I thought this would make a good topic after just reading another repeat post by Marietta. Whenever the claim of sponsors telling sponcees not to take drugs she pipes up with "show me the evidence". Let's give it a go.
In my home town, Brighton in Sussex, there is a guy who is very active in AA and also one of the good oldtimers. Let's call him "Huggie" Mike, for no other reason than that is what people call him. He gives everyone a hug on meeting. Mike has had a long term and serious problem with schizophrenia. He has been medically evaluated and monitored for most of his life because it will not go away - it has to be managed.
When he first entered AA (late 70s, early 80s) his sponsor told him he couldn't be properly sober until he quit the meds he was on. Wanting to please his sponsor (dangerous, but often happens) he quit. 3 weeks later he jumped from a motorway flyover. He didn't die, but was several months in hospital. That is fact. Anyone can go to that town, ask for him, and ask him.
The following is from page 5 of Orange's letter :-
"Orange. Thank you so much for this on-line book. I lost a friend to the "anti-drug therapy" crowd. She was bi-polar and to be accepted and belong she went off her medication got drunk fell asleep and burned to death (nobody wanted anything to do with her after she went off her meds). I am still sober, inspite of the people in aa. I hope many more good and trusting people read more of your book...
Hi. Thanks for the complements. Sorry to hear about your friend. I fear for a friend of mine, too, for the same reasons. Congratulations on your sobriety, and keep up the good work.
By the way, I just ran across a survey on A.A. members' attitudes towards medications, and it claimed that A.A. members were not at all dogmatic about medications — only 17% of the sponsors were against them. What the writer of the article did not seem to be able to realize is: that meant that any person with both a psychiatric and a drug or alcohol problem had a 17% chance of getting a bad sponsor who just might kill him or her with stupid orders...
(See: Alcoholics Anonymous and the Use of Medications to Prevent Relapse: An Anonymous Survey of Member Attitudes. ROBERT G. RYCHTARIK; GERARD J. CONNORS; KURT H. DERMEN; PAUL R. STASIEWICZ. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, Jan 2000 v61 i1 p134.)
What I know is, the very first friend of mine who went to Dual Diagnosis Anonymous ended up in the "lucky" 17% — he got told to quit taking the Paxil that he really depended on to keep his head together. Fortunately, he ignored the "advice" of his sponsor and the other old-timers, and stayed on his meds, and was still okay the last time I saw him. I am, of course, telling him to ignore those fools and just stay on his meds. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
P.S.: Oh, by the way, 17% is almost exactly the odds of death if you play Russian Roulette with an old Colt 45 6-shooter. One bullet in one of the 6 chambers gives odds of 16 2/3% of blowing your head off.
It seems like Alcoholics Anonymous is just as dangerous as Russian Roulette, for people with psychiatric problems."
It seems that AAs take on not using drugs is similar to the Catholic Churches take on abusing alter boys. Everyone knows it goes on, but God forbid we admit it.
This question about meds comes up regularly, so why not try and set up a thread that answers it.