Archive for the 'Personal experiences' Category


You can overcome

The professor of my substance abuse class had a missionary couple talk to us today about the LDS Addiction Recovery Program.  It is very much like Alcoholics Anonymous but with an obvious Mormon faith spin on it.  The meetings are begun by reading aloud the twelve steps that are adapted from the AA program.  Other readings from the handbook are recited, and then a facilitator (one who is sober/clean for at least 6 months) kicks off the sharing portion of the meeting.  Sharing goes from person to person around the room, but you can say “pass” if you don’t want to participate.

Unlike AA, the Recovery Program offers a wide variety of meetings for various addictions, including illicit drugs, pornography, alcohol, prescription drugs, eating disorders, and more.  The meetings often take place in seminary and institute buildings, but they have several in the jails and prisons.  The sister missionary said the latter were her favorite places because it was there that she came to know that “Heavenly Father loves ALL His children.”  She continued to testify about the Savior and His atoning sacrifice and our need to utilize the Atonement EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I’m so grateful that Jesus Christ has made it possible for us to conquer our problems and addictions.  We would not have the power to do so were it not for Him.


Drugs don’t discriminate

Every Friday at 1:30 pm, Judge Taylor enters his courtroom ready to review the previous week of each of his participants enrolled in drug court.  He calls them one by one to the stand and either praises them for their progress or counsels them on their unacceptable behavior.  Those that are praised leave the stand with a candy bar, while those that are not leave the stand in handcuffs.

I was able to attend a drug court session, and it really opened my eyes.  I had a very stereotypical view of druggies prior to my experience.  I thought they all had this certain “look.”  You know, bad skin, unkempt hair, bum-like appearance.  And, yes, some of the people at court looked a little rough, but then you’ve got the people that look like they just stepped out of church– and that’s because they probably did.  Regular, every-day people suffer from substance abuse and addiction.  It’s not just the crazy guy on the street corner.  It’s your bank teller, your nurse, the mom next to you in line at the grocery store.  I think we could all have a more open mind and recognize that people we come in contact with daily are struggling and need our help.


Hi. My name’s __________ and I’m an alcoholic…

… although when it came my turn to introduce myself, I was relieved to be able to state that I was simply a visitor.  I had the opportunity to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in Murray, UT.  Beforehand, I was a little nervous because I had no idea what to expect.  However, as soon as the meeting began I felt like I was in a familiar place.  It was quite like a testimony meeting at church.  Encouraging, emotional, uplifting, and even spiritual.  The experiences those people shared were so moving.  They spoke of the hurt and pain their addiction has caused, not only to them but to their children, their parents, their spouses, and so on.  They commented on how it is a continuous daily battle they fight.  I held back tears of my own when one man explained through his that he had to call his sponsor at the doorstep of the liquor store.

They also expressed the joy and happiness they have felt as a result of their endeavors to turn their lives around.  They love coming to these meetings because they’re all so supportive of one another.  They’re like family.  And for many of them, the people of AA are the only family they have.

I was so grateful for this experience and the insight I gained.  It thrills me to see people changing their lives for the better.