WHAT IS HEROIN ANONYMOUS
Copyright 2004 Heroin Anonymous World Services, Inc.
Heroin Anonymous is a non-profit fellowship of men and women who have found a solution to heroin addiction. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs. We are recovered heroin addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay sober.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop suffering from heroin addiction. There are no dues or fees for H.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. H.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other heroin addicts achieve sobriety.
Heroin anonymous is concerned solely with the personal recovery and continued sobriety of heroin addicts who turn to our Fellowship for help. We do not provide drug education, therapy, medical or psychiatric treatment, chemical dependency treatment, drug addiction research, or propaganda of any form.
Our members consist of individuals who have found a better way of life. We have recovered from our heroin addiction and simply wish to offer help to all of those who suffer. We are fully self-supporting, we accept voluntary contributions from our members for our expenses, and we respectfully decline outside contributions.
Our Program of Recovery was adapted from the program developed by Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. We apply the Twelve Steps as done in A.A (which we are not affiliated), which involves one heroin addict helping another to achieve freedom from their heroin addiction.
We find that individuals who have recovered from their heroin addiction can offer understanding, compassion, relatedness, fellowship, and direction where other methods may have failed. In our Fellowship you will see one heroin addict helping another, freely passing on their experience to the next person who is desperately searching for an answer to their own heroin addiction.
WHO IS A HEROIN ADDICT
Copyright 2004 Heroin Anonymous World Services, Inc.
We are men and women of all walks of life. At one time in our life we may have been curious about using heroin. For some of us, we instantly fell in love with this drug and for others its attraction was gradual. Whatever the case may be, we began to think more and more about how we could get more. Sometimes we convinced ourselves that certain bills didn’t need to be paid. We began to think more and more about how we could get more. We began to plot ways to steal money and other items so we could use again. At some point it was no longer recreational but rather an absolute necessity.
“I only use on weekends” or
“I can stop anytime I want to” or
“I just need to try harder not to use” or
“At least I don’t slam it, I only snort or smoke it” or
“With this baby inside of me I promised I would stop but found I couldn’t.”
At times we mixed heroin with alcohol or other drugs and found that the relief was minimal. We became determined to get the same high we did in the beginning. Seeing someone die from an overdose wasn’t enough to stop us. Some of us took pride in being able to control certain areas of our lives and were completely confused as to why we could not control our heroin usage. After getting clean for various periods of time, we convinced ourselves we could use again without losing control, but we found ourselves ending up where we were before and often worse. Regardless of how many times we failed at trying to stop, we continued to try to control that which was out of our control. Nothing mattered more to us than getting that next paper, that next line, that next gram. No matter how much we suffered or how lost we felt, we continued to use.
We no longer cared what it took to cop one more time. We began doing things we thought we would never do and were left feeling ashamed of ourselves. Sometimes the dope man would be late and we would panic. When we got sick, we would do anything to get straight.
In spite of the broken hearts, going to jail, losing our job, failed relationships, loved ones threatening to leave, or surviving an overdose, we kept on using. We went to great lengths trying to hide our usage from others.
Being completely consumed with using we felt hopeless, we lost our dignity and our dreams. We were disgusted with ourselves, and we felt alone. Sometimes we wished to die so we could stop suffering.
At some point we had a moment of clarity. We realized we were no longer controlling our usage, but rather it was controlling us. We thought it would be impossible to live life without heroin and life would be boring. We could not see the light at the end of the tunnel because we could not even see the tunnel. We were completely hopeless.
We discovered that we were unable to stop using on our own. If our ideas on how to stop using had worked, we would have stopped a long time ago. We had to admit to ourselves that we were heroin addicts and that we needed help.
Like so many who have had these experiences, we have found hope and a better way of life. We no longer have to suffer from this horrible addiction. We no longer worry about the policeman we see in our rear view mirror. We are no longer afraid to answer the door, nor are we afraid to go somewhere for fear of who we may see. We have found freedom. We are heroin addicts who simply wish to share with you our experience on how we have to experience the self-loathing, the shame, or the despair anymore. Our suffering has come to an end because we are now free men and women.
A Way Out
Many of our members have tried to stop using on their own. We were able to dry out for days, months or even years, only to face another demoralizing relapse. What we needed was a way to stay sober. If you are a heroin addict desperately searching for a way out, we found one that’s working for us. We all had our own ideas on how to stop using. These methods didn’t work for long. If these approaches were successful, we would have quit a long time ago. Holding on to these beliefs was futile. Until we were able to let go altogether, we could never be free.
We have discovered a better way to live. We saw others who no longer struggled with heroin addiction and even seemed happy. They encouraged us to go through the Twelve Steps like they had. By applying these principles in our daily lives, we found a new freedom, a new happiness and a new way of living.
Here are the steps we took:
1. We admitted we were powerless over heroin - that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
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 God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to heroin addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs
When we sincerely applied the 12 steps to our lives, we found long- term success in sobriety. We are not asked to do this perfectly. We strive for progress, not perfection. We have found a way out of our suffering and simply wish to share what worked for us. In our fellowship you will see heroin addicts helping each other, freely passing on their experience to those who are desperately searching for an answer to their own heroin addiction.
The 12 Traditions of Heroin Anonymous
1. Our common welfare should come first: personal recovery depends upon H.A. unity.”
2. For our group purpose, there is but one ultimate authority – a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants, they do not govern.
3. The only requirement for membership is the desire to stop suffering from Heroin Addiction.
4. Each group should be autonomous, except in matters affecting H.A. as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose – to carry its message to the heroin addict who still suffers.
6. An H.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the H.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.”
7. Every H.A. group ought to be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.
8. Heroin Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
9. H.A. as such, ought never be organized, but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
10. Heroin Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the H.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
11. Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion, we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, television and films.
12. Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
A Path to Happiness
Our purpose is to share a message of recovery with heroin addicts still struggling with their addiction.
The suggestions we follow are guidelines to progress. We realize there is much more to learn.
We searched for a power we could rely on, took stock of our shortcomings, made amends for our past wrongs, and turned our thoughts towards helping one another.
That is how we recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.
We have acquired peace of mind, camaraderie, and joy in sobriety.
Allow God to direct your life. Uncover your defects of character and carry your experience to the sick and suffering heroin addict.
Sharing this experience is the Foundation Stone of our recovery.
May you find the strength and courage to re-create your life.
Keep coming back and join us on the path to happiness.