[Ibogaine] Was MAPS & Burning Man- Question about NA

Matthew Shriver matt at itsupport.net
Tue Aug 9 09:22:36 EDT 2005

To be clear, the quote "Once an addict, always an addict" is not any tenant
of NA belief, at least not the way it is generally used.  It is usually used
in the sense that once you're showing all of the signs of being an addict
(dishonesty and what not) it's pointless to try to help you because you will
always act that way.  I don't feel like I worded that quite how I wanted but
you get the idea.  NA's view on that is that it's a lie, plain and simple.

As to your question, my personal opinion also happens to be inline with NA's
view which is that, as an addict, no I don't ever get to use my drug of
choice again. Nor do I get to use any drug to get "high".  It's not the
drugs per se, it's the way we used them that differentiates the addict from
the non-addict.  But once having discovered that we are addicts, we will
never become non-addicts; that is to say we will always be at risk of
returning to our previous behavior if we are not careful.  Now whether or
not you want to say we have a disease and will always have one, or whether
you want to put another interpretation on the, "Once an addict, always an
addict" quote and call it true, well that's all up to you.  As I stated
elsewhere, my view is that when I say I am an addict, it's the same as
saying I have brown hair, it just is.  For me that means I have to be
careful what substances I put into my body, it doesn't mean I'm any more or
any less than any other person on the face of the planet. 

As to the whole altered states question, I think many addicts that I know in
NA would say they still pursue that to some extent, in some form.  For me
it's through mountain biking and rock climbing.  I know a guy in NA who does
yoga in a hundred degree room every day. I have friends in NA who sky dive,
paint, write poetry, do sweat lodges.  I have also heard, without getting
names, that there are people in our fellowship who have participated in
peyote rituals with Native American Church guides (and did not change their
clean dates I might add).  My opinion on that is, again, too each his own.
But if the general fellowship knew about that last one, I can guarantee
there would be a chorus of people who would want to call it a relapse.

NA is just like any other group of human beings, filled with opinions and on
occasion, dissension.  But we are there "so that no addict seeking recovery
need die."  I don't think I need to conform to anything anyone else wants me
to conform to in order to be in NA. I just have to have "a desire to stop
using" which is the only requirement for membership.  Our literature also
says that "you are a member when you say you are."  I don't have to tow any
party lines.  And if anyone says I do, well I get to tell them to get
fucked.  Hope I answered your questions.

-----Original Message-----
From: Vector Vector [mailto:vector620022002 at yahoo.com] 
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2005 10:40 PM
To: ibogaine at mindvox.com
Subject: [Ibogaine] Was MAPS & Burning Man- Question about NA

My question is the quote that Matt used, 'once a addict, always a
addict' what does that mean to you? Does it mean that you can never
again take whatever your drug of choice was. Does it mean you can never
take any drug at all to get high, because if you smoke some pot it will
lead back to whatever you came to NA for. Does it mean that any altered
state of consciousness is in some way too dangerous for you but ok for
normal people whatever normal people means? What does that mean for
you? I'm not asking what it means for all people working the steps,
what do __you__ mean when you write it?


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