in ourselves yet sharing a common source and common destination. We are each each other’s comrade – ultimately the journey in our liberation is intwined in each and one other’s journey. This is about synergy. Only through good synergy can we overcome.
Happy sharing, wish you a great experience,