Other Substances and Singleness Of Purpose

The Spiritual Solution – Simple And Effective Recovery Through The Taking And Teaching Of The 12 Steps is available now at Amazon.com for all Kindle and Kindle app formats. Paperback and other digital editions will be available in the Spring of 2102.

Available at Amazon:  The Spiritual Solution

Written by John H, a member of alcoholics anonymous, to provide clear and straightforward guidance to the spiritual solution to alcoholism, and other substances, provided in the book Alcoholics Anonymous.

The Following is an excerpt from the chapter “Other Substances and Singleness Of Purpose”

One of the great misunderstandings in AA is what is meant by singleness of purpose. Singleness of purpose means that we share one purpose, recovery from alcoholism through the 12 steps. We are not concerned with solving each other’s unique individual problems or emotional upsets. We are in AA to solve our COMMON problem, alcoholism.

Singleness of purpose means that during AA meetings, we have no interest in politics, the environment, religion, sports, or the new hot TV show. We do not introduce psychotherapy at meetings, or exercise programs, or vitamin therapy, or any specific connection to a particular church as a means of recovery. We do not get involved in any other topic that would detract from our primary purpose of staying sober and helping other alcoholics achieve sobriety.

Singleness of purpose does not mean that we never discuss substances other than alcohol and it certainly does not mean that a member who was also addicted to drugs other than alcohol should be made to feel uncomfortable discussing their use of other drugs.

From the beginning of AA, those with addictions to other substances were welcome in AA and were of utmost importance to the early years of AA. In one of the most referred to stories in The Big Book, “Acceptance Was The Answer”, the writer talks of his addiction to Benzedrine, tranquilizers, codeine, Percodan, and intravenous Demerol and morphine. The recovering alcoholic doctor writes:

“Giving up alcohol was not enough for me; I’ve had to give up all mood and mind affecting chemicals in order to stay sober and comfortable.” He also writes “Today I feel I have used up my right to a chemical peace of mind.”

If a story about a recovering drug addict AND alcoholic is included in The Big Book, should we not be tolerant of those who are also addicted to substances besides alcohol?

Included in this story is one of the most quoted lines from The Big Book, and one of the key components of recovery, “acceptance is the answer to all my problems”, yet we practice just the opposite.

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